Posted by: livingscripture | April 24, 2018

Fourth Tuesday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Fourth Tuesday of Easter, April 24, 2018

 WORD of the DAY 

  My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. (John 10: 27-28)

 How shall I live this Word?

There is a relationship of mutual knowledge that is established between the Shepherd and the sheep – says Jesus. And He insists on that adjective of mutual belonging: “I know mine – He says exactly – and mine know me. What kind of knowledge does it allude to? It is knowledge in the biblical sense, which means having a personal relationship with Him, experiencing His familiarity, His friendship, weaving in the depths of the heart an intimate communion with His divine life. Now, precisely because the shepherd is Jesus, this knowledge becomes an ever-growing adventure, to the point of crossing the threshold to intimacy with the Father: “I give them eternal life … and no one can snatch them from the hand of my Father”.

Knowing Jesus is therefore an experience that radically changes life because it puts us in contact with the good Shepherd, better yet, with the ‘Beautiful Shepherd’, as the Greek text states: The Compassionate One, the Thoughtful One, the Merciful One, who offers Himself for us. For four times the apostle John reiterates it, wanting to bring out the passionate love of God who gives His life for the sheep by tearing them from the violent hands of thieves and brigands. He gives His life, even more, “He lays it down” says the Greek text, as He will lay down his garments to wash the disciples’ feet, exhorting them to emulate Him: “You must also wash one another’s feet”.

Those who know Jesus, precisely because He is familiar to them and a friend, are urged to act like Him, giving life, laying down the garb of exteriority to be clothed in the life of God, putting on the towel of service and hospitable welcome.

Grant that I may know You and recognize You Lord in docile and humble listening to Your Word that urges me to put aside my whole self in order to put on You in the fullness of love.

The voice of Enzo Bianchi, First Prior of the Bose Community 

Hearing is easy if our ears function, but listening is an art because we listen with our eyes, with our heart, with our intelligence.

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 23, 2018

Fourth Monday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Fourth Monday of Easter, April 23, 2018 

WORD of the DAY 

 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. (John 10: 9) 

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus says that to enter the fold of God, which is the space of freedom and true life, one must go through a gate. This gate was closed because of the ‘no’ that the man had said to God. This gate was also narrow, difficult to open, low, tiring for those who had tried to force it open. But it was the gate of life. Jesus opened it with the hard trial of His death on the cross. But here He further deepens the discourse by saying that the gate is He Himself. And it is an even more effective image in expressing the basic idea: Jesus is the meaning of existence: mine, yours, that of everyone. He is the meaning, the truest and noblest content, and the condition for orientation, and reaching the goal. Jesus gives meaning to our existence because He says that by going through where He has passed (passion, death but also resurrection) we fulfill ourselves and qualify life around us. Jesus is the content of our existence because He himself said: “I am life”; Jesus is the condition, the orientation to reach where He is to lead us with Himself to the Father in the strength-Love of the Spirit, in a climate of agility, freedom, and full life  ‘will come in, will come out, will find pasture’).

Today, in my pause for contemplation, I will ask the Holy Spirit to make these thoughts become the restful climate of my heart, certainty, and light to walk with a tranquil step and a serene soul in my daily life. 

The voice of William Blake, English Poet 

When the doors of perception open, all things appear as they really are: infinite.

 

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 22, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 22, 2018 

WORD of the DAY 

 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.    (John 10: 16)

 How shall I live this Word?

Today the liturgy presents us with this image of a genuine and strong Messiah as a shepherd who takes care of his sheep.  This is a habitual reality for the Jews, a people dedicated to sheep farming and expert in recognizing their flock, in caring for it carefully, despite the weight of this task.

But here John shows us the identikit of a shepherd who does not care only about the sheep of his fold. He is one who looks far, who overcomes fences, who takes the trouble of ‘leading’ other flocks. He is conscious of the power of His voice and of the charm that His person emanates so much so as to affirm: “they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd”.

We are in an ecumenical, inter-religious climate *, the one inaugurated by Jesus. In fact, despite His Jewish roots, that is, of a man belonging fully to the chosen people, Christ does not exclude that there are others who can obtain the ‘life in abundance’ that He has come to bring. It is enough to listen to His voice to have a part in his Kingdom. Certainly, a true listening is necessary, the will to follow the word heard and to make it become life.

Therefore, no one is excluded by Jesus from the encounter with His mercy, even though fragile, guilty, considered distant.

The voice of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians 2: 18

Through Jesus Christ we all, Jews and pagans, can present ourselves to God the Father, united by the same Holy Spirit.

On April 25, 2018, St. Biagio will host an inter-religious day to promote peace and life.

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 21, 2018

Third Saturday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Saturday of Easter, April 21, 2018 

WORD of the DAY 

  Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.    (John 6: 67-69) 

How shall I live this Word?

It is the moment of crisis. The crowd moves away from Jesus because they refuse His message of adherence to the will of the Father.  And not only the crowd, but also the disciples, the closest, show perplexity: “Maybe you also want to leave?”.  The question of Jesus is direct, vital. Peter answers for everyone: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone have words of eternal life “. What is expressed by Peter is still a faith dictated above all by immediacy, by affection. Only later will the head of the apostles succeed in giving substance to this answer, although through denials and flights. Only later will he understand the lesson of the Master: the washing of the feet, that is, the one that involves participating in the Eucharist with awareness.

The voice of Pope Francis

Believing in Jesus means making him the center, the meaning of our life. Christ is not an accessory element: He is the “living bread”, our indispensable nourishment. Binding oneself to Him in a true relationship of faith and love, does not mean being chained, but profoundly free, always on the way. Each of us can ask ourselves: who is Jesus for me? Is He a name, an idea, just a historical character? Or is He really that person who loves me, who gave His life for me, and walks with me? Who is Jesus for you? Are you with Jesus? Are you trying to know him in His word? Do you read the Gospel, every day a passage from the Gospel to get to know Jesus? Do you carry the little Gospel in your pocket, in your bag, to read it, everywhere? “.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 20, 2018

Third Friday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Friday of Easter, April 20, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.    (John 6: 56-57)

How shall I live this Word?

The term remain, so dear to the evangelist John, is introduced here for the first time in his Gospel. It means communion of life. It is the typical term of love. The reality of two beings, though remaining distinct, remain in one another. It is the song of reciprocity. Therefore, it can happen that those who participate in the Eucharist without thinking about what they are doing do not enter into communion with the Lord. On the contrary, to love means to consciously welcome the other “to become his home” to remain and make Him remain.

 

In prayer, I will ask the Lord Jesus to grant that I may remain in Him and that He will make me His dwelling.

 

The voice of Theologians, Dombes Group

Sharing the same bread and the same chalice in a determined place, unites the faithful to the total Christ, uniting them among each other and with all those who participate of the same bread…thus, communion is the source and the strength of all community life among Christians.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 19, 2018

Third Thursday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Thursday of Easter, April 19, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.       (John 6: 51)

 

How shall I live this Word?

 

The evangelist John, the beloved, continues to communicate the great message of a God who makes Himself bread and flesh for us. “The flesh of Jesus, His humanity offered on the cross, becomes a total gift of love in the epiphany of that God whom no one has ever seen”.  Flesh and life are the two words that are very present in these Gospel passages. Life for the world, which embraces everyone, no one excluded. A promise, indeed a reality that is perpetually fulfilled and that places itself in the attitude of deeply felt gratitude: we are connected to eternal happiness, to the endless life earned for us by the Lamb of God.

 

Lord, have mercy on us, on me. 

The voice of St. Pope John XXIII from The Journal of a Soul

The Lord leaves us in uncertainty regarding our eternal health, but He furnishes us with signs that are enough to calm us interiorly and that make happiness flower.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 18, 2018

Third Wednesday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Wednesday of Easter, April 18, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

 And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it [on] the last day.  For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him [on] the last day.   (John 6: 39-40)

 

How shall I live this Word?

We could say that Pope Francis wants to incarnate this Gospel in his life.  In fact, his ‘no’ to the culture of waste, to which he continually returns, clearly refers to the words of the Teacher.  The will of the Father is to communicate His life to His children.  For this reason, Jesus came down from Heaven and fulfills the Father’s work so that nothing may be lost of what He loves.  We too are involved in the paternal will that promises the resurrection as a recompense.  United to God, we are in communion with the very principle of life.

In my prayer today, I will ask the Lord to help me to never ‘throw away’ anything or anyone that He loves and to live the dimension of ‘no one excluded’.

The voice of Fr. Ermes Ronchi

God saves, this is His name.  To save means to preserve.  It is His precise will that nothing should go lost, not an affection, not a glass of fresh water, not even the tiniest blade of grass.

A prayer for the dead, perhaps the most beautiful one, invokes: ‘Admit them to enjoy the Light of Your face’.  Eternity blossoms in verbs of joy.  God is not the answer to our need for explanations, but to our need for happiness.  He is this for my senses, my spirit, my affections and heart, for the totality of my person.

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 17, 2018

Third Tuesday of Easter

 FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Tuesday of Easter, April 17, 2018

 WORD of the DAY 

  So, they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.  

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst”.    (John 6: 34-35)

 How shall I live this Word?

Despite Jesus’ desire for the crowd to understand the sign of the bread in its essential meaning, the request still remains on a totally material level.  So, the Teacher corrects them and explains it again.  “I am the bread of life”.  It is an existential nourishment that takes away hunger from things and goods that are superfluous.

“Whoever comes to me will never hunger”.

It is the complete satisfaction of our most radical needs.  It is the source of a happiness that takes away the thirst for water that is murky and deluding.  It is the promise of a gift that endures and endures forever.  It is the simple and profound gift of a God who becomes bread for our life.

In my prayer today, I will say: Grant Lord that I may always hunger and thirst for You.  Grant me a pure heart so that I may find You in my daily life.

The voice of Pope John XXIII

This Easter time will be only one feast for me in which, calmer in the interior joy of my soul, I will come tasting Your sweetness and I will never depart from Your feast of love.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 16, 2018

Third Monday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Monday of Easter, April 16, 2018 

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.  Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.    (John 6: 26-27)

 

How shall I live this Word?

In the preceding days, the crowds had followed Jesus and were present at the multiplication of the bread and they had been sated.  When they realize that the Teacher is no longer where the miracle had happened, they get on boats and go toward Capernaum.  When they arrive on the other shore, they ask Jesus when He had arrived there.  It was a question dictated by self-interest.

The Lord tries to correct their intentions.  “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life”.  It is the food of His Word, the only food that can satisfy us.  It is the gift that the Son of Man gives to us every day because “On Him the Father has set His seal”.

Lord Jesus, we too, like the crowds in the Gospel, look for You, but there is no boat that can bring us to You.  Give us the joy of finding You in the Eucharist each day.

 The voice of Pope John XXIII

 O Jesus, true bread, the unique and only substantial nourishment of souls, unite all peoples around Your table.  Nourish us with Yourself, Oh Jesus, and we will be strong in faith, joyous in hope, active in multiplying works of charity.

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 15, 2018

Third Sunday of Easter

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Third Sunday of Easter, April 15, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you… While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them”.    (Luke 24: 36-43)

 

How shall I live this Word?

“Shalom!  Peace be with you!”  This is the definitive gift of the Risen One.  It is the fulfillment of every human desire as God promised.  But the apostles are still dumbstruck and fearful.  So, the Teacher asks for something to eat.  Luke insists a lot on the body of the Risen One and perhaps he does this thinking of those who, like us, must believe without seeing, without being able to place our finger in the wounds of the One who saved us.

Today, Jesus’ presence is given to us in the Eucharist, the divine and very human gift of a closeness and of a love that daily accompanies us.  Not only can we touch Jesus, but we can possess Him and be possessed by Him through the metabolism of His mercy, of His meekness, of His gaze, of His availability to His sisters and brothers who walk with us. 

I will pray today: “Lord Jesus, come to dwell in me and be light for my path, bread for my hunger, pure font for my thirst. 

The voice of a Monk 

They lived in the city of love, the new Jerusalem they were building.  There was unanimity in the practice of fraternal love, in the unity of spirit, and there was harmony in the very patient waiting for the Holy Spirit.

 

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