Let’s go back to our question regarding a guardian angel. In Cenacolo it is a recovering addict, who has been already for some moths in the community. He may still have his own demons to deal with but he is given a new comer. Over a number of weeks he will be like a shadow to the newbie. He will be like Prophet Ezekiel who was appointed by God ‘as sentry to the House of Israel.’ He will not leave the newcomer even for a second, day and night, week after week. I guess some could raise an objection that it is the invasion of privacy. However those who have recovered from their addiction say that without the guardian angel it is impossible to survive those first weeks when every cell in the body screams for drugs, alcohol, etc. The guardian angel is like that person from today’s Gospel who never gives up, unless the person she or he is accompanying walks away from the community.
My Dear Sisters and Brothers! I am telling you the story of Cenacolo so that you could grow in your appreciation of belonging to the Church community which was a model for Mother Elvira. If it can help people in such drastic circumstances it can also help us in our own parish communities. I don’t mean that we all need to have a parishioner following us 24/7 but that we should rediscover the essence of living our faith as a community. The guardian angel from Cenacolo is someone who on behalf of the community loves the fellow Christian in a very concrete and practical way. The guardian angel knows that he has got the support, understanding and love of the community. He is not on his own when he faces the roller-coaster with dramatic mood swings. Jesus said: ‘Where two or three meet in my name, I shall be there with them.’ However those two or three need to come together because they care for someone. Jesus hasn’t promised to be among those who gather together just to enjoy some cozy but selfish time.
From what I have told you so far about Cenacolo you shouldn’t be surprised that the people there practice seriously what Jesus explained in the Gospel for this Sunday: ‘If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone.’ It means: Put your whole love into winning back your brother or sister who strays. However if your love is not enough double it by asking someone else to go with you for the second time. If it still doesn’t work bring the whole love the community, your Church, has got into your interaction with your brother of sister, because sometimes you may not have enough love to be challenging or consistent.
However the first test whether you have love to correct someone is when you yourself are open to be corrected. If it is not, you better go and have a cup of coffee and examine your attitude, then go to Jesus and ask him for openness to receive a correction from your fellow Christians.