God’s transformative love: From nothingness to holiness

Divo Barsotti

The subject of the homily is indicated to us by the Lord himself who, through the readings, tells us upon what we must meditate. What he told us this morning is something we cannot hear without being disturbed.

My dear brothers, formerly Saint Paul in the Letter to the Colossians and then in the Alleluia verse and finally in the Gospel, all of these readings this morning spoke to us of divine election. He has chosen us. From eternity, the Letter to the Ephesians also says, he has elected us; from eternity he has loved us; from eternity he has wanted us for himself. How easily we forget it! How superficial we are! We could live a life shining with light, we could live a life full of love, we could live a life that knows no comparison with any other life, because it is a life full of God, and instead …. We are still children who refuse an immense inheritance to play with the pebbles of the road.

We have been chosen by God! And this divine election is not manifested for us in Baptism because then we were not aware of what was taking place in us. Baptism must be confirmed as soon as we become aware of what the Lord accomplished then. And we are now conscious, and we now know what that rite meant: he called us by name, he made us his children! He wanted us to live for him, as he became man to live for us, to die for us, to give us all of himself. Baptism was renewed for us in some way and was confirmed by the consecration we made in the community. We do not pretend to live more than what Baptism means, but we live with full awareness that what Baptism means is to live an immense life of light, of grace, of love. We are loved by God! God who is eternal, God who is infinite; he has chosen us for himself!

Does the Lord really need us? What can we give him that he does not already have? Yet God wanted us. Of course, he can only want from us our nothingness, our poverty, but this is precisely what he wants. He wants us to open up to him like an abyss of poverty so that he can fill it with himself.

This is what I meant when I said that divine election can give our life a splendor, a greatness that is not comparable with any other greatness. Our greatness is none other than him; his presence in our life is none other than his love that fills us with himself and glorifies us.

The divine vocation is the theme that the word of God proposed to us this morning. We have been called by name; he knows us and loves us. We do not know why he loves us, but divine action can have no other reason than God himself. If God loved us because we are good, he could not love us, because if love in God were to have a reason, this reason should be infinite, as God is infinite. Not even Our Lady could be loved for her holiness; she was loved and for this she is a saint. Only nothing precedes the divine act.

(From “Che Dio vi parli,” Chorabooks 2016, translated by Aurelio Porfiri. Image: aaron00023 at Pixabay.com)