Posted by: livingscripture | June 29, 2019

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
12th Saturday of Ordinary Time
SAINTS PETER and PAUL
June 29, 2019

WORD of the DAY

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it”. (Matthew 16: 15-18)

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus changes the name of Simon, son of Jonah, and in the new name – Peter –his mission, which he will be called to carry out, is indicated: to become a stone on which He can build the Church. But not because he is good, intelligent, “neither flesh nor blood has revealed this to you” but because “the Father has revealed Him to you” (Mt 16-17). Even Saul will realize that when Jesus is encountered, life changes completely and he will pass from Saul to Paul, that is ‘little’, because “I have been crucified with Christ, yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me”(Gal 2: 19 b-20). Both of them with their passionate and unreserved love for Jesus put their lives at the service of others: Peter in the ministry of authority at the service of communion and unity; and Paul in attentive listening to the Spirit who continuously opens borders and paths for the proclamation of the Gospel. Peter and Paul have two different roles in the life of the Church but lived them in communion and complementarity. Entering our lives, the Lord puts us at the disposal of others, each one for the name we bear. For this service to remain a sign of our passionate love for Christ, it must have the dimension of communion, synodality, and complementarity.

Today I will pray to the Lord for Pope Francis.

The Voice of Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

The outgoing Church is a Church with open doors. Going out towards others to reach the human peripheries does not mean running towards the world without a direction and without meaning. Many times it is better to slow down the pace, set aside anxiety in order to look into the eyes and listen, or give up urgencies in order to accompany those who have remained at the edge of the road. Sometimes it is like the father of the prodigal son, who remains with the doors open so that when the son returns, he can enter without difficulty.
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Posted by: livingscripture | June 28, 2019

12th Friday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

12th Friday of Ordinary Time

June 28, 2019

WORD of the DAY 

He told them this parable: What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one  until he finds it?  And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.   (Luke 15: 3-7)

 

 How shall I live this Word?

Chapter 15 of Luke is the chapter of mercy. A single parable of tenderness and mercy, a teaching that unveils and reveals to us the heart of Jesus. The parable is addressed to ‘them’, Pharisees, scribes, to those who feel ‘just’, in order to convert them from ‘their own justice/ condemnation’, from their self-referential way of reasoning, to the way of reasoning of Mercy revealed by the shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, of the woman who seeks the lost coin, of the merciful Father who becomes a welcoming womb for his son, giving him back his life. Mercy is a gift that is not desired by those who believe they are righteous; but for those who know they are sinners it becomes a need.

Lord, Your Heart burns with love for us!  Grant that we may feel the need for Your Love and that we may yearn for Your Mercy!

The Voice of Pope Francis, Homily at St. Martha, November 7, 2013

The joy of God, who is a God who does not like to lose, is not a good loser and for this reason, in order not to lose, He comes out of Himself and goes looking. He is a God who seeks: He seeks all those who are far from Him. Like the shepherd, who goes to look for the lost sheep. Searches till the end, like this shepherd who goes in the dark, looking, until he finds it; or like the woman, who lights the lamp when she loses that coin, sweeps the house and searches carefully. Thus God seeks. Then, once the sheep is found and brought back into the fold, no one says: “You were lost”, but rather it is restored to its dignity saying: “You are one of us”. When He does this, “He is a God who rejoices.” In short, the joy of God is not the death of the sinner, but his life: it is joy. How far were these people who murmured against Jesus, how far from the heart of God! They didn’t know Him. They believed that being religious, that being good people meant always doing well, even if educated and many times pretending to be educated, right? This is the hypocrisy of grumbling. Instead, the joy of the Father, God, is that of love: He loves us ”.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 27, 2019

12th Thursday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
12th Thursday of Ordinary Time
June 27, 2019

WORD of the DAY

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. (Matthew 7: 21)

How shall I live this Word?

Lord, Lord is the liturgical acclamation of faith and prayer: The Lord is the Kyrios, God Jesus is the Lord, is the center of the Christian faith. Jesus is my God, my Lord.
This affirmation of faith, places us in front of the truth of our heart and our words: is Jesus really my Lord? How many lords do I have in my life? Is the Lord the beginning and the end of everything for me? Is Jesus the beginning and the end of my living?

And it is not enough to say: Lord, Lord to enter the kingdom of heaven. Faith is not enough. We need love, because it is love that places Him at the beginning and end of our concrete existence. Therefore, neither faith nor correct prayer is enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. We must do the will of the Father who is in heaven. We say it in the Our Father: Your will be done. The will of the Father is love. And love is expressed through the heart that loves and the hands that work according to the heart. Love is always active. Life expresses this love in the concreteness of gestures, of actions. And this is doing the will of the Father.

May Your will be done, Lord!

The Voice of Pope Francis, Homily at St. Martha, December 6, 2018

One enters the kingdom of heaven, one matures spiritually, one progresses in the Christian life by doing, not by saying. In fact, “saying is a way of believing, but sometimes it is very superficial, halfway”: as when “I say that I am a Christian but I do not do Christian things”. It is like ‘cosmetics’ because “to say only, is to put on makeup”, it is “saying without doing”.
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Posted by: livingscripture | June 26, 2019

12th Wednesday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
12th Wednesday of Ordinary Time
June 26, 2019

WORD of the DAY

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7: 15)

How shall I live this Word?

In this context, the false prophets are not those who say wrong things, but those who do not do what they say.
The real danger is not that of saying wrong things, after all, the Gospel is clear enough. The problem is doing the Gospel, living it. The false prophet is the one who lives this inconsistency between saying and doing and makes this inconsistency a system of life instead of the place of conversion. Now we all have this inconsistency, it’s part of our life. So? We can say that we are called to be true prophets, that is, to be those who, before calling others to conversion, call themselves and we are all urgently called to this conversion!

May Your Spirit Jesus daily give us the courage to live the Word of Your Gospel!

The Voice of Pope Francis, Homily at St. Martha, January 7, 2014

If this is in line with the Lord, you will be fine, but if it is not … Test the spirits to see if they really come from God, because many false prophets have come into the world. Prophets or prophecies or proposals: “I want to do this!” But this does not lead you to the Lord, it takes you away from Him. This requires vigilance. The Christian is a man or a woman who knows how to watch over their heart. And many times our heart, with so many things that come and go, seems like a local market: full of everything, you find everything there … No! We must test if this is of the Lord or is not – to remain in the Lord.
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Posted by: livingscripture | June 25, 2019

12th Tuesday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
12th Tuesday of Ordinary Time
June 25, 2019

WORD of the DAY

Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7: 6)

How shall I live this Word?

This rather harsh saying of Jesus is likely to have taken it from a popular proverb that had ritual “purity” as its theme. In the words of Jesus, among other things, two traditionally “unclean” animals appear, the dog and the pig. But what did Jesus want to emphasize? Certainly He does not care so much about the observance of some rule of “purity” ritual, also because He is often reproached for His liberties in this regard,
What, then, is the message He wants to give? Jesus says that the holy and precious doctrine of the Gospel can fall into the hands of people who abuse it, deform it and reject it. But who are they? At first glance we can think of the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, but we must not, however, ignore another profile that is somewhat disconcerting for us
Now, the cultural and religious Judaism to which Christ humanly belonged considered gojîm, the pagans, to be impure like dogs. We remember Jesus’ answer at first to the Syro-Phoenician woman who asks Him to heal her daughter: “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs”. Jesus also lived His journey of discernment. Jesus lived in His culture and He too gradually discovered the horizons of His mission. We must not forget that the heart of Christianity is in the Incarnation: Jesus was human like us. He too had to come to terms with life, to distinguish between what is good and what is bad, between what is good and what is best, which is very important. And life is a teacher if we know how to listen, but not only. A question can help us: does what I do really help to make me and the other grow? If yes, I do it. If not, and I sense that those in front of me are not able to accept or understand what I propose, or simply think it is bad, for the moment I do not do it. Because the Truth, the Good is to be done but with Respect, Charity, Love!

O Lord, make my heart meek and humble like Yours!

The Voice of Mother Mary Mazzarello, Letter 35: 3
Freely do all that charity requires!
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Posted by: livingscripture | June 24, 2019

Birth of John the Baptist

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
12th Monday of Ordinary Time
Birth of St. John the Baptist
June 24, 2019

WORD of the DAY

When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John”. (Luke 1: 59-60)

How shall I live this Word?
Zechariah asked for a tablet and wrote: “John is his name”. “(Lk 1: 63) The name John derives from the Hebrew name (Yochanan) composed by Yehō- (or Yah, abbreviation of Yahweh, which in Jewish tradition is the name of God and from chānān (or hanan, which means “had mercy”, or “had grace” or “was merciful”). The overall meaning can be interpreted as “YHWH is merciful”, “YHWH favored”, perhaps in reference to the birth of a long-awaited child. The name represents identity, essence. The name hides the mission, the vocation that God has written in the life of each human being, in the life of this prophet, that he will learn to know in time, in the events of his life. And it is so for each one of us: God has pronounced on us a name that represents His dream and therefore our identity. Elizabeth has the courage to recognize this name given by God and not ‘from flesh’, and accepts this name in freedom. They are children of God first of all and not appendages related to nature. They are identities called to discover and respond to their name, not to anything else!

Help me Lord to understand that I am accomplishing Your Dream for me! help me to be faithful to Your plan of happiness

The Voice of Pope Francis, Angelus, June 24, 2018

May the Holy Virgin help us to understand that in every human person there is the imprint of God, the source of life. She, Mother of God and our Mother, makes us more and more aware that in the generation of a child parents act as collaborators of God. A truly sublime mission that makes each family a sanctuary of life and awakens – every birth of a child – joy, amazement, gratitude!

Posted by: livingscripture | June 23, 2019

SOLEMNITY OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI
June 23, 2019

WORD of the DAY

The crowds, meanwhile, learned of this and followed him. He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, “Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here.” He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves. (Luke 9: 11-13)

How shall I live this Word?
Being welcomed, educated, healed, nourished by Jesus are the attitudes which drew the crowds who had set out to seek and follow the Master. It is His Style, fully human because divine: feeding the body, the mind, the heart and healing the body, the mind, the heart. They are not surrogates that are offered, but His Life, the total gift of Himself: His Body and His Blood. This teaches His disciples to live the same dynamic, to take charge, not to leave it to others. The Lord Jesus by giving us His Body and Blood to remain with us asks each one of us to make ourselves a gift of His Presence, to become a hand, a foot, a heart! We bless and thank you Lord!

Your Body and Your Blood Jesus are the gift through which You wanted to remain with us, Gifts of intimacy and strength. Only if we are fed of You and by You, can we become bread broken for our sisters and brothers. AMEN!

The Voice of Pope Francis, Homily of May 30, 2013

Where does the invitation come from that Jesus makes the disciples feed the multitude themselves? It comes from two elements: first of all from the crowd that, following Jesus, is outside, away from the inhabited places, while it is evening, and then by the concern of the disciples who ask Jesus to dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the neighboring towns to find food and lodging (Cf. Lk 9:12). Faced with the necessity of the crowd, here is the solution of the disciples: everyone thinks of him/herself; dismiss the crowd! How many times do we Christians have this temptation! We do not take on the needs of others, dismissing them with a pitiful: “May God help you”, or with a not so pitiful: “Good luck”… But Jesus’ solution goes in another direction, a direction that surprises the disciples: “You feed them” …It is a moment of profound communion: the crowd quenched by the word of the Lord, is now nourished by His bread of life. And all were satisfied.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 22, 2019

Eleventh Saturday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

11th Saturday of Ordinary Time

June 22, 2019

WORD of the DAY 

 

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’  All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.   (Matthew 6: 30-32)

 

 

How shall I live this Word?

Once again, using daily, simple images, Jesus speaks to us about the tenderness of the Father, about His care for all of us. We can rest assured and trust the One who, in addition to dressing the grass in the field with magnificent colors, knows our needs and responds to our expectations. The will of the Teacher to show the Father is very moving; His fatherly face is recalled 195 times in the Gospels, always in an attitude of caring, benevolence, mercy. So let us distance worry and inconclusive concerns, which take up space and time from our occupations. The mantra of the Christian is “Live the moment and live it in love”.

  

Today I will often repeat slowly the prayer Jesus taught us, ‘Our Father’, and I will let myself be wrapped in His tenderness.

The Voice of L. Cerfeaux, Theologian

Concrete immediate trust in Divine Providence is like the tassel of hope’s mantle.

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 21, 2019

Eleventh Friday in Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
11th Friday of Ordinary Time
June 21, 2019

WORD of the DAY

The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be! (Matthew 6: 22-23)

How shall I live this Word?

Having pure eyes is what is asked of us several times in the Gospel. The purity of the gaze on people, events, things makes us radiant and then “the whole body will be filled with light”. The way we look, evaluate, think, feel, walk, and act depends on the eye and the heart, which makes a person radiant or dark, and also the reality that surrounds them. From this radiance springs the positive thoughts, the joy of being together, the wonder and awe in front of creation and creatures.

The Voice of Henry Newman, a Great Convert

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home,
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene, one step enough for me.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | June 20, 2019

Eleventh Thursday in Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
11th Thursday of Ordinary Time
June 20, 2019

WORD of the DAY

In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven… (Matthew 6: 7-9)

How shall I live this Word?

Praying is being myself, finite and open to infinity. Prayer is not made of many words that do not communicate anything. Praying means abiding in God. He is at our door and asks us to come in and dine with us. He knocks insistently. It is up to us to open because the bolt is on our side. He awaits our response as a Father and listens to our requests, which He already knows. He even suggests the words, the meaning of our invocation. It is turning to the Father that Jesus taught us. It is calling God “our Father” in a chorus of brothers and sisters who together feel they are His children and thus can overcome the fatigue and at times, the fear of living. There is Someone who scrutinizes the horizon for our return from afar and comes to embrace us.

The Voice of St. Teresa of Avila
Since He is our Father, He must bear us despite the gravity of our offenses. He must forgive us when we return to Him as the prodigal son. He must console us in suffering. He must nourish us, as befits a Father like He is.

 

 

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