It is so beautiful to hear the Word of God in its original language because as you know the New Testament was written in Greek and it had such a lovely sound and it is such an extraordinary experience to be with you today in this island visited by the holy apostle Paul as was Greece so many times. This apostle unites us because our lands, Malta and Greece, were blessed by his visit as appostle.
The Gospel today talks about the patience of the Lord when Jesus speaks about the parable of the fig tree that is without fruit and the lord of the field wants to cut it down but the farmer tells him: “Wait, let’s wait” (cf Lk 13: 8). When we read the writings of the apostle Paul whom we call our Father of Faith, you realise that Paul is very aware that he is a great sinner. Writing to his disciple Timothy, the apostle Paul says that he is protos of the sinners but he also says the Lord Jesus wanted to show his extraordinary patience really and truly.
We need to be very grateful because Jesus came into the world not to condemn but to bring mercy and healing
And Paul says he wanted this so that the other disciples could take courage in their pilgrimage. In the parable which we have heard today from the Gospel of St Luke, Jesus is that farmer that asks the father to be patient. So the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, wants to use mercy with each and every one of us. His eyes look upon us but they are eyes of mercy. Imagine the way Jesus looked at Peter after his denial. And so we need to be very grateful because Jesus came into the world not to condemn but to bring mercy and healing.
So I am very happy to be able to welcome you in this beautiful little church dedicated to one of the Christian martyrs, Calcedonius. Welcome to the islands of St Paul and thank you so much for honouring us with your visit. And I would also, on behalf of everybody, thank the sisters who spent so many of their years in Corfu as a witness to the unity of the faith.
✠ Charles J. Scicluna
Archbishop of Malta
Reading I: Prov: 21, 1-8
Psalm: 33 (32) 1-2, 5-6, 10-12, 20, 22
Gospel: Lk: 13, 1-9