Posted by: livingscripture | January 18, 2020

First Saturday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Saturday of Ordinary Time

  18 January 2020

WORD of the DAY 

Once again he went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them.   As he passed by,  he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.  While he was at table in his house,  many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him.   Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus heard this and said to them [that], “Those who are well do not need a physician,  but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”   (Mark 2: 13-17)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Having embraced our human nature, Jesus acts in a fully human way. In today’s Gospel, we meet Him in the home of Levi, the rich tax collector.  He is at dinner with many invited guests who are not models of good works.  It is clear that their being familiar with the Rabbi Jesus arouses comments and surprise that is certainly not approval.  Jesus is not in agreement with their spiritual illness that willingly combines their power with material well-being.  Rather Jesus accepts the invitation to dine with them and thus can affirm that He has not come for those who consider themselves just, good, healthy, and in place, but rather for those who are sinners and admit it.

Lord, how beautiful is Your communicability that is always honest and charitable, to the point of becoming a friend with those who are spiritually sick.  You benevolently approach them in order to bring them light and salvation.

The voice of the Gospel of Luke (4: 18)

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring glad tidings to the poor.”

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 17, 2020

First Friday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
First Friday of Ordinary Time
17 January 2020

WORD of the DAY
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”… he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
(Mark 2: 2- 5/ 11-12)

How shall I live this Word?

The joyful statement of the people witnesses to the fascination that Jesus exercises with a power that is all in function of the people’s good and it is very great. When was it ever seen that in order to approach Jesus, a seriously sick man had to be literally lowered into a house by uncovering the roof?
In the face of these unheard of events, the evangelist Mark highlights the important question that arises in the minds of the scribes. It is incomprehensible how they can doubt the true identity of the man Jesus, His explicit divinity, not only by healing but even more, by forgiving sins. These people simply do not want to believe the evidence of facts. These men are not true persons open to the truth, rather, they seek affirmation for what makes them feel comfortable.

Lord, grant me a heart that is open to the truth, in me, around me, in the complexity of facts that are sometimes complicated. You who are the Truth par excellence, grant that I may be a totally sincere person and thus simple and illumined by You, Lord Jesus, Incarnate Truth.

The voice of Paschal Blaise, great thinker
The wisdom of God says: I have created humans holy, innocent, perfect. I have communicated to them my glory; I have filled them with light and intelligence. However, human beings did not sustain such glory without falling. They fell into presumption.
__________________________________________________________________________

Posted by: livingscripture | January 16, 2020

First Thursday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
First Thursday of Ordinary Time
16 January 2020

WORD of the DAY
A leper came to him [and kneeling down] begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. (Mark 1: 40-45)

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus had just sent the leper away for whom He had obtained the complete cure of his terrible disease through the healing power of His Word. It is interesting that Jesus tells the cured man go to the priests, but Jesus’ real intention is revealed in another way. Yes, thanks, gratitude for being freed from illness is certainly necessary and it always comes from a heart that is alive, true, illumined.

Lord, my life, my hands at night, are filled with Your gifts, especially that of keeping me healthy in soul and body. Do not allow me to be ungrateful. In our society that is so intent on material goods, gratitude dies under the earth of superficiality, in the rush to obtain power and money, to amass material goods.
Do not allow the seed of THANKS to You and to the Father and the Holy Spirit wither and die before putting down roots in my life. Lord, give me a heart that is alive and always grateful.

The voice of a contemporary anonymous person
In our society that is so interested in material goods, too often gratitude dies under the ground of superficiality.
__________________________________________________________________________

Posted by: livingscripture | January 15, 2020

First Wednesday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Wednesday of Ordinary Time

  15 January 2020

WORD of the DAY 

The Lord came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel! Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” …Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to go unfulfilled.     (1 Samuel 3: 10/19)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Among the prophetic books that are part of the Old Testament, there are also two books of Samuel.  The dominant figure is that of Samuel, a young man totally open to the dictates of God, a young man who, according to the usage of the time, was serenely at the service of the great priest Eli.

The Word of God highlights the value of an obedience that is born from the pure heart of a young person.  He is not servile but rather illumined by obedience to Eli who is God’s representative and thus fulfills the divine plan and, at the same time, he fulfills himself.  Every true good comes to Eli and then the blessing also descends on those who are in relationship to him.

Lord, I want to focus well on the integrity that you emphasize of a heart that is pure because it is fully open to all You ask of it.  Lord, the good that comes from it is great, not only for the one who is obedient, but also for those who are related to You in some way.  Please, grant me a heart that is simple and good because it is faithful in obeying You on the paths that You indicate to me.

The voice of a contemporary anonymous person

Samuel responded at once to the Lord.  We too can live this promptness in responding to God if we discover that God only wants our true good and wants it now.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 14, 2020

First Tuesday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
First Tuesday of Ordinary Time
14 January 2020

WORD of the DAY
Then they came to Capernaum, and on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

(Mark 1: 21-22)

How shall I live this Word?

The authority of Jesus is like the sun when it rises to brighten the day. But at noon and in the first afternoon hours, it is advisable not to expose oneself too much. Too much sun can cause grave consequences. The human-divine Person of Jesus certainly did not lack that authentic value which is authoritativeness, like the sun that revives your strength when you expose yourself to it. Authoritarianism, on the other hand, is the opposite. It manifests itself when the person is self-centered and seeks approval, praise, agreement, and even the subjection of those who share life with them.
Jesus, so rich in tenderness with each person, had very strong words towards scribes and Pharisees. He called them hypocrites; in fact authoritarianism is a form of betrayal. When true, authority conceives love as a service to life, as a possibility of good for others. It is no coincidence that the etymology of the word ‘Authority’ comes from ‘Augere’, which means to increase. In fact, people who have authority, by living the task of authority well, clearly fulfill their life in the design of a God who wanted them capable of so much, so that the light and fire of love would grow in the world, which is far from a small thing.

Lord, make me capable of being authoritative in view of the tasks you entrust to me. Help me to exercise any authority I may have with humility and thoughtfulness, in a spirit of service.

The voice of Earl Nightingale
A person in authority is not necessarily a saint, an artist, a philosopher, or a hero, but one who respects the truth, appreciates the beautiful, knows how to behave, and is courageous in fulfilling their obligations.
__________________________________________________________________________

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 13, 2020

First Monday of Ordinary Time 13 January 2020

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Monday of Ordinary Time

  13 January 2020

WORD of the DAY 

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen.  Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.  He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets.  Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him. (Mark 1: 16-20)

 

How shall I live this Word?

This scene with the background of the shore of the huge lake similar to an ocean is very beautiful.  Still more beautiful is the promptness with which Simon and Andrew accept the invitation to follow Jesus.  long ago in time, this way of acting stimulates us today  to live the newness of faith that implies continual promptness and decision.

Lord, in order to follow what the Gospel proposes to us, it is important that we do not weigh what is to be undertaken and what is to be left.  Lord, give me clarity of views in the full light of the Faith.   Grant me the courage of discernment about taking and leaving.  Give my small life a great love that makes me authentically a disciple: not so much through my words but through my choices.

The voice of Pope Francis at the Angelus on 9/13/2015

Following Christ means taking up our cross, which we all have, in order to accompany Him on His journey, a journey that is uncomfortable.  It is not one of success, of passing glory, but one that leads to true freedom, one that frees us from egoism and sin.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 12, 2020

BAPTISM OF JESUS

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Sunday 12 January 2020
BAPTISM OF JESUS

WORD of the DAY
I, the Lord, have called you for justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.
(Isaiah:42: 6-7)

How shall I live this Word?

Power and life is the Word of the Prophet, as though it had just come from His mouth. The Prophet Isaiah, a very authoritative figure of the Old Testament, is still very timely because today, every person is called to justice above all. Certainly, everything is important: help, understanding, compassion. However, what supports the whole structure of good works is ‘Justice. This goes beyond all other virtues, even charity, because when we exercise charity, justice is always brought into play. All lack of charity comes from those whose hearts are drowning in the black waters of injustice.
We have known people who are exteriorly impeccable but are unjust in work or in other relationships, for example, a husband towards his wife and vice versa. Injustice can manifest itself in erroneous relationships between women and men, between parents and children, etc. Sometimes, our negative rapport with justice provokes denunciation by atheists or non-Christians.

Lord, You who are always JUSTICE par excellence, support me in my being and in my actions, so that I may be one of the just to whom You open the doors of Heaven .

The voice of Pope Francis (Address of the Holy Father on the occasion of the Meeting with the Authorities of Kenya and the Diplomatic Corps – Apostolic Journey to Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, 11/25/2015)

There is a clear tie between the protection of nature and the edification of a just and equal social order. There cannot be a renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself.
__________________________________________________________________________

Posted by: livingscripture | January 11, 2020

Saturday 11 January 2020

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Saturday 11 January 2020

WORD of the DAY

Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately.
(Luke 5: 12-13)

How shall I live this Word?

The necessary and sufficient condition for receiving attention and healing from Jesus is to recognize ourselves as sick, as this figure of the leper teaches us and that we could define as the patient par excellence. As long as we are surrounded by the tremendous and putrid leprosy which is sin, we are deprived of the original beauty and we obscure our resemblance to God. One of the most decisive operations of the Holy Spirit when He acts in us, is to convince us about our sin. Docile to the action of the Spirit, we mature a more attentive and penetrating gaze on our own gestures, on our ways of thinking, on our attitudes, on our actions and reactions. We learn to observe ourselves with a sober sense of the distance that exists between what we are now and what we would like to be, what we are called to be. The outstretched hand of the leper and his insistent plea are an expression of that typically evangelical desire to come to resemble Jesus more, denying the carnality and ugliness that belong to us. True healing is to get out of ourselves.

I propose to prepare myself well to receive the Sacrament of Confession, making a revision of life, underlining the points that most interest my spiritual progress. I will carefully plan the time of Confession and meditate to implement concrete gestures of change.

The voice of Teihlard de Chardin
The greatest danger that today’s humanity can fear is not a catastrophe that comes from outside, a stellar catastrophe, nor is it hunger or the plague. It is instead that spiritual illness, the most terrible because the most directly human of the scourges, which is the loss of the zest for life.
__________________________________________________________________________

 

Posted by: livingscripture | January 10, 2020

Friday 10 January 2020

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Friday 10 January 2020

WORD of the DAY
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4: 17-21)

How shall I live this Word?

Many people are willing to listen to teachings, lessons, insights also regarding religion, the Bible, spirituality. Many are willing to reserve spaces for these interests. However, for many it is difficult to go beyond the immediate complacency of a beautiful homily, knowing that it is not enough to expand one’s notions to be good Christians. Many lack the willingness to let themselves be truly transformed by the message listened to, the docility required of every good disciple is missing. It is pleasant for many to listen, enjoy the logical consistency and affability of the speech, but it can be surprising, scandalous, and annoying to see this Word take flesh in a concrete behavior, in a person with certain determined features, with that voice, with that face on which weigh our prejudices. It is difficult to bring the Word down into well-defined life choices in our everyday life. So today Jesus invites us to raise our eyes from the ‘letter’ to look Him in the face, He true Word, He who is also the author and transmitter of the Word.

Today as I meditate based on what the Word of God inspires me, I will also gather all the thoughts that come to mind and examine them to see where my heart is. I will ask God to help me to be at ease with my interior world and not allow myself to be dominated by what moves inside me without giving me peace.

The voice of Paul Ricoeur, Economist
What I am is immeasurable with what I know.
__________________________________________________________________________

Posted by: livingscripture | January 9, 2020

Thursday 9 January 2020

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Thursday 9 January 2020

WORD of the DAY

Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.

(Mark 6: 45-46)

How shall I live this Word?

For those who do apostolic work and strive to proclaim the Kingdom of God, immersed in many ‘pastoral’ activities and encounters, the drama of converging active commitment with personal and attentive contact with the Lord continues daily. We see from this passage of the Gospel that it is up to Jesus to dismiss the crowd, so it is clear that we must leave the last word to Him, the last impression to be delivered: something beautiful must remain of the moment spent together. At the right time, the apostle must thus withdraw and allow Jesus Himself to greet, to shake hands, to caress, renewing the appointment at the first good occasion. If until then we have been with Jesus, if we have proclaimed the Gospel in His company, now we must withdraw and seek Him again, but in another environment, with the light dimmed, in a more intimate and personal encounter. It is a time when an abyss of emptiness may seem to loom over us, now that we are alone with ourselves and we feel emptied, deprived of everything, and without any guarantee for the future: ‘Is He real?’ But the success of our serving others will be in proportion to our ability to recognize the features of Jesus even ‘at night!’

I will seek to make each of my choices be a step closer to Jesus. Perhaps it will mean renouncing some activity that is unnecessary and that could even distance me from Him. I will choose a contemplative rest that regenerates my spirit!

The voice of Michel Quoist, Priest
While the entire world weighs on me with its misery and sin, I repeat my yes to You, not laughingly but slowly, knowingly, humbly… Alone, O Lord, before You, in the peace of the night.

__________________________________________________________________________

 

Older Posts »

Categories