Below is a translation of the Seventh General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops on the Family which took place this morning at the Vatican:
SYNOD 14 – 7TH GENERAL CONGREGATION: HOMILY OF
H.E. MONSIGNOR LUCIO ANDRICE MUANDULA, BISHOP OF XAI-
XAI, MOZAMBIQUE, DURING THE PRAYER OF TIERCE
The 7th General Congregation of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family opened this morning in the Synod Hall in the Vatican with the singing of Tierce. Following is a translation of the homily that H.E. Monsignor Lucio Andrice Muandula, Bishop of Xai-Xai, Mozambique, gave during the prayer of Tierce.
Homily of H.E. Monsignor Lucio Andrice Muandula
“For in everything, O Lord, thou hast exalted and glorified thy people; and thou hast not neglected to help them at all times and in all places” (Wisdom 19:22).
The Book of Wisdom, from which the passage is taken that we just heard, was very probably written in Alexandria of Egypt, and its recipients were above all members of the Jewish diaspora that, on coming into contact with the Hellenic environment, risked believing in idolatry, abandoning completely their faith in the God of the Covenant with the Fathers.
In it, through the presentation of two characteristic figures of the sapient writings: the just (or wise) man, as image of the believing Israelite, faithful to the traditions of the Fathers, and the impious (or foolish), image of the pagans and of those who dedicated themselves to idolatry (cc. 13-15), the sacred author proposes again to those numerous Jews, who already in the 2nd century B.C. were settled in Alexandria, a reflection on God’s and man’s behavior, wholly inspired in the biblical tradition and intended to confirm their faith and their hope.
In fact, contact with the Hellenic world, with which the author enters in dialogue and at times also in controversy, has contributed to present biblical wisdom as a divine gift, which leads to the salvation of the one who is able to receive it (as Israel did), while it manifests the guilt of one who rejects it (as the Egyptians and pagans in general did).
In this connection, the passage we just heard encloses a true profession of faith of the sacred author, anchored in the biblical experience of the Exodus, and it is also an invitation to us, to let ourselves be guided by biblical wisdom, in an ever more globalized world, with which we are called to establish a dialogue of faith and in which one risks, however, one’s own trust in God to adopt a completely pagan lifestyle.
May the good God illumine us with his Spirit of wisdom in the works of this day and make us understand that he does not ever forget his people and is always close to them with the gift of his salvation in Jesus Christ his Son.