Posted by: livingscripture | October 30, 2014

Thirtieth Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Yet, I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!”

 (Luke 13: 33-34)              

How should we live this Word High%20Resolution%20Divine%20Mercy[1]

Jesus is told that even Herod wants to kill Him.  But Jesus is not discouraged even by this.  He continues His mission of salvation that God the Father entrusted to Him, even at the price of His own life.  He has shown us a really profound love and extreme courage.  He shows us who God truly is, that He loves us with infinite tenderness.  He wants to protect us as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.  Jesus is willing to die to reveal His infinite mercy to us.

Today as well, Jesus wants to unite us around Him.  We often feel vulnerable and abandoned, but Jesus is close to us.  His affection is unchanged, even if we sometimes reject Him.  He never stops loving us.  After the cross, the Resurrection shines forth.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I shall bask in the warmth of God’s love for me and love Him in return with my whole heart.  

O Lord, help me to understand Your immense love and to perceive it every day, without falling into egoism or concentrating on myself. 

The voice of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina 

Sometimes the Lord lets us feel the weight of the cross.  It seems unbearable to us, but we carry it because the Lord in His love and great mercy takes us by the hand and gives us the strength.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 29, 2014

Thirtieth Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few people be saved?’  He answered them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough…People will come from the east and the west and form the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God’.”

 (Luke 13: 23-29)             

How should we live this WordRevelation21_JohnNewJerusalem

Someone asks Jesus if only a few will be saved, almost as though He wants to take account of the saved and seemingly implicitly including himself among them.  Jesus instead goes to the essential.  He tells the disciple to avoid being an accountant, but rather to be vigilant.  He tells them to make the effort to enter by the narrow gate. In fact, salvation is arduous.  We must leave behind the baggage of our goods and above all, attachment to our ego.   We cannot pretend to be saved without merits.  Salvation’s door will not be opened for those who do not do God’s will, for those who do not help their neighbor.  Instead, others will come to take their place in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Entrance into God’s Kingdom is not reserved to certain persons nor is it an automatic passage for a few people.  It is an invitation open to everyone that requires good will, firmness in conversion, and abandonment of the baggage that weighs down our journey.  Jesus will then open the door to the Father. He gave us the example of a journey that passes through the narrow door of the Cross and of renunciation.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me follow His footsteps with courage and joy. 

O Lord, help me to live my life as a gift; to give up whatever impedes my journey to You with a free heart that desires to arrive at the Kingdom of Heaven.  Help me to leave aside the temptation to be preoccupied with things that are vain and foolish.

The voice of Romano Battaglia, Writer and Journalist

Try to live well because the present moment is full of eternity.  In every hour of the day and of the night, make the effort to adorn the passing moment.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 28, 2014

Thirtieth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.  When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve.”

 (Luke 6: 12-13) 

How should we live this Wordcommunity

By remembering the Apostles, we return to the roots of our faith.  Just as he called the Apostles in their concrete situation, with a well defined life and face, unrepeatable in its uniqueness, so too does Jesus call each of us, giving us a vocation and a mission to accomplish.  Within our diversity, we all feel united in His name and in his love.

With an act of goodness and trust, he pronounces my name and He calls me to spread His message on the earth.  He loves me as I am, with all my limitations and even my contradictions.  He makes me perceive nostalgia for His goodness and His esteem, entrusting to me the task of being His living presence in the world today.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will thank Jesus for trusting me with His Word and ask Him to help me spread it far and wide.

Oh God, help me to discover my vocation day by day.  Infuse Your hope and strength in me so that I may respond to You with courage and perseverance. 

The voice of Benedict XVI, Catechesis on Sts. Simon & Jude, October-2006

Jesus calls His disciples and collaborators from the most varied social and religious strata, without any preconceptions.  He is interested in people, not in social categories or labels.  It is beautiful that the group of His followers, although they are very different, join together and find themselves united.  This is clearly a lesson for us who are so often inclined to emphasize differences and contrasts, forgetting that in Jesus Christ we are given the strength to resolve our differences…Thus both Simon and Jude Thaddeus help us to discover more and more and live untiringly the beauty of the Christian faith, learning from it how to give strong and serene witness.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 27, 2014

Thirtieth Monday in Ordinary Time

images (6)From the Word of the Day

This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?.”

 (Luke 13: 16)    

How should we live this Word

Jesus sees a woman who for eighteen years could not stand upright.  He has compassion on her malady and heals her on the Sabbath.  He heals her without looking at the calendar or the laws that are an obstacle to the good of human beings.  Jesus reveals the good and merciful face of God who puts the human being at the center and does not hide behind the narrow mindedness of those who interpret the law in a very literal way.

He accomplishes a progressive journey of attention, of nearness, of salvation.  He sees her.  He calls her to Himself.  He places His hands on her and frees her from her illness.  The woman becomes the image of those who are bent over with the weight of sin, of their egoism, and are incapable of standing upright to look on high at the face of the Father who loves them, embraces them, and brings them growth.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, ask Jesus to help me stand upright in His presence so that I may gaze upon Him with love and confidence.

Lord God, my Savior, free me from the destructive consequences of sin, of rigidity of mind, of the emptiness of my soul.  Do not allow me to remain bent over myself, forgetting Your mercy. 

The voice of Fr. Claudio Doglio, Biblist 

The evangelist Luke wants to show how Jesus brought authentic freedom to the woman.  This person, who is bent, bound, blocked, is freed by Jesus.  She is a symbolic figure who represents female gender.  Divine intervention lifts up the woman, gives her dignity, relieves her, calls her to Himself, and proclaims her free.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 26, 2014

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: Yu shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

 (Matthew 22: 37-39)        

How should we live this Word community

Jesus answers the Pharisee who asked what the greatest commandment of the law was, by going to the essentials and uniting in strict and indissoluble connection the relationship between love of God and love of neighbor.  We are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and our neighbor as ourselves.  It is not possible to love God and at the same time despise our neighbor, who is made in God’s image.  Love is unique in its origin and in its conclusion.  It comes from God and returns to God; however, it passes through our neighbor.

The first reading of Ephesians  reminds us that we must translate our love into concrete works such as welcome and attention  to persons in difficulty, be they strangers, orphans, widows, the poor, whoever is in need.  In this way, our love becomes visible, and charity is seen and experienced.  If we place God’s Word at the center of our life, if Jesus is our Model as St. Paul says in the second reading, we will no longer follow the idols of money, of power, of violence.  Rather, we will let ourselves be guided by love and compassion.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me keep my eyes fixed on Him at every moment. 

Help me Lord, to open my heart and mind to experience Your tenderness and on how much You love me.  Help me to pour out this tenderness and love on my brothers and sisters, especially those most in need. 

The voice of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Witness to Love 

We have the power to be in Heaven right now, of being happy with Him at this moment, if we love as He loves, if we help as He helps us, if we give as He gives, if we serve as He serves.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 25, 2014

Twenty-ninth Saturday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.  Therefore, it says: ‘He ascended on high and took prisoners captive; he gave gifts to men.”

 (Ephesians 4: 7-8)           

How should we live this Word wheat in sun

The sadness and discouragement that sometimes assail us depend also from not knowing well the positive reality of God’s gift’, the wealth that enriches our life in its depths.  It is something that our bodily senses cannot touch but it is very great.  When Jesus returned to the Father, ending the Paschal cycle of His immense gift of love, he was able to give gifts to human beings.

Each of us has been enriched by a gift that qualifies our life in God’s eyes and in those of our sisters and brothers.  The specific gift insures that each of us is entirely who we are, unique and unrepeatable.  We grow into ‘the full stature of Christ’ and at the same time, we help each other.  As in a human body, ‘joined and held together’, the energy of each member of the Body of Christ, the Church, communicates strength and brings about the body’s growth, building itself up in love.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will relish the fact that I am a unique member of Christ’s Body. 

I thank You, Lord Jesus; help me to live for Your glory and for the good of my family, my Community, of the Church, and of the whole world.

The voice of the Pablo Picasso, French Sculptor and Painter 

There are artists who transform the sun into a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence transform a yellow spot into the sun.

Posted by: livingscripture | October 24, 2014

Twenty-ninth Friday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

I, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

 (Ephesians 4: 1-3)             

How should we live this Word risen Jesus 1

Paul is in prison due to his openness in witnessing to the Lord.  Yet, even in prison, he does not cease to exhort his children in Christ.  What he proposes is an authentic style of Christian life that is ever timely, and even more so when a society is destroying itself in a deep social-cultural crisis as is happening today.  The attitudes that Paul proposes can be the antidote to the present evil.  The arrogant desire to be rid of God that is expressed in so much noise of self-sufficiency in contemporary people is corrected only by humility, just as the oppression, prevarication, and intolerance find a fit therapy in kindness and patience.

Bearing with one another is not a resigned ‘putting up’ with each other, but rather carrying each other in one’s heart with love.  This then becomes a way of finding unity and communion that are for the good of the family and of the community.  All this is accomplished in the bond of peace, in the One who is also the bond of unity, because He is our PEACE.  He is Christ the Lord!

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder what Paul says and ask Jesus to help me live it in my life day by day.

Lord Jesus, our PEACE, help me to be truly non-violent, but one who is a peacemaker.  Help me to develop those simple attitudes that are so necessary for peace. 

The voice of the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist Monk 

Everyone speaks about peace, but peace cannot be realized from the outside if one’s spirit cultivates anger and hatred.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 23, 2014

Twenty-ninth Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in Heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

 (Ephesians 3: 14-19)       

How should we live this Word

Paul is enraptured with the breadth and depth of God’s mystery that is revealed in Christ.  “To be filled with all the fullness of God” is therefore the profound meaning of our Christian vocation.  It opens us to an infinite horizon that can already be present to some measure during this life.  However, it deals with the contemplative dimension of our belief.  Paul prays, “That Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith”.  There are some people who are always depressed although they say they believe and live some religious practices.  They drag along, alone and anxious, with a load of things to do on the ethical, spiritual, and practical levels.  They project a suffocated and sad image of Christianity.  They lack the radiance of love.  They lack the contemplative horizon.  They lack the joy of being ‘inhabited’ and ‘strengthened interiorly’ by Christ. creator-150x150[1]

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will do an exercise of real descent into the depths of my heart where through faith, I will contact Jesus who is in me.  I will ask Him to ‘root and ground me in love’ in my daily life.  With Jesus, I will sow loving attitudes and actions.  I will be able to open myself interiorly to the ‘breadth and length and height, and depth of Christ’s love’ that goes beyond every merely rational cognitive capacity.  If I remain, believe, and persevere with confidence in God’s grace, I will be filled with God’s fullness day after day.  What more could I desire in this life and the next? 

As I walk, I will pray: Jesus Christ, Lord!

The voice of Pope Saint John Paul II

To humanity that often seems lost and dominated by the power of evil, of egoism, and of fear, the Risen Lord offers the gift of His Love that forgives, reconciles, and opens the soul to hope.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 22, 2014

Twenty-ninth Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.  This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him.”

 (Ephesians 3: 8-12)         

How should we live this WordJesus eyes

In his humility, St. Paul does not hesitate to declare himself the least of all the holy ones, the last among all those who want to walk in Christ Jesus according to the dictates of the Gospel.  However, because humility is truth, he does not hide that he has received the inestimable grace of knowing and revealing to everyone the marvels of God’s plan, which is of such love, as to save all those who freely adhere to God.

But how does this salvation happen?  Paul makes two things coincide: God’s plan for which ‘He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son,’ and the courage given us to ‘have full confidence’.

We need to be aware of this, especially today when God is deemed distant and inaccessible, almost as though God does not exist.  Nor should we make God a banality and reduce His Mystery to magic, superstition, or fanaticism.  We cannot predicate God’s greatness.

I need to discover more deeply that it was love for me that brought His Son Jesus to give Himself on the Cross.  Because of this, I can have the courage to be in contact with God.  Nor it is merely a question of respect and devotion, but of complete confidence.  This confidence is the source of my deep serenity, or it should be.

 

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask our dear Mother Mary to help me have complete trust in Her Son and in His love for me personally.  I will go to Jesus with utter confidence at every moment and with every detail of my life. 

Lord Jesus, increase my trust in You! 

The voice of Frère Roger di Taizé 

St. Isaac of Nineveh wrote, “God can only give His love”.  It is His love that makes faith accessible.  But what is faith?  Faith is a humble reality, a very humble confidence in God.  If faith should become a spiritual pretension, it would lead nowhere.  Thus we can understand St. Augustine’s intuition, “If you have just the simple desire to know God, you already have faith”.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | October 21, 2014

Twenty-ninth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

For he is our peace, he made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his Flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile both with God, in one Body.”

 (Ephesians 2: 14-15)        

How should we live this Word High%20Resolution%20Divine%20Mercy[1]

This is one of the most beautiful passages of Paul’s Letters.  It is centered on a very consoling truth, above all in these times when war threatens on every side.  Paul tells us that for believers peace is the divine Person of the Word become human, Christ the Lord.  It is not peace understood as a general and abstract category.  Jesus is truly our Peace, the Peace that we BELIEVE, seeking to live our faith day by day, with the effort to have a continual attitude of reconciliation with God, with ourselves, with every person, with every creature, in Christ Jesus.

The key to open the deep mystery of Christ our Peace is the fact that He, accepting to die on the Cross for love of us, “broke down the wall of enmity” among peoples.  It was like a dividing wall, impossible to take down.  Well, Jesus did just this.  Jesus destroyed opposition to peace with His body, handed over to the Cross for love.  Our Peace is this mystery, this price of infinite love.  Do I believe it?  Do I think about it?

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Our Lady to let this mystery penetrate me and dilate my heart.  During my rapport with my family, friends, co-workers, etc. I will ask Jesus to eliminate any sentiments of animosity that may be stirring in my heart.  I will quickly drop all that divides me from others.

Lord Jesus, I trust in You.  You are my Peace!

The voice of Pope Saint John Paul II

Peace cannot reign among us if it does not first reign in the heart of each one.

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