Homily delivered in the Inauguration of the Captains Regent by the Bishop of San Marino-Montefeltro Mons.Andrea Turazzi
Ladies and gentlemen,
we listened to God’s words from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah: “Do not be afraid, because I have redeemed you, I have called you by name: you belong to me … You are precious in my eyes, because you are worthy of esteem and I love you … to fear because I am with you ».
Word dictated to Israel, the ancient people of the Covenant.
Words proclaimed to us in this difficult and complicated time.
Words whispered to the restless heart of those seeking meaning and truth.
Words of a God who is not tired of his creature. In reverse. Each man is precious, unique, special. God says more: “You are worthy of esteem”; and even more: “You are lovable and loved”!
There is a crescendo in this oracle of the prophet Isaiah: it is great to be precious, even more to be worthy of esteem, infinitely more to be lovable, loved, recognized as capable of loving. This announcement makes us come out of sadness, instills hope, pushes us to start rebuilding and loving again. It is a challenge: I would like to propose it to each of my brothers so that believe listening, you hope believing and friend hoping (cf. Augustine, Ep. 120,8).
In the Gospel passage, the Lord Jesus invites us to build the solid edifice of our human coexistence on authentic relationships. Declarations of intent are not enough, deep convictions and courageous and practical choices are needed. The good architect – and each of us is – builds on the solid rock of conscience.
Moral conscience is a cognitive faculty that tells the heart, without error, if thinking, speaking and acting are in accord with the values assumed as the soul of one’s existence and mission.
Conscience then – like the compass that infallibly marks the North – denounces whether the choices conform or do not conform to the values we carry within. Lucky those who listen to their conscience, woe to those who do not listen to it. There will be gratification or remorse.
Conscience – like a casket that jealously guards precious jewels – contains fundamentals on good and evil, the teachings of the wise and universal ethics: “Do not do to others what was not done to you”, or as the Gospel suggests in positive form: “Do to others what was done to you” (cf. Mt 7:12). Woe to hearts and minds that are distracted, superficial and without contemplation. The education of conscience was decisive. A well-formed conscience never offers excuses for individualism, disengagement and relativism. Conscience makes its voice heard on the good of each and every one.
Conscience – like a spring that is always in tension – does not stop at the minimum requirement of the precept, but pushes at best, at the most, to undertaking tasks of good for oneself and for others.
The Gospel passage concludes: “When Jesus had finished these discourses, the crowds were stupid at his teaching: he, in fact, taught them as one who has authority”. So it is for us.
+ Andrea Turazzi