Posted by: livingscripture | September 30, 2014

Twenty-sixth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, ‘The child is a boy!”.  Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire?”

 (Job 3: 3)            

How should we live this Word job[1]

Last Sunday’s Liturgy somewhat anticipated the theme of presumption before God and the false image we now see in the Book of Job.  There are also the themes of suffering, of the possibility of establishing what is just or unjust.  In these days, we will be reading this curious Book of Job.

The verse cited here is the curse against life that Job expresses in a moment when suddenly all that was good and just in his life is now overturned, revealed to be ephemeral, and disappears.  Just as in the ‘cursing’ psalms, this venting shows the cruelty of reality and reacting against it opens the heart to the truth.  Job is truly just before God.  He does not think of God as an automatic distributor of good things for those who put the correct amount in a machine, and then perhaps kick and punch when what they expect does not come.  Neither does he think of God as a sadistic and spiteful person who enjoys seeing the fragility of His inferiors.  Job is the witness of a human person that is loved by God and remains in the world with all his responsibility, with his feelings, his emotions, his desires, and his possible limitations.

He cries for his dead children, for his lost wealth.  He wishes he had never been born so as not to have to live through all this.  Then he places himself before the mystery of God and lets God lead him on an imaginary trip through the universe that allows him to re-dimension all his suffering and all his desires, giving new meaning and new fruitfulness to his future.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will converse with God familiarly and tell Him all my feelings and emotions, trustful of His love and healing. 

Lord, like Job, I too want to come before You, before Your creation, to learn to see what comes in another way, re-discovering the energy to act well, to have hope to build the future, and to fight against all injustice.

The voice of Massimo Gramellini, Author of ‘Have Good Dreams’ 

Some memories are not erased…but they can purify you of the suffering they hold.  How?  With forgiveness.  Only forgiveness can put us again into contact with the energy of love.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | September 29, 2014

Twenty-sixth Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

 (John 1: 51)        

How should we live this Word Revelation20-1AngelWithChain_250

The readings of this week strongly lead us to think of the angels.  Today’s feast and that of next Thursday place these persons without bodies before us.  They are all spirit and soul, and enter into our life to mediate God’s mystery.  In the Old Testament, the three we celebrate today had taken on a body in some accounts.  They accompanied Tobias and healed Tobit.  They were in the furnace with Daniel.  In narrating the announcement to Mary of Jesus’ birth, Luke names Gabriel.  John in his vision at Patmos sees Michael fighting the dragon, the ancient serpent who seduces the earth.

How beautiful it is that these strong persons exist.  They are so united to God that they are His direct mediation.  Our situations are crossed by our uncertain decisions, our fears, our efforts, and enthusiasm.  We are also helped by the divine powers that do not substitute but rather reinforce our will when we desire to be more and more like God’s image and do His will with love.

Today Jesus responds to Nathaniel by promising the vision of these angels who descend and ascend before God.  It is the promise of a life entirely shared with God, in a face to face that is rendered possible for everyone through the mystery of the Incarnation.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I shall thank God for these spirit beings who are always ready to help me love and serve God and others for His sake. 

Lord, Your archangels protect our existence.  They have the power to heal our discouragement. They help us to struggle for the good and they bring us to see You face to face. 

The voice of the Liturgy 

O God who calls Angels and humans to cooperate in Your plan of salvation, grant to us pilgrims on earth, the protection of the blest spirits who stand before You in Heaven to serve You and contemplate the glory of Your face.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | September 28, 2014

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.”

 (Matthew 21: 31)              

 

How should we live this Wordholy Face 3

There is a presumptuous way of regarding God, that of a practical atheist.  He is not denied, rather, He is presupposed.  However, people like this feel they are authorized to make Him a ‘thing’ to be judged, reproved, tricked.  In other words, they do not consider Him God.

In today’s Liturgy, various phrases reveal this attitude toward God.  Ezekiel narrates what some say of Him.  The Lord does not act justly.  It is a judgment that is transformed into explicit reproof and seems to hide the idea that God did not understand well!  God is no longer Mystery but rather a foreseeable error.

Jesus clearly points out this error with the parable of the two sons.  One is honest and open and a bit naïve and responds to the father with a strong ‘no’.  However, his ‘no’ bares his uncertainty and makes him think.  In the end, he returns, like the prodigal son, like the ancient people of God after the desert, after the exile.  The ‘no’ leads to exploration, to a deepening of the relationship, and the opposition becomes an encounter.

The other son diplomatically says ‘yes’, but by putting aside every opposition he has become immobile since he thinks he has the exact criteria to give shape to his life.  Therefore, he says ‘yes’ but then acts out a ‘no’ and does not think twice about it.  The father, God, is a fool to trick and avoid with respect!  Practical atheists think of God in this way.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will evaluate my ‘yes’ to the Lord.  Am I coherent with it? 

Lord, Your words bare our presumptuousness before You.  You, the Father, and the Spirit are always the Mystery that lights our life and impels us to seek You and never feel that we have fully arrived, justified and confirmed for eternity. 

The voice of the Pope Francis 

Pope Francis tells us that the privileged place to encounter Jesus is our sins.  “This seems like a heresy, but even St. Paul said this.  He boasted of only two things: his sins and that the risen Christ had saved him.  For this reason, recognizing our sins, our misery, what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done opens the door for Jesus to caress us, forgive us, give us His Word.  ‘Go in peace, your faith has saved you’, because you have been courageous in opening your heart to the One who alone can save you.”

Posted by: livingscripture | September 27, 2014

Twenty-fifth Saturday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes.”

 (Luke 9: 44)       

How should we live this Word imagesCAKZ3W95

Jesus reveals His difficult and painful future to His disciples.  He will be handed over into the hands of men and will have no possibility of defending Himself.  They instead were expecting His triumph.  They do not take into consideration the hypothesis that their Teacher, so admired and applauded by the people, could be going toward a tragic destiny to save humankind.  Their logic does not foresee His passion and death on a cross.  Only after the resurrection will they understand that they too must imitate their Lord in spreading the Gospel and undergoing persecution and difficulties.  Right now, instead, they refuse to understand and they do not dare ask.

Sometimes, we are deluded when we are closed in on ourselves and see every hope of human greatness and every protection from suffering cut off.  We do not realize that only by bearing witness to the Gospel message of death and resurrection, even in suffering, do we have the certainty of understanding the life of Jesus and our life, and of being comforted in doubts and uncertainties.  Often, to arrive at Resurrection Sunday we must pass through the sufferings of Good Friday.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me understand the value of suffering as well as its transitory nature.  Heaven is forever!

Lord, instill in me the confidence of being always with You.   You love me immensely, even during times when I must carry my cross of sickness, limitations, and failures.  Help me to enter into Your Mystery that I may be fully Your disciple. 

The voice of Romano Battaglia, Contemporary Journalist

The cross must appear in all its truth.  It connects earth to Heaven and extends its arms in all directions.  It is the mysterious sign of universal humanity, the theater in which our life is woven.

Posted by: livingscripture | September 26, 2014

Twenty-fifth Friday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

Peter said, ‘The Christ of God’.”

 (Luke 9: 20-21)  

 

How should we live this Word together

The people have varied ideas on Jesus’ identity.  Some say He is John the Baptist, others Elijah or one of the ancient prophets.  Then Jesus, in the context of prayer and the first announcement of the Passion, turns directly to His apostles and asks, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter answers without hesitation and with certainty, “The Christ of God”.

This same question has come down through the centuries and asked of each of us.  Are we as ready to give a response that is so clear and decisive?  Let us find a moment to pause and answer this question.  Who is Jesus for me?  The Lord Himself asks us and penetrates us in the depths of our conscience.  The road of the Cross can help us to know Jesus better as He presents Himself as the suffering Messiah and also the One who rises from the dead.  To know Jesus as the Christ means to follow Him as God and Lord of our life, as the sincere and generous friend to imitate.  It means receiving Him even in suffering and in the heart’s aridity, considering Him as the only One who can fill us with joy and happiness.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will respond to Jesus’ question with faith and love, “You are the Christ!” 

Lord, help me to recognize Your presence in the divine Word, in the Eucharist, in the persons around me.  Often for me You are nostalgia, fire, torment, desire…become my immense gift of love, the absolute of my existence. 

The voice of the Poor Clares of Rimini

After Peter, many have let themselves be questioned, “Who do you say that I am?”  It is because the faith journey cannot proceed without it.  We cannot be Christians without a personal relationship with the Lord, without saying who He is for me, and who I am for Him.  However, every response is empty if it does not touch my life, if it does not express what I have given with Him and for Him.  Thus, it does not mean consulting the Catechism or other books.  Rather, it means what I carry within myself that has been written by Him.  In fact, Christ is not what I say of Him, but what I live of Him; not my words, but my passion.

Posted by: livingscripture | September 25, 2014

Twenty-fifth Thursday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

John I beheaded.  Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”

 (Luke 9: 9)         

How should we live this WordJesus_144_small

A disquieting question echoes in Herod’s mind.  Who is this Jesus that I hear so much about?  Is it the Baptist whom I beheaded that has returned to life?  Is it Elijah or one of the great prophets appearing again?  Christ’s coming disturbs Herod.  It makes him curious and even fearful of His power.  Those who are powerful want to have everything under their control, so that nothing escapes their hands.  It is the battle between those who want to dominate the world and those who want to free it from evil.

Christ’s presence in our life provokes fundamental questions in us.  It does not leave us indifferent but impels us to seek the truth.  It solicits us to examine our conscience on our behavior.  In order to know who Jesus is, we must let ourselves be guided by faith and love, not by curiosity or human reasoning.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will renew my faith in Jesus and express my love for Him throughout the day. 

Lord, help me to acknowledge you as the Son of God, to desire to be converted from my sins of presumption and pride.  Keep me from being like Herod in his indiscrete curiosity because this impedes me from accepting the Mystery of Your Being. 

The voice of St. Francis de Sales, from the Philotea 

Once you have found and gathered the sinful ugliness of your conscience, detest it and reject it with great contrition and displeasure, as much as your heart can conceive.  Take into consideration these three points: you have lost God’s grace through sin; you have lost the right to Heaven; you have accepted the eternal torments of hell; and you have renounced God’s eternal love.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | September 24, 2014

Twenty-fifth Wednesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

He sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

 (Luke 9: 2)        

How should we live this Word community

Jesus sends His apostles to proclaim the Kingdom of God and He gives them power to heal the sick.  Imitating their teacher, they must free the world of evil and of its consequences: sickness, poverty, wars, and discord.  They must not oppress people but rather free them from physical and spiritual ills.  Above all, God offers us the possibility of cleansing what is dark and obscure within each of us so as to be able to cleanse others as well.

Our strength comes from the Lord.  The more we are transparent to His grace, the more we will be efficacious in our pastoral action.  Jesus has given us the example.  As He went through the streets of Palestine and observed the material and spiritual difficulties of His contemporaries, he approached them.  He took care of those who were suffering and needy.  He healed them and gave them joy and hope.  He did not present Himself with His power and wealth, but with these gestures of mercy.  The world needs the tenderness of God that comes through His disciples.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will endeavor to see how I can spread God’s tenderness in my daily life. 

Lord Jesus, You sent Your apostles to announce the Good News and to work against evil.  Give us their enthusiasm, trust, charity, and gratuity.  Grant that our words and our actions may reveal Your Kingdom of joy and peace.

The voice of Pope Francis (Discourse to Catechists, September 19, 2014)

I have sometimes said that the Church seems like a field hospital with many wounded people who ask us to be near them; who ask of us what they asked of Jesus – closeness.  We need to go out and raise our gaze.  How much poverty and solitude we see in the world today.  How many persons live with great suffering and ask the Church to be a sign of the closeness, of the goodness, of the solidarity, and of the mercy of the Lord.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | September 23, 2014

Twenty-fifth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

…My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

 (Luke 8: 22)      

 

How should we live this Word pppas0244

Today’s Gospel presents us with lovely and enthusing news.  We can be the brothers and sisters of Jesus and even His mother if we receive His Word and live it.  It is always consoling to know that someone loves us, beyond family relations.  In this way, the Church becomes a place of fraternal welcome, a community where we can experience concord and goodness, a people united, not by blood ties, but by faith.

There is no limit and no marginalization with God.  We are all His sons and daughters, his sisters and brothers among ourselves.  We can become mothers of Christ spiritually, after Mary’s example, woman of faith and charity, when we listen to the divine Word and accomplish it concretely in our life through our coherent and authentic witness.

Jesus presents His community as a new situation.  It is not based on family relationships, but on the same experience of faith, with broader community relationships.  To listen to God’s Word and live it, is the essential reality for a life that is truly Christian.  This makes us live intimately with God and in deep communion with each other.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will thank Jesus for making me a real part of His intimate family. 

God, make us capable of building a community that welcomes everyone, that is a concrete expression of familiarity with God and with each other.  Give us the enthusiasm to live happily because we are ‘sisters and brothers and mothers of Jesus. 

The voice of Saint Augustine, Convert and Church Doctor

It is not a distant thing for you to be Christ’s mother.  It is neither outside of you nor incompatible with you.  You have become children and mothers.  You have become children of the mother when you were baptized, so you were born as Christ’s members.  Lead as many as possible to the waters of Baptism so that, just as you have become children when you were born, so you can also be mothers of Christ by leading others to birth.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | September 22, 2014

Twenty-fifth Monday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

…One who lights a lamp…places it on a lamp stand so that those who enter may see the light.”

 (Luke 8: 16)      

 

How should we live this Wordimage049- Light

Light has an essential role in the life of every human being. It illumines and gives joy, as in a lovely sunrise or sunset. It renders us secure on our journey, and helps us to see obstacles. Each of us was given a candle at our Baptism, lit from the Paschal candle, the symbol of the Risen Christ, so that we would live as children of the light and, receiving the Gospel message, we would be vigilant in faith, hope, and charity.
This light does not come from us, but from Christ whom we try to follow as His disciples, listening to His words, imitating His example of charity, and spreading the Good News. Therefore, we must not hide this light, but show it in our every action and decision. We must remove the darkness from our life so as not to be an obstacle to others in accessing the light. The true and deep witness of Christians is to radiate the light we carry within us. Consider how much good the saints did with their presence and their life. This speaks to all of us.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will bask in the Light of Christ and seek to spread it around me.

Spirit of God, make me attentive to the words of the Gospel, open and courageous in making the light of faith and charity shine before all. Help me to overcome fear, indifference, and superficiality, and to avoid worldly compromises and mentality.

The voice of Mother Teresa of Calcutta

I would remain continually absent from Heaven in order to bring light to those who live in darkness on the earth.

 

Light has an essential role in the life of every human being.  It illumines and gives joy, as in a lovely sunrise or sunset. It renders us secure on our journey, and helps us to see obstacles.  Each of us was given a candle at our Baptism, lit from the Paschal candle, the symbol of the Risen Christ, so that we would live as children of the light and, receiving the Gospel message, we would be vigilant in faith, hope, and charity.

This light does not come from us, but from Christ whom we try to follow as His disciples, listening to His words, imitating His example of charity, and spreading the Good News.  Therefore, we must not hide this light, but show it in our every action and decision.  We must remove the darkness from our life so as not to be an obstacle to others in accessing the light.  The true and deep witness of Christians is to radiate the light we carry within us.  Consider how much good the saints did with their presence and their life.  This speaks to all of us.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will bask in the Light of Christ and seek to spread it around me.

Spirit of God, make me attentive to the words of the Gospel, open and courageous in making the light of faith and charity shine before all.  Help me to overcome fear, indifference, and superficiality, and to avoid worldly compromises and mentality.

The voice of Mother Teresa of Calcutta

I would remain continually absent from Heaven in order to bring light to those who live in darkness on the earth.

Posted by: livingscripture | September 21, 2014

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

From the Word of the Day

 

You too go into my vineyard.”

 (Matthew 20: 7) 

How should we live this Word net of fish

God has chosen each of us to carry out a mission in the human community and in the Church; therefore, we must make the effort to know it, to accomplish it, and to value the gifts of others for the common good.  Even if due to wasting qualities and time, we have later repented but still feel like the workers of the last hour, we can experience the joy of being forgiven and received by the Lord who is always good and merciful.  There is a place in the Lord’s vineyard at any hour.  We must not egoistically close ourselves in our own narrow world but rather be ready for every call, even the heaviest and most difficult, at the beginning as at the last hour of our life.

God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His logic is not like human logic that too often centers on productivity and efficiency, while God instead looks at love.  Christ came on the earth to save everyone, the first and the last.  Even those who enter the Kingdom late due to various reasons are not penalized.  God’s merciful love wants everyone to reach eternal happiness.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will delight in God’s steadfast love for me at every hour of my life.

O Lord, I ask You to make me worthy to be a simple and humble worker in Your vineyard (Cf. the words of Benedict XVI upon his election as Pope in 2005) and to collaborate in Your plan of salvation and love toward humanity.

 The voice of Opening Prayer of the Mass of the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time 

O father, You are just and great in giving workers of the last hour the same as the first.  Your ways are as far from ours as the heavens are from the earth.  Open our heart to the wisdom of Your Son’s words so that we may understand the priceless honour of working in Your vineyard from the morning.

 

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 196 other followers