Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom revealed to the simple ones

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counsellor?” “Or who has given him anything that he may be repaid?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.  Rom 11,33-36

One evening in 1976, when Maria Carmela, ill with a tumour, had been operated at the hospital in Legnano, we were allowed to touch where the true wisdom lies and where it comes from, even if it was not the first time. The doctors had declared it was a hopeless case and we were sitting silently in our living room, heavy with pain and oppressed by questions to which we could not find an answer. Why does the innocent suffering exist? Why should a family be suddenly shocked by an event like this? What will the meaning of our future without Maria Carmela be? Every now and then we broke the silence with a prayer, and then we returned to ask ourselves the same questions. At one point, the doorbell rang. It was father Arturo. “It’s a bit ‘late, I’m sorry, can come upstairs?”. “Come, come, father Arturo”. He came in, sat down in front of us and, as usual, we prayed together for a while. Then father Arturo, who did not use to speak much, began to talk to us and, as if he had read our thoughts, answered all our questions, with a theological wisdom worth of St. Augustine and St. Thomas. We knew him as a very simple person, he was not even a priest, he was just a brother of PIME, because his superiors, who thought he was not intelligent enough, had suggested him not to continue his seminar studies. He had suffered a lot for that, but he had accepted that advice with humility and obedience, and he had silently made a great progress in faith and charity. He was always present where needs and suffering were, and the Lord had rewarded him with a wisdom that we have seen in few other people. Wisdom came to him and flowed from him through the adoration of the cross, which he did every night, sometimes until dawn. On a Sunday, while we were having lunch together, we noticed that he had a wound on his head. When we asked him about it, he replied, with a little embarrassment, that, while praying at night kneeling before the altar, he had fallen asleep, he had fallen down and hit his head. His wisdom was God’s wisdom, that one God reveals to the simple ones. St. Paul writes: “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1Cor 1,22-24).

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