Gospel for the memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne
‘At that time Jesus said to his disciples: “Blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear! In truth I tell you, many prophets and upright people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.”
Certainly it must have taken time for the disciples to better understand these words of Jesus. The gospels tell us that the Lord was instructing them, correcting them and revealing to them the meaning of what He had spoken to the crowd in parables.
But even though they did not fully understand everything, the disciples’ ears were already listening to the Lord and their eyes were already open. With these eyes they beheld the One of whom St. John writes in his Prologue: “The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14).
This truth that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became man is so essential that at the end of every Holy Mass in the traditional Roman rite the Prologue of St. John (Jn 1:1-14) is read. Filled with reverence, the priest and the faithful genuflect as these words are read: “The Word became flesh, he lived among us”. The Church has guarded this truth of faith, which day by day is made present in the “Mass of all ages” so that this mystery of love may deeply permeate us. Moreover, this Prologue of St. John is said to have a special power against evil spirits.
Now the ears of Jesus’ disciples no longer only heard the voice of God through the Prophets and the Law of Moses, as had been the case for all generations of Jews before them. What they could see and know went far beyond and was what the prophets and righteous had longed for:
“For the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (Jn 1:17-18).
What a great light came into this world!
“What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness” (Jn 1:4-5a).
Blessed were the disciples of the Lord who remained faithful to him and who, with God’s grace, held firmly to this truth about who this Jesus really was. Blessed are we too if we guard and do not alter the deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, the Bride of Christ. What was given to the disciples – those reliable witnesses – was passed on to us. Thus, these words of the Lord also count for us: “Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear”.
How the prophets and the righteous of the Old Covenant must have marvelled at the birth of the Church! How they must have rejoiced to see that those from the most diverse peoples and nations listened to the Holy Spirit and embraced the faith of the disciples and apostles! “The Word became flesh, he lived among us.” Although the disciples and apostles of this time do not physically see Jesus, their eyes are open and they can recognise the Body of the Lord in the Church.
But how sad these same prophets and righteous will be to see that the Holy Church is losing more and more of her radiance, because unfortunately she often adopts the mentality of the world far from God, which spreads in her Body like a metastasis!
Just as the disciples were able to recognise and understand the Lord more and more deeply, we too are offered an ever better understanding – in the light of the Holy Spirit – of the treasure entrusted to us. When this happens, our zeal grows to prevent from being polluted the “fountains of salvation” (Isa 12:3), which flow in our Church for the healing of people. Our zeal to bring the Gospel to all nations also increases (cf. Mt 28:19).
Whoever, like the disciples of the Lord, is deeply imbued with the certainty that the Son of God became man and “the true light which enlightens every man” came into this world, cannot fail to proclaim this truth to people, unreservedly and unambiguously.
Whoever has recognised that the Holy Catholic Church has been called by God to announce salvation to all men and to lead them to the Kingdom of the Heavenly Father through His Son, will not allow himself to be deceived by other ideas and conceptions, whatever they may be.
We must remain faithful to the Lord, obeying the Gospel and the authentic Magisterium of the Church!