Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cantalamessa - Good Friday

Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household, gave this Good Friday homily at the Vatican in the presence of Benedict XVI and the Curia. It "has it all," in my book, and should be read in depth today, Holy Saturday. Here are portions:
Christ has given a radically new meaning to the idea of sacrifice. In it, "it is no longer man who exercises influence on God in order to placate him. Rather it is God who works to make man stop hating him and his neighbor. Salvation does not start with man asking for reconciliation; rather it begins with God's request: "Let yourselves be reconciled with God" (1 Corinthians 2:6).[3]

The fact is that Paul takes sin seriously, does not make light of it. Sin is, for him, the principal cause of man's unhappiness, the refusal of God, not God himself! This encloses the human creature within "lies" and "injustice" (Romans 1:18; 3:23), condemns the very cosmic material to "vanity" and "corruption" (Romans 8:19), and it is the final cause also of the social evils that afflict humanity.

Unending analysis is conducted of the economic crisis under way in today's world and of its causes, but who dares put the ax to the roots and speak about sin? The Apostle defines insatiable avarice as "idolatry" (Colossians 3:5), and he points to "root of all evil" in the unbridled desire for money (1 Timothy 6:10). Can we say he is wrong? Why are there so many families out on the streets, throngs of workers who have lost their job, if not because of some people's insatiable thirst for profit? The elite members of the financial and economic world turned into a runaway train that steamed ahead without brakes, without stopping to think about the rest of the train that had come to a standstill on the tracks. We were headed in the completely wrong direction ...
Read it all …

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