Homily, 25 June 2022, Warsaw
1. In the first reading, we have heard the account of creation. God takes special care in forming man. He also prepares a suitable home for him to dwell in: The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And he gives him a mission: to share in caring for creation. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
The beginning of Saint John Paul II’s “Letter to Artists” comes to mind here: With loving regard, the divine Artist passes on to the human artist a spark of his own surpassing wisdom, calling him to share in his creative power. And he added: all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece.
That work of art in our own lives is the holiness to which God is calling all of us, as Saint Josemaría, whose feast we celebrate today, tirelessly preached. This holiness is sought in ordinary life and through ordinary life, especially work. We transform work into prayer, into an offering to God, and in order to do so, as Saint Josemaría taught, “the first condition is to work and to work well.”
2. All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. This is what Saint Paul tells us in the second reading. When we work like good sons and daughters – it is Jesus who teaches us to work in this way –sanctifying our work means working with Him and finding Him in our daily tasks.
God’s presence with us and in us gives meaning to all our efforts: We need to be imbued, to be saturated, with the knowledge that God, who is close beside us and in heaven, is our Father and very much our Father (The Way, no. 267). In our daily life, in our work and family obligations, our Lord addresses to us as he did to the apostles the words we have heard in the Gospel: Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. The mission Jesus entrusts to us – seeking our own sanctification and spreading the Gospel – is not separate from the obligations of our ordinary life.
3. It gives me great joy to celebrate this Holy Mass in honor of Saint Josemaría in Warsaw, in this church of Divine Providence, built in thanksgiving for God’s protection of the Polish people. A few months ago, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski was beatified in this church. Blessed Stefan Wyszynski’s motto was Soli Deo, that is, Soli Deo honor et gloria – “Honor and glory to God alone.” It is not very different from one of Saint Josemaría’s mottos: Deo omnis gloria – “To God be all the glory.” It is not enough for us to be diligent in many jobs, in family life, in various apostolic initiatives. We must strive to do so for the glory of God, out of love for God and in service to others. And we must do so without being discouraged by our own shortcomings, since we can always begin and begin again with God’s grace, which comes to us especially in the Eucharist and in the sacrament of Penance.
4. We are celebrating this Holy Mass in honor of Saint Josemaría one day before his liturgical memorial, since tomorrow is Sunday. Today, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is liturgically commemorated. To our Lady we especially entrust our Holy Father Francis along with his intentions, for which everyone in the Church is praying: Omnes cum Petro ad Iesum per Mariam. Among these intentions is, certainly, peace in long-suffering Ukraine. The Amoris Laetitia Year of the Family is also ending now. We entrust to the intercession of our Lady, Mother of God and our Mother, all the families in the world, and in a particular way all Polish families.