Homily of Archbishop Farrell – Mass of thanksgiving for the approval of the new Statutes, Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at the Church of St. Josemaría in Rome. Lorenzo in Piscibus
(2 Mac 7,1.20-31; Ps 16; Lk 19,11-28)
Dear brothers and sisters,
The Holy Mass of thanksgiving that we celebrate today is a joyful occasion to present to the Lord, as an offering, what He Himself has given us freely.
We thank him and offer him the gift of the charism that gave life to the Emmanuel Community more than 40 years ago. A charism that is born from the intimate and moving experience of God’s presence with us. A presence that begins in the Incarnation and continues in the Eucharist and spiritual communion among brothers. Yes, truly God is among us and He makes us feel His closeness! It is from this experience that creates the desire to adore Him, to announce Him to others and to allow His loving heart to use you as “channels” to reach and comfort those in suffering and need.
We thank the Lord today for the gift of many vocations to consecrated life and to the priesthood born in the Community, which show the world how God’s love can fill a life, make it beautiful and full of spiritual joy, fruitful and bearing so much fruit.
We thank the Lord for the vocation to marriage that many of your young people have embraced and live with daily generosity, often facing sacrifices and heroic renunciations in favor of their children and spouses.
We also thank the Lord for the approval of the new Statutes, which accompany the birth of the Clerical Association of the Emmanuel Community, in which priests belonging to the Community can be incardinated. It is a new gift that allows your priests, in addition to serving the local Church, to make themselves fully available for the universal mission of the Church, remaining united with their lay brothers and sisters, according to the charism proper to Emmanuel.
And we also present to the Lord the gifts of so many new missions, as well as the growth of the Community among the members of the Eastern Catholic Churches and many other graces that confirm to you God’s presence without which nothing would be possible, and encourage you to continue in your apostolate.
It is beautiful to think that the Lord at this time is also addressing to you the words of approval that we have heard in the Gospel: “Good, good servant! Because you have been faithful in little, receive power over ten cities.” Perhaps you too have felt that you have done very little, perhaps with little zeal and many imperfections. And yet this “little”, this fidelity in the gift of your life for the Gospel and for the brothers, the Lord has made it bear fruit much. We do little, but if we put everything in his hands, the “little” becomes “much”! And the Lord, seeing your faithfulness, will give you “ten other cities”! He will entrust you with new tasks, new responsibilities, new missions. Always be grateful to God for this trust and be ready to accept the tasks He will put in your hands.
The Gospel parable also urges us not to be afraid and to be courageous. The man who entrusts the coins to the servants before leaving on a journey is not loved by his people. On the contrary! The Gospel explicitly says that the citizens “hated him” and would have liked to keep him away from them. Yet faithful servants seek to fulfill the mandate received without being influenced by general hostility towards their master. This is still happening today. Often the “master” we all serve is neither loved nor respected in the environments in which we live and work. Jesus, and even more so his Church, are often surrounded by hostility and prejudice. But, like the servants of the parable, we must not be discouraged by this hostile climate. We must not remain prisoners of our fears and hide the treasures of grace that the Lord entrusts to us in the “handkerchief” of our small-mindedness, of our prejudices, of our quiet comfort. The Lord will hold us accountable! We may also be tempted to hide our faith, to hide the love of God that we have known and the hope that animates our lives. And thus, think to ensure us a petty tranquility, is by making us “invisible”. But that’s not what the Lord wants from us. The gold coin He has given us has intrinsic value, and when used well, it creates ever more wealth. Your charisma is this room! The experience of God’s love is this room! Your faith in the real presence of “God with us” is that currency!
The missionary zeal that God has kindled in your hearts is this room! Do not be afraid, be sure it will bear much fruit if it is not hidden!
Dear friends, united to the Virgin Mary and filled with gratitude, thank the Lord for the gifts that He has given you throughout these years and that He continues to give you and let us ask Him for the grace to be good and faithful administrators of His riches.