OMELIA DI GIOVANNI PAOLO II
Domenica, 29 aprile 2001
1. "When it was already dawn, Jesus stood on the shore" (Jn 21:4). At dawn, the Risen One appeared to the Apostles, returning from a night of unsuccessful fishing on Lake Tiberias. The evangelist explains that on that night, "they caught nothing" (Jn 21:3), and adds that they had nothing to eat. At the invitation of Jesus: "Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find" (Jn 21:6) They obeyed without hesitation. Their response was prompt and great reward, because their net had been empty the night, "they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes" (John 21:6).
How can we not see in this episode, which St. John mentions in the epilogue of his Gospel, a telling sign of what the Lord continues to work in the Church and in the hearts of believers who trust in him without reserve? The five Servants of God, which I had the joy of raising to the altars, are witnesses of the extraordinary gift of the risen Christ gives to every baptized person: the gift of holiness.
Blessed are those who make this mysterious gift fruitful, allowing the Holy Spirit to conform their lives to Christ, dead and risen! Blessed are you who like bright stars shine today in the firmament of the Church: Manuel González García, Bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Eucharistic Nazareth; Carlos Manuel Cecilio Rodríguez Santiago, Lay, Marie Anne Blondin, virgin, foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters St. Anne; Caterina Volpicelli, Virgin, Foundress of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart, Caterina Cittadini, virgin, foundress of the Ursuline Sisters of Somasca.
Each of you, devoting himself to Christ, the Gospel has made the rule of life. Thus you became his faithful disciples, having drawn that newness of life, which was inaugurated by the mystery of his resurrection, the inexhaustible source of his love.
2. "That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter," It is the Lord! '"(Jn 21: 7). In the Gospel we have just heard, before the miracle performed, a disciple recognizes Jesus The others will do it later. The Gospel passage, in presenting Jesus, who "came and took the bread and gave it to them" (Jn 21, 13), tells us how and when we can meet the Risen Christ in the Eucharist, where Jesus is really present under the species of bread and wine. It would be sad if this loving presence of the Savior, after a long time, was still unknown by humanity.
This was the great passion of the new Blessed Manuel González García, Bishop of Málaga and then Palencia. The experience in Palomares del Río in front of a deserted tabernacle marked for life, and from that moment he decided to spread the devotion to the Eucharist, proclaiming the words he subsequently chose as his epitaph: "Here lies Jesus for it is here! Do not abandon him. "Founder of the Eucharistic Missionaries of Nazareth, Blessed Manuel Gonzalez is a model of faith in the Eucharist, whose example continues to speak to the Church today.
3. "And none of the disciples dared ask him," Who are you? "They knew it was the Lord" (Jn 21, 12). When the disciples recognize him on the shores of Lake Tiberias, it strengthens their faith in the fact that Christ is risen and is present in the midst of his. The Church, for millennia, never tires of proclaiming and repeating this fundamental truth of faith.
The experience of the paschal mystery makes all things new, since, as we sang in the Easter, "dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy." This spirit animated the entire existence of Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago, the first Puerto Rican to be raised to the glory of the altars. the new blessed, enlightened by faith in the Resurrection, shared with all the profound meaning of the Paschal Mystery often repeating: "We live for that night," the night of Easter. His fruitful and generous apostolate consisted mainly of the effort to help the Church in Puerto Rico to become aware of this great event of our salvation.
Carlos Manuel Rodríguez highlighted the universal call to holiness for all Christians and how important it is that every baptized to respond to it in a conscious and responsible. May his example help the whole Church in Puerto Rico to be faithful, living with consistency the values and Christian principles received in the evangelization of the island!
4. Foundress of the Sisters of Saint Anne, Marie-Anne Blondin is the model of a life devoted to love and inspired by the paschal mystery. This young Canadian country woman propose to her Bishop to found a religious congregation for the education of poor children in rural, in order to overcome illiteracy. With a spirit of abandonment to the providence of which bless "the conduct mothering" humbly accept the decisions of the Church and held until his death menial tasks for the sake of her sisters. Trials would never his great love for Christ and for the Church, nor his concern forming authentic teachers of youth. Model of a humble and hidden life, Marie-Anne Blondin found his inner strength in the contemplation of the Cross, showing us that a life of intimacy with Christ is the surest means to bear fruit mysteriously and to fulfill the mission willed by God may his example lead in the religious of his institute and many young people the pleasure of serving God and men, especially the youth, to whom it is important to provide the means for an authentic spiritual development, moral and intellectual!
5. "The Lamb that was slain is worthy to ... honor and glory and blessed" (Rev. 5:12). These words, taken from the Book of Revelation and proclaim in the second reading, are well suited also to the mystical experience of the Blessed Caterina Volpicelli. In her life, totally consecrated to the heart of the slain Lamb, stand three significant aspects: a deep Eucharistic spirituality, indomitable fidelity to the Church and a surprising apostolic generosity.
The Eucharist, the long-adored and made the center of her life until taking a vow of victim reparation, was for her school docile and loving obedience to God, being at the same time, the source of love, tender and merciful to others: in the poorest and most marginalized she loved her Lord, long contemplated in the Blessed Sacrament.
She was always able to take the missionary fervor which prompted her to express her vocation in the Church, pastors and docility to her prophetic intentions of promoting the laity and new forms of consecrated life. Without determining operating space, nor give rise to specific institutions, wanted, as she said, to seek solitude in work and fruitful work in solitude. She was the first "messenger" of the Apostleship of Prayer in Italy and bequeaths, especially to the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart, a unique ministry which must continue to be ceaselessly nourished at the source of the Eucharistic mystery.
6. "Lord, you know I love you" (Jn 21:15; cf. vv. 16:17). The triple declaration of love which, according to today's Gospel, Peter makes the Lord leads us to think of Caterina Cittadini. In the course of her difficult life, the new Blessed showed indomitable love for the Lord. Her deep capacity to love, supported by great emotional balance, is emphasized by those who got to know her. Orphaned at an early age, she made herself a loving mother to orphans. And "mothers", she wanted her spiritual daughters in school and in contact with children.
Catherine was trying to be "of Christ, to bring to Christ." The secret was for her union with the Eucharist. At her first collaborators recommended to cultivate an intense spiritual life in prayer and, above all, a vital contact with Jesus in the Eucharist. As timely as ever is her spiritual even for those who are called to be teachers of the faith and want to pass on to future generations in this time of great social changes, the values of Christian culture!
7. "We are witnesses to these things, and the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him" (Acts 5:32). Let our joy with the words from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, heard in the. Yes, we are witnesses of the miracles that God works in those "who obey Him."
We find the truth of this statement in your existence, or new Blesseds whom we are venerating and invoke as intercessors. Your heroic fidelity to the Gospel is evidence to the fruitful activity of the Holy Spirit.
Help us to follow, in turn, the path of holiness, especially when it gets tiring. Support us in keeping our eyes fixed on Him who has called us. To your voice, that of the Virgin Mary and all the Saints, let us unite our also to sing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power for ever and ever" (Rev 5:13 ). Amen!
Taken from the Vatican