All the heart, the whole mind, all the strength.
- A time and a time
There are the seasons of struggle, the days of vigor and momentum, there are the years of enthusiasm, animated by that simple passion and that carefree courage that doesn’t fear anything, doesn’t calculate fatigue, doesn’t evade danger. There are also seasons of history in which the overall climate that you breathe in society is trustworthy, big businesses seem close at hand, possibilities and energies seem inexhaustible.
Perhaps of a similar age is attestation (or nostalgia?) What Paul writes to the Ephesians, animating them to resist, to struggle, with that sort of pride of those who have weapons to face and go to the clash with that kind of impatient audacity. to have an opportunity to demonstrate what it is capable of.
These are the seasons in which prominent personalities flourish, firms that have never been tried before are set, institutes are founded, enthusiasm is gathered, and tough oppositions are faced.
It is beautiful the youth of faith expressed in creativity, spring freshness, originality of dreams and grandiosity of projects!
Then there are the seasons of exhaustion, the days of infirmities and slowness: there come the years of apprehension, of retreat. Everywhere the impression of a decline spreads, the awareness of aging, the persuasion of an inevitable backwardness, of a collapse of the forces, of an irremediable exhaustion of dreams and courage. These are the seasons of reluctance, of exhaustion, of “moving forward” by inertia rather than determination to reach a desirable destination.
Perhaps a similar climate is described by the word attested by Matthew, the one that Jesus addresses to his disciples “tired, oppressed … looking for refreshment”.
Hence different are the seasons of each one’s life, different from the Church climate, different “the air that pulls” in the eras of history.
All of us – probably – have gone through these different seasons and we can remember and tell of days of enthusiasm and days of exhaustion, moments of momentum and exhausted moments. So also doc. Fiorentino, the dear Ezia, in her long life has experienced the ups and downs of which we speak.
- What does not change
But the word of the Lord that in this very celebration proposes so diverse texts, that of Ephesus with his combative impetus and that of Matthew with his consoling tone, wants to suggest the secret to cross all times and all climates, as if he were saying There are times when we live in momentum and times when we live hardly, but all times are suitable for the grace of God.
In fact, in the history of holiness it doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, healthy or sick, proud and daring or fearful and afraid, whether you meet everyone’s popularity and favor or hostility and indifference.
What makes, then, holiness possible at any time? What path are we called to trod always and at any rate?
From the word of the Lord we can derive the law of totality, the precept of the “whole”. Always with emotion you listen to the creed of Israel: with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your strength.
The precept of the “whole” suggests what God wants, what enables God to fulfill his desire to make his children happy is the fact that the offer is without reserve, that love is without saving, that the mind is without suspicion.Whole: it has nothing to do with much or little, it matters that you give yourself wholly ; what is important is not if you’ve been remarkably successful or if you’ve failed in every initiative, but if in what you did you loved, always and only loved, the Lord.
The precept of the “whole” suggests that sin is not imperfection, it’s not having defects, it’s not to be fragile, but it’s idolatry, it’s admitting that besides the Lord we must also dedicate ourselves to some idol, reserve something subtracted from God, some corners of thought, of heart, of time when God is not admitted.
The precept of the “whole” is the introduction to the mystery of God as a blessed light, as a truth that saves. The mystery of God, in fact, is not complicated and reserved for the wise and intelligent, but it is revealed to the little ones. Jesus sent his Spirit to introduce his disciples to the whole truth (he will guide you to the whole truth: Jn 16:13). Jesus didn’t keep anything hidden from the light and the precept of the “whole” doesn’t require us to become theologians, but to open ourselves to the revelation of Jesus with all our mind, without hosting any thought that’s not conform to the truth of Jesus.
Recalling the dear Ezia we can say that she has gone through several seasons, from moments of enthusiasm, to moments of struggle and tenacious commitment to shape the institution and its mission, to the moments of old age and of decline of forces. But certainly she gave witness to a life that has practiced the precept of the “whole” and therefore we believe her blessed, wholly happy in the light of God.