Monday, September 07, 2009

Zenit: Benedict XVI's Homily in Viterbo

Dear Brothers and Sisters, every liturgical assembly is the space of the presence of God. Gathered together for the Holy Eucharist, the disciples of the Lord proclaim that he is risen, that he is alive and the giver of life, and they bear witness that his presence is grace, is a task, is joy.

Let us open our hearts to his word and welcome the gift of his presence! In the first reading the prophet Isaiah (35:4-7) encourages "those whose hearts are frightened" and announces this stupendous novelty, that experience confirms: when the Lord is present, the eyes of the blind are reopened, ears of the deaf hear, the lame "leap" like a stag. Everything is reborn and everything revives because wholesome waters spring up in the desert. The "desert," in its symbolic language, can evoke the dramatic events, difficult situations and solitude that often mark life; the most profound desert is the human heart, when it loses the ability to hear, to speak, to communicate with God and with others. One then becomes blind because he is incapable of seeing reality; he closes his ears to not hear the cry of those who implore his help; his heart is hardened in indifference and egotism. But now -- the prophet announces -- all is destined to change; into the "arid land" of this closed heart a new divine blood will flow. And when the Lord comes, he will say to "the frightened of heart" of every age, "Courage, fear not!" (35:4).

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