Saturday of the TwentiethWeek in Ordinary Time

I remember a christian politician

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens (hard to carry) and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen …They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ … Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah. The greatest among you must be your servant. Mt 23,1-11

The today’s gospel seems to have been taken out from the book “La Casta”, recently published by the journalists Stella and Rizzo, to denounce the deterioration of the Italian political context. It is a publication which brought to the light the corruption, the ostentation, the privileges and the machinations of many of our politicians, as well as an electoral system diabolically devised to allow the continuous re-election of all the members of the caste, unless this determines that someone of them, because of its diversity, should not longer be a part. That’s what happened to us when we tried to enter into politics to bring in the public service the family’s and professional experiences we had gained over the years. Rereading, after some time, the facts and the ways by which that service has been prevented, we really have to say that the Lord has protected us, because, given the situation, we would have had to pay at an high price the contributions which we could have brought in. After the war, when the political context in Italy was more healthy, we have had, in the wake of Alcide De Gasperi, christians politicians who have given a significant boost to the reconstruction, also moral, of Italy. We remember one of them, getting this information from the writings of father Cipriano Ricotti: Giorgio La Pira, a professor at the university of Florence. La Pira was the least political man of all of them and just as such he has suffered more than the others in the Italian politician context of the postwar period. “I want to declare – he wrote in 1948 – that the dominican convent of San Marco in Florence is my only earthly home and the cell n. 6 is my only earthly cell”. A communist senator wrote: ” La Pira dresses as a poor, lives as the workers, he does not take anything of his pay for himself ” “I’m sorry, I have nothing anymore” he said to a man asking him for help “I never wanted to be neither a deputy, nor a mayor – he wrote in 1954 -. I feel like a solitary man, devoted to the study, to the concentration and to the meditation”. And father Cipriano adds: “and to the charity”. The initiative of his heart was the “Bread for the poor” of the abbey of St. Procolo, a work of assistance to those most in need of that war. The day of his death, the baskets of bread were placed all around his coffin. The poor people prayed and wept, but the politicians were not there. “The greatest among you must be your servant”.

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