Twenty-SixthSunday in Ordinary Time
The firmament is the glory of God
The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder’s craft. One day to the next conveys that message; one night to the next imparts that knowledge. There is no word or sound; no voice is heard; Yet their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world. God has pitched there a tent for the sun; it comes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber, and like an athlete joyfully runs its course. From one end of the heavens it comes forth; its course runs through to the other; nothing escapes its heat. Psa 18
The warm of the summer was already beginning to materialize in the air and I had just completed the intermediate school, when Mirella’s parents asked me to accompany their daughter in the preparation of some exams. We have been located to stay, by that time, in their country cottage, so that we could study better. These have been beautiful days, of intensive study, of sincere friendship, lived in solitude inside of an house right on top of one of those hills which make memorable the Tuscany countryside. The hours were running too fast, the exams were approaching and the two of us we were only given a little space of rest at mealtimes. One evening we decided to cook a bit of pasta and we put a pot of water on the fire. Pending the boiling, we went onto the rooftop. We were both very tired and we sat on the floor to enjoy the view of the fields in the last light of the day. When we began to see the stars, we lied down in order to cover the entire sky. We were silent, trying to push our glance more deeply into the firmament, going from one star to another which seemed more distant. That evening I had, for the first time, the feeling of my infinite smallness in front of the immensity of the sky and I addressed the worship to the One who had created such a wonderful, sublime beauty. At one point we were suddenly recalled to the reality by the smell of burning coming up from the kitchen, where now the water was completely evaporated. We rushed down from the stairs to try to remedy the small disaster, but we did it remaining long in silence, not to disperse the sense of infinity which was born within us. Many years have passed since that evening, but the stars continue to be for me the most popular manifestation of the glory of God. I know that Mirella, a few years later, became part of a contemplative monastic order: who knows if she has discovered the immensity of the divine love that night!