VISIT TO THE CITADEL CIELO OF THE "NEW HORIZON COMMUNITY" OF FROSINONE
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Tuesday, 24 September 2019
In the first reading, from the book of Ezra, there is the narration of the reconstruction of the temple, totally destroyed for years, for decades ...; it looked a bit like a forest, ruins ... But the Lord inspired Nehemiah to do what we heard, to rebuild the temple, and this adventure begins, so many years to rebuild Jerusalem, rebuild the temple. This is a story of reconstruction. And here, King Darius who was fond of this work, wrote to the governor: "Let them build this, let them do this, I will protect these people." And it goes on in construction.
But it is not an easy thing to reconstruct. Those Jews managed to do it because the Lord was with them. Only when the Lord is with us are we able to make a reconstruction, because it is more difficult to reconstruct than to build, it is more difficult. Even in Italy, it is more difficult to rearrange a life than to raise a child. It's more difficult. We need to change mentality. Because the people who lived there got used to it: "But yes, they are ruins ...". She was used to living with those ruins and she didn't have that nostalgia for the temple of God; and if he had it, he said: "Too bad, they won, they destroyed ... and we go on". But this holy man had the zeal for the house of God and wanted to rebuild the temple, and helped by many he goes on in this work, he begins to go ...
But there is one thing that does not appear here - because this is a small piece -: that some of the place did not like this, they were the merchants of the ruins, the merchants of death, the merchants of the status quo. They said: "This is not convenient for us. We leave the ruins, we leave the defeat ... ". And these, with a band of friends, at night destroyed the wall that was built by day. And in the end what did these people do, those who wanted to build? The Bible says: "In one hand they had the bricks and in the other the sword", to defend the construction. The construction of the temple is defended with work and with the sword, that is with the struggle. Even the reconstruction of a life is a grace, not deserved, everything is grace, but we must defend it, with work and also with the struggle, in order not to let the merchants of destruction return to make this life a pile of stones, of ruins of bricks.
So many times the people, the people of God had to go on, and then defeated go back; and forward, backward, forward, backward ..., until Jesus arrived. He too, reduced him to ruins on the cross, but his power, the power of God, rebuilt him forever for us. That is, the work of our lives, the testimonies that we have heard today, testimonies of reconstruction, must be defended: that work must be defended and alone we cannot, we must let ourselves be helped by the only Winner, by the only one who is able to win in us , and this is the root of our hope. We are men and women of hope, because this man was able to rebuild the people of God, to save us. The liturgy says that God shows his power in creation but even more in redemption, that is, in the victory of Jesus, in Jesus' victory over us, because there Jesus builds the temple, builds the Church, builds our lives. We cannot build our lives, we cannot keep the temple of our life standing, well, without Jesus, without trust in Jesus. It is He who will help us in this, with this power proper to one who is able to re-arrange things, which is more difficult to fix.
I don't know, I would like to say this. When I read both Readings this morning, I said: this is good for today, the first, rebuilding the temple, rebuilding life; not only ours, but also the desire to always rebuild. "Look, the roof has fallen, there ...". To move on. And so many times our life is like this. But it is He who is with us, who defends us from those who love ruins, who want to destroy us. We too always have a bit of that desire for self-destruction and sometimes it comes, it is normal, we are human. And to this we must be careful: the bricks in one hand and the sword in the other, that is, work and prayer, trust in our hands - like yours, you do these beautiful things with waste - and trust in prayer in God, which is the sword that will keep us going.
May the Lord give us this grace, the desire to always rebuild, always! Never be discouraged! There will be defeats, there will be! But He is greater than defeats. Always with trust. He is the sword that wins. May the Lord help us understand these things with the heart.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation from Italian