Domingo, 13 de noviembre de 2016

Exhortación del cardenal Fernando Filoni en la apertura del National Catholic Forum, que tuvo lugar ayer por la tarde, 9 de noviembre, en Lusaka. (FIDES)

Visit of His Eminence Card. Filoni to Zambia

7-10 November 2016

Homily at the Cathedral of the Child Jesus, Lusaka, Zambia

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

Temples of God and Temples of the Holy Spirit


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is a joy for me to be with you here in Zambia in this Cathedral of the Child Jesus after serving as the Holy Father’s Special Envoy on the occasion of the Consecration of the Cathedral in Karonga. Indeed it is the Holy Father himself who today, through me, comes in a certain way to your beloved country and Diocese. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to convey to all of you the personal greeting and Apostolic Blessing of His Holiness Pope Francis. I would also like to extend my greeting and gratitude to His Excellency, the Most Rev. Telesphore George Mpundu, Archbishop of Lusaka, for all the efforts in coordinating my time in Lusaka as well as for the gracious welcome. To His Excellency, the Most Rev. Julio Murat, Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia, I once again express my appreciation for all the hard work in organizing this visit. Throughout these few days in Zambia, I have truly enjoyed meeting many of you, listening to you and speaking with you. I am honored to be able to pray with you again today as we celebrate the Sacred Mysteries.

        Today the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the Pope’s Cathedral in Rome. We celebrate this Feast annually to be reminded of two important realities in our faith journey: 1) God dwells here among us, and 2) God dwells in us and fills us with His Spirit so that we can take Him to those in need.

As I reminded the faithful in Malawi last week, a Cathedral or church is a place where God has a home. In the churches of Zambia God truly has a home, very near to your own homes.  Indeed, He is “Emmanuel, God with us” (Mt 1:23), making a dwelling among us (cf. Ezekiel 37:27) as He continually guides the growth of this young Church. In today’s Gospel Jesus makes reference to “the temple of his Body.” In the person of Jesus Christ, God became man and dwelt among us. In every Catholic church throughout the world, God continues to dwell with us in the Most Holy Eucharist, always available to us and present with us. “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian Life…for in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.”[1] Christ’s power and presence comes to us through the Sacraments and fills us with life. Like the water flowing out of the temple in today’s First Reading, the presence of God in his churches, through the Word and the Sacraments, refreshes, gives life and bears the great fruit of joy.

After his return to his Father in Heaven, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell not only with us but also in us. Each and every baptized Christian has been cleansed so as to become a special dwelling place for God. In other words, we too have been consecrated, or ‘set apart,’ in our Baptism so that God may take up residence in us! St. Paul reminds us, in the Second Reading, that not only is today holy, but you yourselves are holy, for you are temples of God in which the Spirit dwells (cf. vv. 16-17). As Pope Francis reminded all of us during his visit to Uganda one year ago, “We too have received the gift of the Spirit, to make us sons and daughters of God, but also so that we may bear witness to Jesus and make him everywhere known and loved. We received the gift of the Spirit when we were reborn in Baptism, and we were strengthened by his gifts at our Confirmation. Every day we are called to deepen the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life, to ‘fan into flame’ the gift of his divine love so that we may be a source of wisdom and strength to others. The gift of the Spirit is a gift which is meant to be shared. It unites us to one another as believers and living members of Christ’s mystical Body. We do not receive the gift of the Spirit for ourselves alone, but to build up one another in faith, hope and love.”[2]

My dear brothers and sisters, we are called to “daily fan into flame the gift of the Spirit” so as to become the missionary disciples which Christ calls us to be. This mission begins “first in the family, in our homes where charity and forgiveness are learned.”[3] I pray that your homes will always be “a school of love, prayer and work,” like that of the Holy Family.[4] Following the example of Mary and Joseph, may the Child Jesus be the center of our lives. God became a child to be near to us and to evoke a loving response from us. With Christ as your true and only foundation, may the great work of evangelization, effectively underway here in Zambia for over 125 years, continue to draw the people of this great land to the love and mercy of God. I thank you for your efforts in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, I ask an abundance of God’s blessings upon you. 

[1] The Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1324 (citing Lumen Gentium, n. 11. and Presbyterorum Ordinis, n.5).

[2] Pope Francis, Homily at Holy Mass for the Martyrs of Uganda, Namugongo (Kampala), 28 November 2015.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Pope Benedict, Homily for the Dedication of the Church of the Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, 7 November 2010.

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