Cardinal Silvano Tomasi

Tomasi: "Giussani’s experience continues to bear fruit”

“He did not want to create a movement on the basis of theoretical convictions, but he wanted each of us to discover the continuous presence of Christ in the daily events of our lives.” The homily of Cardinal Tomasi for the anniversary of Giussani’s death.
Silvano Tomasi

This evening we celebrate a double event. We recall the liturgy of the day, the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle in Rome - the chair, that is, the seat from which the bishop of Rome speaks and continues Peter's mission in confirming his brothers and sisters in the faith. We also celebrate the sixteenth anniversary of Fr. Giussani’s death, who inspired so many people to discover the reality of Christ in a personal way. His teaching, his experience, communicated to so many groups of people, continues to be a reality that bears fruit and makes the hearts of those who listen more at peace with themselves, capable of giving answers to the questions that the anxieties of this time are multiplying.

Fr. Giussani discovered that Christ is not a historical memory, but that He is a presence that creates a continuous event; He makes present in history a reality that seems to escape, but that in fact is at the root and basis of the Christian life, which we want to pursue in today's circumstances.
On the one hand, we see Peter who becomes a rock because he believes; his faith transforms him, and the change of his name is a sign of this transformation. Simon becomes Peter and on this rock, on this rock, in faith, is the entire universal mission that Peter will have to carry out planted. He is not frightened by his weaknesses; he does not lose the courage to love Christ despite the mistakes he makes. Then Peter, once Jesus is risen, becomes the reference point that reassures the other apostles because he lives and testifies to the faith that Christ has inspired in him. Fr. Giussani, in some way, followed this historical experience; he did not want to create a movement or create groups on the basis of theoretical convictions, but he wanted each of us to discover the reality of the real presence, the continuous presence of Christ in the daily events of our lives. A presence that even becomes the source of an event that encompasses all other events; it asks of us the totality of who we are, because Christ becomes the beginning and the end of our aspirations. And it is on this path of concrete realism, realism that is not split by the abundance of words with which we sometimes try to cover everything. It is this Christ who gave the answer to the generous and fruitful life of Fr. Giussani, and who can give the answer; and does give it, for our life, for our experience, for our daily life. We have an ideal encounter, but with a real form, with people who live faith as the rock on which they base and build the house of their earthly experience. You remember the parable in the Gospel of the wise man and the foolish man. The wise man builds his house on rock. The winds come, the rain batters against this house, but it stands because the foundations are secure. The foolish man builds his house on sand; the winds and rain come, and not having a secure foundation, the house collapses and nothing remains.

In today's culture - which surrounds us - the culture of little wisdom often prevails and as a result there are no fruits that can build a community, that can bring peace, that can give satisfaction in the long run.
However, if, like Peter, we too build on the rock of faith, and if, like Fr. Giussani, we too make it a priority to be aware of the continuous presence of Christ in our midst, with us, despite the ups and downs of each day, then the word of God becomes a source of inspiration and action that changes reality; it becomes an event that transforms us and others around us, and becomes a new page in history.

This celebration reminds us of this message: more than through his writings, more than through the many precious writings and the many words he said, Fr. Giussani testified with his life. He looked far away, he looked to the beginning of history, of this adventure of Christianity in the world, because there was an unshakable faith in this continuous presence of Christ who pushes us, who supports us, who encourages us, who loves us. At the beginning of Christianity's journey through history, it was not structures or programs or specializations that advanced faith in the world at that time. It was the men and women who through their witness said to their friends, "Look, I have found a new way to live, let us experience it together." And thus they transformed and changed entire societies. Today's sociologists, analyzing this story, confirm that through this personal encounter, men and women who discovered Christ and believed in His presence, were able to change the world around them.

Read also - Betori: "In Giussani, the certainty of the positivity of everything"

Is it possible, even today, to have this same experience? It is a question we must ask ourselves to see if we can find the same path of personal encounters that touch the hearts and lives of people, and to make them realize that it is not abstract evangelization, but is the discovery of a real presence, which touches us deeply and guides us towards a more acceptable, more just and more beautiful society. So let us pray that, through the successor of Peter and the example of the servant of God Fr. Giussani, we can truly build on the rock of faith; that we may discover this presence, the presence of Christ that transforms the events of our daily lives into events that shake us and absorb us and convince us, in all circumstances - even in those of the pandemic. Thus we thank the Lord also for the example He has given us through these people, like Fr. Giussani, and we continue to walk on the path he has taught us so that our life, our heart finds the answer that consciously or without knowing it seeks through all little daily experiences.