Full text of Archbishop Thomas Wenski's homily critical of Marxism

 

We are, like Pope Benedict XVI, pilgrims of charity here in Cuba. We come from Miami and the United States - in our group we have people born here, the children of people born here and people of other national heritages. We are united in one common faith. As the theme of the jubilee of the 400th anniversary of the discovery and presence of Our Lady of Charity states so well: A Jesus por Maria, la caridad nos une (To Jesus through Mary, charity makes us one). Our presence here today in this historic cathedral is also another witness to this unity that is ours in the Body of Christ which is the Church.

On behalf of all of us, I wish to express our gratitude to His Eminence, Cardinal Ortega, for making it possible for us to celebrate Mass in this the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Habana. The stones of this cathedral have witnessed over the centuries the unfolding of much of the history of Cuba - with all its lights and shadows. And these stones will witness in years to come the further unfolding of the history of Cuba and its people. We come here as pilgrims to pray that - as Pope John Paul II said in his visit 14 years ago - that the Cuban people will be the protagonists of that history; and that inspired by the Word of God and the values of the Christian heritage that has shaped Cuban identity for more than 400 years the Cuba people will build for themselves and their prosterity a future of hope.

In the Psalm today we prayed: O Lord, hear my prayer and let my cry come to you.The psalmist prays: "Let this be written for the generations to come and let his future creatures praise the Lord. 'The Lord looked down from his holy height; from the heavens he beheld the earth. To hear the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.'"

Those doomed to die, Jesus tells us in the gospel today, are those who die in their sins because they have refused to recognize him as the "I am" of human history. In yesterday's feast of the Annunciation when the Word was made flesh Jesus is revealed both as the human face of God and the divine face of man. As Pope Benedict said yesterday in Santiago: God has created us as the fruit of his infinite love; hence, to live in accordance with his will is the way to encounter our genuine identity, the truth of our being, while apart from God we are alienated from ourselves and are hurled into the void. The obedience of faith is true liberty, authentic redemption which allows us to united ourselves to the Love of Jesus in his determination to conform himself to the will of the Father." Again as the Pope said yesterday: "...when God is put aside, the world becomes an inhospitable place for man, and frustrates creation's true vocation to be a space for the covenant, for the 'Yes' to the love between God and humanity."

Jesus Christ fulfills the desire of the longing of our hearts that the world may become a home worthy of humanity. For the world to become a home worthy of humanity it cannot close itself to transcendence, it cannot shut itself off to God and to our vocation as men and women to live with God, not only in this present moment but for all eternity.

Ideological materialism, represented in this country and in those countries of what was the Eastern bloc, denied man's transcendence, it denied that that human person was created for more than just to die one day. As the Pope observed on his flight to Mexico, Marxism is a spent ideology. This caused a bit of a furor among the press corps; however, as Archbishop Dionisio Garcia observed, "the Pope's comments about Marxism didn't tell us anything we, in Cuba, didn't already know." However, as Cuba transitions, the Pope and the Church want a transition that is worthy of the Cuban's aspirations, a transition worthy of man. To go from the ideological materialism of Marxism to a practical materialism such as that of many Western societies would not be worthy of man. The Church certainly wants a "soft landing" but a landing that is open to a future of hope. As the Holy Father wrote in Spe Salvi, a world without God is a world without hope, a world without a future. To people intoxicated with the love of power, the Church witnesses to hope by sharing with the world - and with the Cuban people, the power of love.

-Spanish-

Como el Papa Benedicto, estamos aqui en Cuba como peregrinos de la caridad. Somos de Miami y de otros lugares de los Estados Unidos. Somos cubanos nacidos aqui en Cuba, somos hijos del exilio, de otros paises: norteamericanos, africanos, polacos, irlandeses, mexicanos. Es una fe comun la que nos une. Como dice el lema del jubileo de los 400 anos del hallazco de la virgen de la Caridad: A Jesus por Maria, la caridad nos une. Nuestra presencia hoy en esta historica catedral es un testimonio mas de la unidad, que nos caracteriza como miembros del Cuerpo de Cristo, que es la Iglesia.

En nombre de todos, quisiera agradecer a su Eminencia, el Cardinal Ortega, por haber hecho posible esta Misa en la Iglesia madre de la Arquidiocesis de la Habana. Las piedras de esta catedral han visto a traves de los siglos el desarollo de la historia de Cuba - con todas sus luces y sus sombras. Y estas piedras testificaran en los anos venideros el futuro desarollo de la historia de Cuba y su pueblo. Llegamos aqui como peregrinos a rezar - como dijo el Beato Juan Pablo II en su visita de hace 14 anos - que los cubanos sean los protagonistas de su propia historia; oramos para que el pueblo cubano, inspirado por la Palabra de Dios y los valores de su herencia cristiana que ha dado forma a su identidad por mas de 400 anos, construya un futuro de esperanza.

En el salmo de hoy, rezabamos: O Senor, escucha mi oracion; que te llegue mi llanto... El salmista ora: "que esto sea escrtito para generaciones futuras y que ellos en el futuro glorifiquen al Senor. Que el Senor nos mire desde el cielo. Que eschuche los gemidos de los presos y libere a los condenados a morir"

Los condenados a morir, nos dice Jesus en el Evangelio de hoy, son los que mueren en sus pecados por que se rehusaron a reconocerlo como el "Yo soy" de la historia humana. En la fiesta de ayer, de la Anunciacion, cuando el Verbo se hizo carne, Jesus se revela como el rostro humano de Dios y el rostro divino del hombre. Como el Papa dijo ayer en Santiago de Cuba, Dios nos creo como fruto de su amor infinito; por lo tanto, vivir de acuerdo con su voluntad es el camino para encontrar nuestra verdadera identidad, y la verdad de nuestro ser - mientras que, separados de Dios estamos alienados de nosotros mismos y arrojados al vacio. La obediencia de la fe es la libertad verdadera, la redencion autentica que nos permite unirnos al amor de Jesus y en su determinacion de conformarse totalmente a la voluntad del Padre. Como el Papa dijo ayer: "Cuando se excuye a Dios de nuestras vidas, el mundo se vuelve un lugar hostil para el hombre y frustra la vocacion verdadera de la creacion que es ser un espacio para la alianza, para el Si al amor entre Dios y la humanidad."

Jesucristo cumple el deseo del corazon humano que es que el mundo se convierta en un hogar digno de la humanidad. Para que el mundo se convierta en un hogar digno del hombre no puede cerrarse a la trancedencia, no puede cerrarse a Dios y a la vocacion que cada hombre y cada mujer tiene que vivir con Dios y no solamente en el momento presente pero para toda la eternidad. El materialismo ideologico representado en este pais y en aquellos paises del bloque sovietico, nego la transcendencia del ser humano, nego que el hombre existia para algo mas que simplemente morir un dia. Como el Papa comento en su vuelo a Mexico, el Marxismo es una ideologia ya gastada. Aunque la prensa se sorpendio por sus palabras, el arzobispo Dionisio Garcia, de Santiago de Cuba dijo: con esta palabras el Papa no dijo nada que no supieramos aqui en Cuba.

Pero a la vez que Cuba espera una transicion, el Papa y la Iglesia cubana quieren una transicion que sea digna del ser humano, digna del cubano. Salir de un materialismo ideologico para caer luego en un materialismo practico como en muchas sociedades del occidente, no sera tampoco digno del hombre. La iglesia desea un aterrizaje suave, pero un atterizaje que se abre a un futuro de esperanza. Como el Santo Padre escribio en su enciclica, Spe Salvi, un mundo sin Dios es un mundo sin esperanza, un mundo sin futuro. A los que estan embriagados por el amor al poder, la Iglesia da un testimonio de esperanza; quiere proponer al mundo y al pueblo cubano el poder del amor.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski Archbishop of Miami

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