Homily of bishop Domenico Sorrentino
Blessing of the Monastery of San Masseo
Today here begins again a thread, one of the many threads of this marvelous history. Who weaves this thread? God’s Spirit, he is the great weaver
Ne 8,1-4a.5-6.8-12; 2Tm 3,14-4,5; Jn 4,19-24
“It is I who speak to you” (Jn 4,26). This revelation by the Lord is made today in our midst. We too, like the Samaritan woman, are seeking him, and our steps are always somewhat uncertain and our seeking is always a little groping. But he is near and tells us: “It is I who speak to you”. This place today becomes gilled with his presence, and we are listening to the Word so that this presence may be luminous for us, so that it may fill our hearts, so that it may give us a sign for our footsteps.
Let us then return to listening to the Word from the beginning, in the book of Nehemiah. The people gathered after a great crisis, actually still in a situation of crisis, has finally been able — by pure grace, notwithstanding the toil, the frailties that resisted it — to have its temple and its walls, or rather that which gives meaning to the temple and to the walls: it is to receive the Lord’s presence in his Word, in his Wisdom, in his Law. We have heard what happened: the Word was proclaimed, the Law was announced, explained. It touches the hearts, and life changes, is touched, is renewed. This is what should happen every time that we listen to the Word. This is what only the Lord’s Word is capable of, and for that reason we are men and women who listen, who have believed in this Word, and who let themselves be illumined by this Word. It is well, dear brothers and sisters of Bose who are taking up your journey here with us, that this should be happening in this local Church, which this year is proceeding around this same theme of God’s Word. Always a Church lives by the Word. This year we have taken up listening in a special way to the Old Testament, we want to become familiar with those pages: a long history of salvation, in which God made himself near to his people and through his people to all humanity so as to prepare the great announcement, the apex of revelation, the culmination, what we have heard in the Gospel. here we are then asking this Word to orient the journey of this community. There we have a crisis that is resolved by walls that rise, that are restored, somewhat as here in San Masseo we see these walls in new splendor, a long history that is reborn, just as in consequence within and outside these walls the Lord’s living temple should be reborn, inspired by the Gospel, as here in Assisi it has been announced and lived for two thousand years, especially as St Francis lived it. We wish that this house may become for our community — and for many others that, attracted by Assisi’s appeal, come as pilgrims — a place where the Word may touch hearts, the Word proclaimed by you, the Word witnessed by you.