Traces N.3, March 2008

A Fact That Embraces Everything

First of all, there is the fact: fifty thousand people in the square and in the Cathedral of Sao Paolo, Brazil, where Cardinal Odilo Scherer had the doors opened to let those outside shelter from the rain. Fifty thousand faces, hearts, stories. A movement: the “Landless,” along with their leaders, Cleuza and Marcos Zerbini. That day, Sunday, February 24th, in the Cathedral, they consigned themselves and their history to someone else: “Years ago, when Fr. Carrón met Fr. Giussani, he handed his movement over into Fr. Giussani’s hands. Today, we of the Landless Movement of Sao Paolo want to hand it over into your hands, because on meeting Communion and Liberation we have met all we needed to meet.”
These were the same words that Cleuza had spoken in La Thuile, stunned by that phrase “even the hairs on your head are numbered” with which the CL Responsibles’ Assembly opened. “Marcos, everything is here. Now we can even go back to Brazil.” After the meeting in the Cathedral, many of those fifty thousand people said the same thing personally to Fr. Carrón, moved and happy, “small and unworthy” but “without fear, because He who has begun this good work among you will bring it to fulfillment.”

A fact of great immensity, then, which leaves one breathless, as happens when an Other is fulfilling history; but in that fact there is also the certainty of that witness, the absolute depth of judgment, of that “everything” said not as a figure of speech, as often happens, but with complete seriousness, with full awareness. “We have met everything we needed.” Everything. Because Christ truly embraces everything, and faith becomes truly the criterion with which to face and get to know everything: life, desires, expectations, commitments, politics, and “the tears of twenty years of struggle for building houses and the whole of our movement,” as Cleuza said; everything. There is no need for anything else, and nothing remains outside this encounter, to the point that you entrust to His hands yourself and the enormous, tremendous enterprise you are building with twenty years of history and fifty thousand friends.

There are no conclusions to be drawn mechanically, in the face of this fact; no rule to apply–only wonder and entreaty, and gratitude for witnesses of this kind, who bring us to know Christ, the Fact that fills history.