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Fourth Sunday of Lent Homily

Something that often happens to us when we visit people in jail is to be present when the policemen sort the mail,  calling the prisoners by name. It’s touching  to see them arrive and wait: they hope to receive a letter. Some of them get a lot of  mail, others just a little, others nothing.
Imagine the pain of those  to whom nobody writes. In every liturgy we can listen to what God “has written to us” through His word, that the Church offers us, He speaks to each of us, He doesn’t abandon us and comes to bring light to our solitude.
In the first reading Samuel the prophet was sure that his first-born, tall, strong, humanly rich, was the one God had chosen. But here is the great teaching: man sees appearances, God goes further, He arrives at the heart, at the secrets of the soul. This truth heals many wounds that come from this ugly sickness of wanting to be seen... “let’s see what people will say, what will they think of me?”  Many times we are conditioned not by what we are really living inside, nor from the truth that comes from God, but from appearances, from how man sees. God’s Word says , “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind”. We must use this walk of Lent to enter , step by step, into the mystery of God who died on the cross for love, to free us from our fears. Do not be fearful about the judgements of other people, listen to the voice that comes from your heart! God is there, waiting for us, even if it is true that it is not easy, that our hearts are difficult to reach, let alone that of others! The hearts of our wives or husbands… Let’s begin to enter inside of ourselves, asking God to help us to get rid of the masks of appearances, to get to the source of life and being, and it is there we will meet Him.
At the end of the reading the Word of God tells us :”The Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward”. David was a little boy, he didn’t realize what was happening. He will understand God’s gesture later on and he will even misunderstand it sometimes, behaving as if  what God  had done for him was his alone, that he was not held accountable to anyone. But on that day the Spirit “rushed” upon David’s heart, and this applies not only to David but also for us. If God finds us as “beautiful” as He saw David “beautiful” that day, the “Spirit will rush” upon us as well. So we are different, though always ourselves, because the light of the Spirit arrives in us. Then we can embrace the truth of our own story ,we  find that peace which the world does not know, we find our vocation, our mission which is always to serve. To serve the life of our brothers and sisters, of our dear ones, to serve the poor ones: there we will reign, there is the joy of life, to feel God as king of  our heart. It’s nice to feel that, thanks to the Spirit, our life is “ruled” by love, led by peace. This is the “fruit” St. Paul speaks of in the Second Reading: the fruit of goodness, justice, truth.  “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness”. We often hear bad things from  TV, from our neighbours or from relatives, they speak evil words and like the prophet Isaiah said, “.. the right ones will not hear the voice of the charmers”. But we sometimes listen to that voice. Mother Elvira taught us  that when someone comes here to get rid of the “rubbish” of his heart, to tell us the evil that he lives towards the others, we must be brave and tell him, “Listen ,why are you telling me? Tell him or her if you really think you are right”. Even when we listen to somebody saying bad things about somebody else we become part of  darkness,because those words lack love,even if it is something true, or the things really happened, it is a truth without hope, there is condemnation, there is no room for God and for the other person. According to St. Paul the result of this evil is sterility,“The works of darkness bear no fruit”, they are sad ,barren. They are evil and evil bears evil. Paul has the courage, “Rather, expose them”. Even there we need to grow: when we see something wrong, even in our own lives, let’s expose it. In Confession, we ask for the Mercy of the Lord: we denounce the evil and it becomes light. We need a lot of faith to do this because darkness scandalizes, but it does not scandalize Jesus! He is the light of the world, He is not afraid of our darkness; we are, but the very moment we hand it over to Him we are free. How beautiful it is to experience freedom from our past, from our sins! Evil exists, it will always exist; we can fall  a thousand times, but if I expose it to Mercy, that darkness disappears!
Let’s think about the man born blind, of whom the Gospel speaks. Jesus looked at him, he read, in the depth of his heart his desire to live, to be healed, to be freed from a sin that maybe he hadn’t even done. But the apostles are suspicious:” Who sinned ,him or his parents, to be like this?” We think the same way, “ An accident occurred to me…what bad things have I done to be punished this way by God?” Jesus answers, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him”. This is our Community: who is more ruined, more crushed by evil than a guy or girl who has fallen into the abyss of drugs?  But it’s there, in the deepest darkness of today’s world that God shows His Mercy, turning us all into resurrected. The miracle is possible, God can perform it, but it always depends on faith. Jesus tells the man born blind to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. He could choose not go, yet “he went and washed, and came home seeing”. Then Jesus meets him and asks him, “Do you believe?”.  He kneels and answers, “I believe, my Lord!”.  This is the most important moment! To be healed is not enough to be saved, faith is the most important thing: faith saves us, faith is what we lack. We are often sad, disillusioned, angry because we are poor in faith but when we find again that Love that heals us, that does not judge us, we also find hope. Faith is the only way that will save all of our lives.

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