Words on the Occasion of the Blessing of the Reconstruction Work of the Old Rectory of Pallerols, Spain (September 3, 2015)
My dear brothers and sisters, my dear sons and daughters:
I cannot hide the fact that I am moved on being here. Seventy-eight years have gone by since our Father passed through this region, with his heart oppressed by the tragedy that was ravaging the country, and also by the thought of the people of the Work who had remained in places where they were in danger. Part of the inner turmoil he suffered here was the thought that: “I can’t abandon those who, in following the path of the Work, have put themselves in God’s hands.” And therefore he had doubts and a deep unrest, because he did not want to flee from his marvelous duty to help his daughters and sons.
The life of the saints, as we very well know, has a very great significance. Their passage on earth is a “passage of God,”because God illumines their souls and their lives. And this was true of St. Josemaría. Therefore, when we were praying, my thoughts went out to the whole world. Pallerols is not only a specific place located in this region. Pallerols forms part of the life of many women and men living on various continents, and who want to follow the footsteps of daily faithfulness that St. Josemaría always undertook. Therefore they are not far away: I am sure that, knowing we are celebrating this ceremony, they have united themselves to us so that all of us have the desire to follow God’s will. We should be truly joyful, realizing our little value, and knowing that our merciful and omnipotent God, who has no limitations, nevertheless wants to count for his divine plans on many women and men. Let us say Yes to him!
Later we will read the Gospel passage where Christ accompanies the two disciples, Cleophas and his companion, on the road to Emmaus.
Our Father, with those very apt phrases that he employed and also lived, used to say that now, after the Resurrection, Emmaus is the whole world: Emmaus is the place where we can encounter God and meet with God. Let us ask out Lord truly—each and every one of us—that if our vision is blinded by any scales, we may come to see Christ, realizing that he is our great companion. I suggest that you read the homily in which our Father describes this scene. Apart from the fact that it is so beautiful from the spiritual point of view, which is what matters in the end, it is also very beautiful for its literary style.
Let us ask our Lord, as Cleophas and his companion did: “Stay with us” (Lk 24:29). I heard St. Josemaría comment on this many times. It was always a response of love to the encounter that results from Christ coming to seek us. And we have to tell him as the disciples did: “stay with us.” Our Father used to say that our Lord will stay if each of us strives to have a life of intense and continuous piety. He will stay if we are capable, as he was, of putting ourselves at the service of those we live with. He will stay, moreover, if we know how to say No to all the wiles with which the devil wants to trick us. We can be very certain that God wants to remain with us. Let us do all we can, each and every one of us, to remain with our Lord. Then we will be very happy and share in God’s happiness and also human happiness.
Let us learn from our Father: wherever he went, he sowed the joy of God and the joy of divine filiation. Each and every one of us is in the same circumstances: with God’s help, with the help of our Lord who never leaves us, who comes to meet us, we are capable of carrying out an intense apostolate, forgetting about ourselves. Let us pour ourselves out, as St. Josemaría did, who ended his life physically exhausted, but so happy that he had spent his life for God, for the Work, for all mankind.
I also ask you that, in this ceremony, we pray ardently for the Pope, so that he feels the company and the affection of all Catholics. At the same time, I ask that you pray with great strength and perseverance for the upcoming Synod. Specifically that the family not be denatured and that what Christ instituted as marriage be reaffirmed, and that many families throughout the whole world may give witness to the love they have received from God in living their married life and living their family life with the greatest possible generosity.
We put ourselves in the hands of our Lady and tell her: on the one hand, give us “the rose”that you want us to present to your
Son, to the Father and to the Holy Spirit; and at the same time, tell us what “rose” we can offer you today and every day. Let it be small, but so full of love as when our Father, from time to time, would give us a rose and tell us to “bring this to our Lord, bring it to our Lady.” Let us consider what we are going to bring to our Lady today, what we are going to bring, with our Lady, to our Lord.
May God bless you!
(The Gospel passage of Emmaus was read here: Lk 24:13-16, 28:35)
I would like to add, to the words I just said to you, that you should not fail to pray for and commend to God the archbishop of this diocese, praying for him and his intentions. At the same time, do not fail to pray for and raise your petitions to God for the vicar general, for all the authorities of the diocese, and also for all the priests, asking that the seminarians be multiplied, but geometrically, so that we can count on many ministers of God in this diocese and in the whole world.
Romana, No. 61, July-December 2015, p. 278-280.