Church of Jesus Christ of the Universe
7 January 2023
Second Week of the Christmas season – Saturday, Eve of the Baptism of the Lord
1 Jn 3,22-4,6; Ps 2; Mt 4, 12-17.23-25
With tomorrow’s feast, the Christmas season ends, and with His Baptism, Jesus Christ begins His public life and preaching.
Jesus, who was born under the law, came to redeem those who are under the law to fulfil the law. If we look at all the sacraments, we see that Baptism existed even before Jesus. Jesus elevated them to their spiritual value. He raised them from a purely ritual dimension to the value and grace of the Spirit that initiates the life of God in man. Jesus came precisely to break the barrier between God and man, which prevented man from awakening in himself the Holy Spirit he had received from conception, as well as other gifts. After Him, Christians were baptised in Him, washed by Him, washed by His Blood and become the Body of Christ, parts of the body of Christ.
He came to fulfil the law, but we can see that throughout the history of salvation, from creation onwards, the whole project that involved God’s action, man’s action, was there; it is the action of God who always seeks man with all the instruments He has tried. We have been well instructed on this through the book, “The Universe and Its Inhabitants”.
That fullness of action must come with His glorious return; however, we have progressed very much in the last two centuries, especially in this last one. We see how time runs fast towards the achievement of this fullness. Many things have been revealed and explained, which previously had only been lived by faith. There is nothing new, but all we have received has also brought fulfilment. It has not changed but realised many things.
In this period, we have read the letters of St. John the Apostle, and we have already talked about them in recent days. If you look closely, his letters, unlike those of St. Paul, St. Peter, and St. James, do not intend to give indications like, “Do this, do that”. St. Paul writes to the various churches, where each experiences a specific situation, on which he has an impact. Not St. John. St. John gives testimony of his encounter with Jesus, the Creator of Life, of his encounter with the Light; the Light that descended into his darkness and that of humanity; he bears witness to what Jesus Christ has produced in him. It is his testimony.
Jesus Christ has been with us for three years in His second coming. I believe the time has come in which we, as God’s people, the Church, individually and all together, need to reflect on how we are to bear witness. We may bear witness to Jesus’ words and those of His instruments. We have done this over the years and we have been taught how to do this. It was explained to us, and we understood; yet we must also bear witness to our own encounter with Jesus and what it has done in us and ask, “What has it brought about in me; who have I met, whom have I seen, whom have I touched, whom have I decided to follow? What has awakened all this in me and the desire to change my life?
This does not contradict that passage in the Gospel where Jesus said he did not accept the testimony of people. He did not accept human testimony, human words, human ability, but he did accept the testimony of those who welcomed Jesus, who received the Holy Spirit from Him. It is the Holy Spirit who bears witness in them. It is always a Trinitarian action. Therefore, He did not accept a testimony from people, but from God, as Jesus said to St. Peter: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven“ (Mt 16, 13-23).
Therefore, this dynamism must work in us as it worked in Peter and caused him to give a testimony not revealed to him by flesh or blood, nor by his having learned or read it; our testimony must come from the God the Father who has revealed it to us. Therefore, we cannot use the words of a message but must use our own; it must come from our lives and be our personal witness. There is the testimony of an individual and there is that of a people, namely the Church.
Remember that in this process, which is leading to the fulfilment, God needs His Church, the hidden Church, the one in the catacombs. However, that Church has now come out into the light, it has brought us out, but it did not happen because we were better than others in this time, but because we are getting closer to the fulfilment, and the Church is necessary for this fulfilment. We went out for that, not because we have no limits, but because this is the time.
These days, we have also witnessed the death of Pope Benedict. He had been silent for eight years, yet he amazed many, everyone, and we can see it from how he was welcomed, how the people immediately asked, that he should be made “Immediately Holy”. This has underlined how the most beautiful thing Benedict did was his silence. Everyone was touched by his silence, by his prayer, which the people could hear. I would like to say that this is the testimony of the Church that is in the catacombs.
I am sure that Pope Benedict will help us a lot; he will help the Church, not us. If we are part of the Church of Jesus Christ, He will help us. His being withdrawn for eight years in silence is truly the attitude of a man of God: he did not fight, he did not argue, he did not discuss. We will listen to it in tomorrow’s readings from the prophet Isaiah: “He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out“ (Isa 42,1-3). Pope Benedict let God’s action happen, he prayed, stayed silent, offered, elevated all to God, but he did not argue. There is a lot for us to learn from his attitude.
In these two years, together with the sublime and extraordinary instruments, we too have entered silence. How good the time of Covid has done us, how good these two years have done us. I do not mean that now we have to force ourselves to be silent, but that we have to reflect on how silence, detaching ourselves, withdrawing, leads us to experience fullness. Look at the difference between activism in doing charity, in the sense of “caritas”, and prayer, the action that begins from prayer. Pope Benedict had written an Encyclical, which corresponds to our attitude, our heart, that of a true Christian: “Jesus Christ the only Saviour”, was the title. That Encyclical caused him much suffering in the Vatican and by bishops. He was publicly criticised by many bishops, even by the Archbishops of certain countries. That was one of the reasons why he understood that the only way to be in God, to allow God to act, is to withdraw and remain silent, because, if within the Church, Jesus Christ is not accepted as the only Saviour, tell me, what else is there for us to do?
This is the testimony that we must bear. Then, in our daily life, as I said before, as St. John the Apostle did, Jesus Christ is the only Saviour. If I have experienced in my life that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour, that His Name saves, then I can testify to those who are now in difficult situations. Yet, not just in words, but I must have touched Him. Then I can say: “I too have touched the Creator of Life; I have touched the Saviour; I have seen Him work, I have felt Him, I have been with Him.”
I believe that the death of Benedict XVI is an event that opens the year 2023. It is obvious that, since nothing comes by chance, this event is indeed part of the course of history, that it is really an action of God that will have an effect. Benedict will help us, and this event will also help us.
Therefore, I repeat that it is important for us to meditate, reflect, understand more and more our identity and mission, so that we do not run the risk of becoming superficial, feeling good on the level we are. We must increasingly begin to understand: “What should I do at this time, with these events; what is asked of me so that I may awaken others?”, since our actions are never an end in themselves. Everything that is from God must generate life and must be in favour of others.
We have grown a lot in faith in the past years, I must say, and it is not false humility; it appears in the way we celebrate the sacraments, especially the Holy Mass. No one could say that we do not live with faith, that we do not live the Mass; we are full of limitations and sins, but no one can say that we have not grown. This must be our strength. Our celebrations and the grace of being able to hold them must give us the energy, the grace, the courage to bear witness.
Finally, I ask everyone to reflect, pray, ask yourselves – let us ask ourselves all together – how to enter 2023 so that we can make a difference and understand what we have to do.
God bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 Stefania Caterina, “Rewriting History – Vol. II – The Universe and Its Inhabitants, Luci dell’Esodo, 2019
 JESUS’ INTERMEDIATE COMING was announced in the message of Mary Most Holy of 7 December 2019, “The Messianic Time”, published on our website under “Messages by Year” and in the book “Towards the New Creation – Vol. VII – Collected Messages 2020”, p. 135
 of the law (Translator’s Note)