The theme that has been entrusted to me for our reflection, formation and prayer is that of Pentecost.

And I believe that following the liturgical year is the best way to grow in faith, to strengthen oneself in hope and to work in love.

The feast of “Pentecost” has Old Testament origins. It was the feast, which was celebrated (and the Jews still celebrate) fifty days after Easter. It was the thanksgiving party for the products of the earth.

In this context there was Christian Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the Apostles gathered in the Upper Room.

The Cenacolo …!

How many things happened in that place:

It is the place where at least four sacraments were instituted by Christ:

  1. The Eucharist
  2. The Priesthood
  3. Penance
  4. Confirmation with the outpouring of the Spirit

Apparently the Lord Jesus, linking the birth of these four sacraments to a specific place, wanted to link these sacraments among themselves for the birth, development and strengthening of the nascent Church.

Take and eat: this is the body”; “Take and drink, this is the cup of my Blood“.

To understand this first Sacrament we must necessarily make a leap into the remote past, at the beginning of the history of our salvation.

The question I ask myself and you is: Why did God create?

God created for an explosion of love.

God does not need me, he does not need you, he does not need anything. It is perfect in itself, in the substantial unity of the Trinity of persons.

But I suppose that love was so great that he wanted to love someone and something that was not Himself.

And so he created the world with plants and animals.

And he created man and woman, in his image and likeness.

But if we read the first chapters of the book of Genesis well, we realize that the Lord did not create and abandoned the work of his hands.

He wanted to weave a covenant of love, of friendship, of (today this term is widely used) reciprocity.

And this covenant, with the biblical language, is called ALLIANCE.

But like every covenant, the contractors are both bound to keep their commitments: God and man had an agreement. But the man and the woman have not been to the pacts and have committed the first sin, that which is the foundation of all perverse (original) moral action.

But what is God doing?

At that very moment when he curses the devil/serpent, he promises salvation.

Of course, a salvation not immediate, but promises it.

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, between his lineage and her lineage; this will crush your head and you will inside her heel “.

So now, it’s about reassembling the alliance!

And with whom will it be done?

With Noah!

 

Gen 6:

[5] The Lord saw that the wickedness of men was great on earth, and that every design conceived by their hearts was nothing then evil.

[6] And the Lord repented that he had made man on the earth and grieved in his heart.

[7] The Lord said: “I will exterminate the man I created from the earth: with the man also the cattle and the reptiles and the birds of the sky, because I am sorry to have done them”.

[8] But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

 

After the flood …. :

[8] God told Noah and his sons with him:

[9] “As for me, behold, I establish my covenant with your descendants after you;

[10] with every living being that is with you, birds, livestock and wild beasts, with all the animals that have come out of the ark.

[11] I establish my covenant with you: no living thing will be destroyed by the waters of the flood, nor will the flood destroy the earth. ”

[12] God said, “This is the sign of the covenant, which I place between you and me and between every living being that is with you for eternal generations.

[13] My bow I place on the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

[14] When I gather the clouds on the earth and the bow will appear on the clouds

[15] I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and between every living being in every flesh and we will have more water for the flood, to destroy all flesh.

[16] The arch will be in the clouds, and I will watch it to remember the eternal covenant between God and every being that lives in every flesh that is on earth. ”

[17] God said to Noah: “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and every flesh that is on earth”.

But even with Noah’s sons, things went well. Canaan transgressed the law of modesty, and therefore this alliance also failed.

To make a new one, one must arrive at Abraham, the friend of God!

 

Gen 17:

[1] When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said: “I am God Almighty: walk before me and be pure.

[2] I will put my alliance between you and me and I will make you very, very large (numerous). ”

[3] Abram immediately prostrated himself with his face on the ground and God spoke with him:

[4] “Here I am: my covenant is with you and you will be the father of a multitude of peoples.

[5] You shall no longer call yourself Abram, but you will be called Abraham because father of a multitude of peoples I will make you.

[6] And I will make you very, very fruitful; I will make you nations, and kings will be born of you.

[7] I will establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you from generation to generation, as an everlasting covenant, to be your God and your descendants after you.

[8] I will give to you and to your descendants after you the country where you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan in perennial possession; I will be your God “.

[9] God said to Abraham: “You must observe my covenant, you and your descendants after you from generation to generation.

But when, with Jacob the Israelites entered in Egypt as masters, through Joseph, the alliance ceased once again.

Then, God wanted to make another covenant with the man, and he did it through Moses on Mount Sinai.

God would have committed himself to be God with them and for them, men would simply have to respect 10 rules. But as we can well imagine, man could not keep faith, not even this time, with the pact established with God.

Then…

Gal 4:

[4] But when the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

[5] to redeem those who were under the law, because we received child adoption.

[6] And that you are sons is proof of the fact that God has sent into our hearts the Spirit of his Son who cries: Abba, Father!

[7] So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if son, you are also heir by the will of God.

[8] But once, because of your ignorance of God, you were subservient to deities, which in reality are not;

 

So … God sent his Son!

And we have arrived at the institution of the Eucharist.

The reading must be done keeping in mind the words of the consecration of the Chalice.

In every Mass the priest says: “Take and drink all of them: this is the Cup of my Blood, for the new and ETERNAL ALLIANCE, poured out for you and for all in remission of sins”.

The Cenacle, then, becomes the new Sinai!

It is the place of the stipulation of the new covenant, which is connoted, however, by another adjective: ETERNAL.

That is, God himself gives himself, in a certain sense, the “hoe on the feet”. The covenant remains standing, even if man fails to make a covenant! The initiative is of God; He wanted it that way. And all this in that one word pronounced by the Lord Jesus, before suffering the passion.

But the Upper Room is the place of the institution of confession.

 

Gv 20:

[22] After saying this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit;

[23] to whom you will forgive sins will be forgiven and to whom you will not forgive them, they will remain not forgiven “.

Obviously we understand, from what we have said so far, that confession is linked, yes, to the mission that Jesus gave to the Apostles and their successors, but remains, however, first of all linked to the Most Holy Eucharist: “… poured out for you and for all IN REMISSION OF SINS “.

And in this regard we must bear in mind that even the priesthood is linked to that fateful moment: “Do this in memory of me”!

But, to read well, Jesus does nothing without this being the Father’s will, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: “Receive the Holy Spirit”.

Here it is not the full effusion that would have happened on the day of Pentecost, but of the prodromes, of the promise: ”

 

Gv 16:

Now I tell you the truth: it is good for you that I go away, because if I do not leave, the Comforter will not come to you; but when I leave, I will send it to you.

[12] Many things I have yet to say, but for the moment you are not able to carry the weight.

[13] But when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to the whole truth, because he will not speak for himself, but he will say all that he hears and will declare to you the things to come.

[14] He will glorify me, for he will take mine and declare it to you.

[15] All that the Father has is mine; that is why I said that he will take mine and declare it to you.

 

At 2

[1] While the day of Pentecost was about to end, they were all together in the same place.

[2] A roar suddenly came from the sky, as if the wind was striking, and it filled the whole house where they were.

[3] And there appeared to them tongues of fire that divided and rested upon each one of them;

[4] and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages ​​as the Spirit gave them the power to express themselves.

The outpouring of the Spirit gave life to the Church!

And it is the action that the Holy Spirit God still does today. In the individual Christian for the good of the whole Church.

This is so that we can be fully – as the Catechism of St. Pius X said – perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ with the Sacrament of Confirmation.

2Tim 2:

[1] Therefore, my son, always draw strength in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

[2] and the things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, transmit them to trusted people, who are able to teach others in turn.

[3] Together with me you take your share of sufferings as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

I would say – and in fact I say it – that every good Christian, every true Christian should be a soldier of Christ, that is Templar, if not in the juridical form, at least in the spirit!

And so we come to “battle strategies”.

What is our battlefield?

 

We must not delude ourselves: ours is no longer a Christian society. When I was teaching religion in high school, I always started from the justification of this teaching. I told the students that the teaching of the Catholic religion (and not the history of religions) is correct from the fact that Italy was a culturally Christian society.

 

I pointed out that all the works were to be read in the light of the faith of their authors: sculpture, painting, architecture, music, toponymy and, even, the culinary (see for example the chestnuts of the priest or the strozza prieti).

But is this really today?

With great suffering we must recognize that the Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman was right when he defined our society as a liquid society.

It means that, while in the modern age everything was given as a solid construction, nowadays every aspect of life can be artificially reshaped.

So nothing has clear contours, defined and fixed once and for all. This can not but influence human relationships, which have become precarious because we do not want to feel trapped; the influences are not lacking even in the political world: in fact now we no longer try to build the “perfect world”, following a rigid and predetermined political system, strong of a consolidated ideology, as it was in the past.

Nor do I add, consolidated by a common faith.

Then a difficult task awaits us.

The Spirit gave way to Mary and to the Apostles to be understood by all. And we too, invested with the Spirit on the day of Baptism and Confirmation, must be not only believers, credible. And if the first Christian community was “family” around the Mother, the ever Virgin Mary, we too form a true, strong, credible, combative family, under the attentive and attentive gaze of Mary that our Father in the spirit, Saint Bernard of Chiaravalle, he has so excellently preached, sung and loved.

Thank you for your patience and your welcome.

 

Minister Templi

Don Antonio Cannatelli

Ritiro Spirituale dei Templari Cattolici d’Italia

Napoli, Sabato 14 maggio 2016