At the dedication of the Parish of St. Josemaría, Santa Fe, Mexico (July 28, 2009)
Dedication of Parish of St. Josemaría
1. As you can well understand, I find in my soul at this moment two overriding sentiments. One, of thanksgiving; the other, my great joy at being able to participate in this ceremony to which our beloved brother Cardinal Norberto Rivera, in a forceful and friendly way, invited me. My gratitude gives rise to an exclamation that St. Josemaría repeated frequently throughout his life, in order to grow in friendship with the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity: Tibi laus, tibi gloria, tibi gratiarum actio, O Beata Trinitas! To you be praise, to you be glory, to you be thanksgiving.
And to reach the Trinity more easily, to attain a deep friendship, let us go to our Mother, the Empress of Mexico and of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe. And once again my thanks go to his Eminence the Cardinal, who asked me to participate in this ceremony and then, fraternally, asked me to lead it, when I wanted him to officiate at this dedication, while being present myself of course.
I want to thank all of you who have helped bring this project to completion: the architect (rather, the architects), those who have contributed financially, and those who have added the finishing touches. I thank with all my heart the workers who step by step have made possible this building in God’s honor.
I have not forgotten to greet you, my beloved brothers and sisters, and above all my very dear Cardinal, beloved brothers in the episcopate and dear brothers in the priesthood. It makes me happy to tell you that St. Josemaría—and don’t feel offended—is more Mexican than you. It was our Lady of Guadalupe who brought him here from Rome to come and prostrate himself at her feet and pray for the Pope, for the Church, for Opus Dei; and for this beloved Archdiocese of Mexico City.
All is due to the fact that, from the moment our Lord passed by his soul, when he was still a young boy, he firmly decided to change his plans in order to carry out God’s will, although he didn’t know what this involved. He began to repeat a prayer, which later has spread throughout the whole world among so many people. He took it from the Gospel, because he was a great devotee of the Holy Scriptures. Domine, ut videam! he repeated like that poor blind man, Bartimaeus, who needed light to see. St. Josemaría, still a young boy, as I already mentioned, wanted to see with Christ’s eyes; he wanted what was then a restlessness in his soul to become a reality. Therefore he also said: Domine, ut sit! “May what You want be done! Don’t let me put any obstacle in the path of your will.” This was his refrain along his entire earthly path, and it became even stronger in his final years, when he insisted to all the faithful of Opus Dei that we had to immerse ourselves in God and be loyal to his will.
With Opus Dei, heaven has wanted to once again remind people from all nations and environments of the universal call to holiness that Christ preached while he was with us: our true Friend, our true Brother, who told us: estote perfecti, sicut Pater vester coelestis perfectus est. Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
And what are the means needed to carry out this work in the service of the Church and souls, in the service of all mankind? Prayer, expiation, the announcement of the Gospel; all lived with great optimism.
2. Today, in the first reading, we have heard the exhortation to the people to change their sadness into joy after the reading of the sacred book. Let us be well acquainted with the Gospels, with Sacred Scripture, and we will obtain light, not only for our own life, but for the lives of others. Let us get to know God better, by dealing with him in the Old and New Testaments, in order to give depth to our whole life, so that there is nothing in our daily life that we will not know how to place at our Lord’s feet. And thus we will not only raise up a material temple like this one, but also the temple of our own soul, so that God will be honored there and we will bring him to others.
St. Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, remind us of something that perhaps we should consider more often. Referring to our God who always accompanies us, he said that he is interior intimo meo. He is closer to me than I am to myself. And it is true. There is no corner of our life where our Lord does not want to be present. The Supreme Love, the most complete Happiness, wanted to be with us, walking where we walk, sharing our life. That is why he was so happy to go to the Cross, to save us. To that Cross which we don’t have here yet, but which will be placed here—a very big one!—so that we can draw close to God’s heart with trust. Thus we will always remember that, from the Cross, Jesus is always speaking to each one of us. He is saying: I have come here for you, very happily, but at the same time I ask that you do likewise, to accompany me, with Holy Mary and the Apostles.
In the Gospel we have considered a marvelous scene, one that is very timely, when Christ asks his followers (you and me): “Who do the people say that I am? Who do you say that I am.” These are very timely questions that will lead us to want to get to know him better and draw closer to him, and to make him known.
In this marvelous land of Mexico, souls are waiting for us to lead them to greater intimacy with God, to a friendship with the one who will never betray, will never abandon us. For a Christian, to know, draw close to and love Christ is the essential thing. Only in this way will God’s plan be fulfilled, and his good news will become part not only of our own lives, but of everyone’s.
3. Thousands of souls are waiting for us in this City of Mexico, in this beloved Archdiocese, in the whole world. A daughter or son of God—and that is what all of us are—should never view anyone with indifference. God wants to build up his Church with the lives of these people also; and we are living stones, like the entire People of God that becomes Christ’s Body in the celebration of the Eucharist. This church is a symbolic expression of the universal Church; therefore the Tabernacle, with the Holy Eucharist, will be the center of this church and the center of all of us who make up the Church. Without the Eucharist there is no Church. Therefore let us enter into the friendship of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. And in this church as in other churches, we also find God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance—the embrace of God who, despite our greater or lesser betrayals, always says to us: “I forgive you.” And he embraces us as the most merciful Father.
And the altar, which is the symbol of Christ himself, who joyfully immolated himself for our salvation, has to be for each of us, as St. Josemaría said, a reminder that we can make of our body an altar on which our Lord’s sacrifice is prolonged. Let us look more frequently at the crucifix. I advise you to do what St. Josemaría always recommended: as Christians, carry a crucifix in your pocket. It will give you the strength you need. It will be a call to separate ourselves from what could separate us from God, and a spur to live with the friendship of Christian charity.
And then, we couldn’t fail to have here the marvelous image of our Mother, our Lady of Guadalupe, who, as she did Juan Diego, asks all of us to go to her intercession. Not only when we are in need, but so that we grow in Christian life, in love for God, in service to others. And now I ask you and I ask myself: What role is our Lady of Guadalupe playing in our daily lives.
Finally, we have the painting of St. Josemaría, who, I repeat, made himself completely Mexican, who came to this country to learn from its people. How many anecdotes I could tell about his stay in Mexico, his longest stay in this hemisphere! He paid close attention to the people here, and thanked our Lord for having learned so much from their details of love for God and for our Lady. He came here, as I told you, to pray for the Church, for the Pope, for Opus Dei; and to ask that his daughters and sons of all times know how to love and to put Christ at the summit of all human activities.
I cannot fail to mention that right now we are also praying for Pope Benedict XVI and those who assist him. It’s only natural that we are also praying with affection and gratitude for the Pastor of this diocese, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, for all the Bishops of Mexico and outside of Mexico, and for all priests, with the hope that in this Year for Priests, with our help, many more vocations will come for the seminaries.
Mother of ours, we place our prayers in your hands so that you make a reality of our personal conversion and so that, through our personal conversion, we may help the whole world.
May God bless you!