Archbishop Mario Delpini at the Mass for Father Giussani. Milan Cathedral, 26 February 2024 (Pino Franchino/Archive CL)

Milan: "A sign of God's faithfulness”

The Mass for the 19th anniversary of Fr. Giussani’s death and the 42nd anniversary of the pontifical recognition of the Fraternity of CL, celebrated in Milan’s Cathedral by Archbishop Mario Delpini. Here is his homily and Davide Prosperi’s greeting.
Mario Delpini

1. History is inhabited by the promise

Even if the usual discourses suggest resignation to inevitable decline, even if the news convinces us of desolation due to the irremediable prevalence of injustice, even if statistics and impressions speak of a sterile society without a future, the Word announces that history is inhabited by the promise that God swore to Abraham: I will make you very very fruitful ... I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. God is the faithful covenant of Abraham and his descendants, and the Lord Jesus fulfilled the promise by shedding his blood for the new and everlasting covenant. God is trustworthy and those who believe in the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ live in trust, walk in faith and know that God fulfils his promise.
We profess our faith: we trust God and do not let ourselves be brought down like those who have no hope. We read history to recognise the signs of God's faithfulness. Even the story of Monsignor Giussani, like that of so many witnesses we have known, becomes a sign that God continues to work in ways we do not expect, in contexts that seem unlikely. Thus in the years in which it was taken for granted and almost compulsory to contest the Church and consider the message unacceptable and the reference to Christ useless, Fr. Luigi Giussani appeared in public schools to arouse a new fervour in recognizing the fulfilment of humanity in Christ.

Read also - The greeting of Davide Prosperi

In history dwells the promise because God is faithful, and gratitude and admiration for Fr. Giussani has brought us together to recognise the signs of God's faithfulness in the marvellous fruitfulness of the charism that God has entrusted to Fr. Giussani.
The promise dwells in history, and the stories of so many men and women of God encourage our trust: God is faithful! We believe in God! And we walk in faith asking for the gift of patience for those who do not yet see and asking for the holiness of belonging without remorse, of gratitude without pretension, of simple discernment to recognize the work that God is doing for us today.

2. Temptations that undermine reliance on the promise.

2.1. The scandal of the right eye
The temptation of the right eye is to look in a way that scandalises: the look of suspicion, the look of malice, the look of contempt.
Also for those who are heirs of the promise of Abraham there is the temptation of the right eye that feels just and therefore feels entitled to judge others as unjust. It considers what is happening and is scandalised: where will we end up? It forgets about benevolence and mercy and condemns the sinner because of sin, declares a brother unacceptable because their behaviour is unacceptable.
In the fervour for goodness that is natural to every rising moment of a movement, a charism, an initiative, the danger of the scandal of the right eye creeps in, that is, of presuming a certain monopoly of God's promise.
May the sincerity of Fr. Giussani's faithfulness to the Church help us to remove the scandal of the right eye, that is, to look with benevolence at every brother, every sister, every season of the Church's life that we are given to live.

2.2. The scandal of the right hand
The temptation of the right hand is to become a cause for scandal; instead of opening to give it closes to withhold, instead of offering itself to exchange peace it stubbornly withdraws to declare extraneousness.
In every community, in every ecclesial context, a spirit of division can creep in, a coming together that excludes, a forming of alliances that creates a kind of complicity to oppose others.
Divisions, hands that do not exchange peace, are a scandal for the heirs of God's one promise.
May the cohesion that the authoritative personality of Fr. Giussani ensured for the Movement continue to be a principle of unity to keep out the scandal of the right hand.

2.3. The temptation of the foreign woman
The temptation of the foreign woman is the insinuation of seduction that leads one to distrust God's promise. The foreign woman represents every seduction that promises honey and then makes people drink absinthe: it is the temptation of that which is foreign to the wisdom of God. The foreign woman seduces with the temptation of power, wealth, social prestige. The foreign woman is the person who authorises you to boast of what you have, of what you have done. She says: you are strong, you are beautiful, you are great. That is what you have managed to do with your own strength. You have good reason to boast.
The temptation of the foreign woman leads to the slippery path that leads to death. Let God’s voice be a guide for everyone’s steps: pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight ... listen to me, do not turn aside from what I say... lest your labours end up in the house of a stranger (cf. Prv 5:1ff).

Let us celebrate with gratitude the anniversaries that occur in these days and open our eyes to hope, recognising that history is inhabited by the promise of immeasurable fruitfulness and that the way of Abraham leads to Jesus. Let us follow the example of Fr. Giussani to be faithful, consistent, humble, generous, also to overcome the malicious scandal, the hostile hand, insidious idolatry.