Homily of Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri at Mass – broadcast on Radio Maria January 23, 2017
The “Letter to the Hebrews” speaks to us of Jesus Christ, the only mediator of the new covenant ” For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15).
Only Jesus Christ conquered death and gave us His divine life which is eternal.
He, as God, became like us “to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26). “ So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28).
Unlike the priests of the Old Covenant, Jesus is both Priest and Victim. In His Passion He – as pure from every stain of sin – gave himself to the Father for sinners. By means of His death and resurrection He accomplishes his priestly function; At the Ascension He didn’t enter into a temple built by human hands, but He entered into heaven, where He remains a Lamb standing before the Father to make intercession for us (Rev 5:6). Sin is now deprived of its strength and a “new way” to return to the Father is open to everyone.
The Gospel of Mark presents Jesus as the One before whom we must take a stand: either we join ourselves to Him, our only Savior or we compare ourselves to Him in the exercise of our freedom that rejects Him.
Salvation is a gift, but it can be given only to those who have the desire to be saved.
The servant of God “Luisa Piccarreta” had the desire to be saved. For this she fully adhered to the will of Jesus, obedient servant to the Father even unto death, even the death of the cross. In the Hours of the Passion Luisa comments on the agony of Gethsemane in the following way: “O Jesus, all the rebellions of creatures advance toward You; You see that “Fiat Voluntas Tua”, that “Your Will be done”, which was to be the life of each creature, being rejected by almost all of them, and instead of finding life, they find death. And wanting to give life to all, and make a solemn reparation to the Father for the rebellions of creatures, as many as three times, You repeat: “Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me: that souls, withdrawing from Our Will, become lost. This chalice is very bitter for Me; however, not my will, but Yours be done”.
Jesus bound the human will with the divine will making His own person a bridge, a bond of harmony. And this is precisely the starting point of our new life, to be in Christ, with Christ, through Christ.
In another excerpt from the Hours of the Passion Jesus tells Luisa: My daughter, do you want to know what it is that torments Me more than the very executioners? Rather, those are nothing compared to this! It is the Eternal Love, which, wanting primacy in everything, is making Me suffer, all at once and in the most intimate parts, what the executioners will make Me suffer little by little. Ah, daughter, it is Love which prevails in everything, over Me and within Me. Love is nail for Me, Love is scourge, Love is crown of thorns – Love is everything for Me. Love is my perennial passion, while that of men is in time. Ah, my daughter enter into my Heart, come to be dissolved in my love, and only in my love will you comprehend how much I suffered and how much I loved you, and you will learn to love Me and to suffer only out of love.”
Luisa lived immersed in the love of Jesus Christ and learned to love God and her neighbor, declaring herself the ‘little daughter of the Divine Will “.
Dearly beloved, it’s really a gift to know and love Jesus as the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta did. Let us imitate her harmonizing our day in this way: “Today, in your Divine Will, come Jesus to love in me the people I meet, to walk in my steps, to look with my eyes, to work in my hands, to talk in my words , etc “.
Jesus made this possible by giving us His Divine Life.