Saturday, August 20, 2005

At Marienfeld

From the homily text... full translation here:
Even if those who had stayed at home may have considered [the Magi] Utopian dreamers, they were actually people with their feet on the ground, and they knew that in order to change the world it is necessary to have power. Hence they were hardly likely to seek the promised child anywhere but in the King’s palace. Yet now they were bowing down before the child of poor people, and they soon came to realize that Herod, the King they had consulted, intended to use his power to lay a trap for him, forcing the family to flee into exile. The new King, to whom they now paid homage, was quite unlike what they were expecting. In this way they had to learn that God is not as we usually imagine him to be. This was where their inner journey began. It started at the very moment when they knelt down before this child and recognized him as the promised King. But they still had to assimilate these joyful gestures internally.

They had to change their ideas about power, about God and about man, and in so doing, they also had to change themselves. Now they were able to see that God’s power is not like that of the powerful of this world. God’s ways are not as we imagine them or as we might wish to them to be. God does not enter into competition with earthly powers in this world. He does not marshal his divisions alongside other divisions. God did not send twelve legions of angels to assist Jesus in the Garden of Olives (cf. Mt 26:53). He contrasts the noisy and ostentatious power of this world with the defenceless power of love, which succumbs to death on the Cross, and dies ever anew throughout history; yet it is this same love which constitutes the new divine intervention that opposes injustice and ushers in the Kingdom of God. God is different – this is what they now come to realize. And it means that they themselves must now become different, they must learn God’s ways....

The saints, as we said, are the true reformers. Now I want to express this in an even more radical way: only from the saints, only from God does true revolution come, the definitive way to change the world. In the last century we experienced revolutions with a common programme – expecting nothing more from God, they assumed total responsibility for the cause of the world in order to change it. And this, as we saw, meant that a human and partial point of view was always taken as an absolute guiding principle. Absolutizing what is not absolute but relative is called totalitarianism. It does not liberate man, but takes away his dignity and enslaves him. It is not ideologies that save the world, but only a return to the living God, our Creator, the guarantor of our freedom, the guarantor of what is really good and true. True revolution consists in simply turning to God who is the measure of what is right and who at the same time is everlasting love. And what could ever save us apart from love?....

There are many who speak of God; some even preach hatred and perpetrate violence in God’s name. So it is important to discover the true face of God. The Magi from the East found it, when they knelt down before the child of Bethlehem. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”, said Jesus to Philip (Jn 14:9). In Jesus Christ, who allowed his heart to be pierced for us, the true face of God is seen. We will follow him together with the great multitude of those who went before us. Then we will be travelling along the right path.

You've got to love the lyric quality of it. And Maestro Marini at his side....

PHOTO: AP/Thomas Kienzle

-30-

3 Comments:

Blogger patrick said...

Now that is a superb sermon.

20/8/05 17:11  
Blogger Sam Martini said...

Yes, it was wonderful. B16 is a wordsmith - and not just fluff - the content is clear and moving. Can't wait til tommorrow's homily.

20/8/05 17:50  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

This man's homilies - beginning with the exegesis (always intriguing and never stale) and moving swiftly to practical applications (in accessible language) - are simply top-notch.

Most homilies I've heard are either good on one dimension or the other or poor on both.

The Pope's are uniformly good on both.

I'm still re-reading the Corpus Christi homily at St. John Lateran on the TWO eucharistic liturgical processions of the Roman Rite (Holy Thursday: to the Garden as Christ goes to his Passion; Corpus Christi: to the streets of the world as we follow the Risen Christ in his mission > EXTRAORDINARY).

Now the two, so far of WYD: that incredible evangelization homily on the ship cruising up the Rhine; and tonight's - the grand procession of past, present and future people transformed by their encounter with Christ, found not in the palace of King Herod where you would expect a king to be born but in the house of the poor; whose power is nothing like the power of the world's.

I'm sending it to my entire email list. I can't wait to hear tomorrow's.

And was tonight a perfect blend of the old and the new, or what? Taize (in its music, Frere Roger spiritually present), that omnipresent "Jesus Christ, you are my life," and the Gregorian Tantum Ergo. Stunning. (If the Trads have their way and Marini does get sent to Teheran, the Muslims should prepare for mass conversions to Roman-rite Catholicism!)

Even NBC's Keith Miller was ecstatic.

20/8/05 19:16  

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