Posted by: livingscripture | February 21, 2018

First Wednesday of Lent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Wednesday of Lent, February 21, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.   (Luke 11: 31)

How shall I live this Word?

This text is very interesting in which Jesus reveals His complete awareness of His identity as a Divine Person (the Person of the Word!).  Thus, He can compare Himself to Solomon, the wisest king who was so popular with his people of Israel.

Jesus reminds His contemporaries, and especially His bitter opponents, that the Queen of the South did not hesitate to make a long voyage that was certainly dangerous as well, to consult Solomon, the Sovereign who at that time was synonymous with wisdom personified.

The Queen of Sheba is therefore the strongest paradigm to alert those people about the identity of the Rabbi whose divine identity they did not understand (or want to understand), which was not separated from His full humanity.

Lord, You are the greatest Person of all time and all places.  If now You would hide the radiance of Your divinity, it is only because we would not be able to support its omnipotence or its splendor.  Keep this alive in our memory so that our life may be daily exposed to the light of Your being the Master of that life which from You is redemption and salvation.

The Message of St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church

Do you want to be great?  Begin by being little.  Do you want to build an edifice that reaches to the sky? First build the foundations of humility.

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Posted by: livingscripture | February 20, 2018

First Tuesday of Lent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Tuesday of Lent, February 20, 2018

WORD of the DAY  

Yet just as from the heavens

the rain and snow come down

And do not return there

till they have watered the earth,

making it fertile and fruitful,

Giving seed to the one who sows

and bread to the one who eats,

So shall my word be

that goes forth from my mouth;

It shall not return to me empty,

but shall do what pleases me,

achieving the end for which I sent it.

 (Isaiah 55: 10-11)

How shall I live this Word?

Isaiah is a prophet and also a poet and a painter.  Without brushes or water colors, he presents a picture that inspires peace and hope.  It is like when, in advanced winter, we contemplate a snow scene from our window, or the whisper of the rain of the roof tiles.  We know, although we may not be farmers, that the snow and the rain are a promise of golden stalks after the process of germination and growth in their rhythm.  It is bread, in the cottage, it is a sure bet won.  Thus – says Isaiah – it is of the WORD OF GOD. If you welcome it, read it and re-read it with the attention of your mind; if you meditate on it in your heart, it will not disappoint you, provided you never disregard the beauty and goodness God has dreamed for us.

The Word of God then becomes spiritual BREAD for our sustenance and it strengthens us on the journey of salvation, just as the Lord desires.

Jesus, make me alert, attentive, persevering in nourishing myself with Your WORD, the bread of life and of growth into eternal life.

The Message of a contemporary person

Your Word is a light for my steps, bread for my hunger.

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Posted by: livingscripture | February 19, 2018

WHISPERS FOR LENT

“We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.”
— St. Francis de Sales

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“And so the idea of peace came down to do the work of peace: The Word was made flesh and even now dwells among us. It is by faith that he dwells in our hearts, in our memory, our intellect and penetrates even into our imagination. What concept could man have of God if he did not first fashion an image of him in his heart? By nature incomprehensible and inaccessible, he was invisible and unthinkable, but now he wished to be understood, to be seen and thought of. But how, you ask, was this done? He lay in a manger and rested on a virgin’s breast, preached on a mountain, and spent the night in prayer. He hung on a cross, grew pale in death, and roamed free among the dead and ruled over those in hell. He rose again on the third day, and showed the apostles the wounds of the nails, the signs of victory; and finally in their presence he ascended to the sanctuary of heaven. How can we not contemplate this story in truth, piety and holiness?”
— St. Bernard
Posted by: livingscripture | February 19, 2018

First Monday of Lent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Monday of Lent, February 19, 2018

WORD of the DAY  

You shall not hate any of your kindred in your heart. Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.   Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.    (Leviticus 19: 17-18)

How shall I live this Word?

Leviticus is a Book of the Bible and belongs to the Old Testament.  The name LEVITICUS, expresses that it has been written especially for the Levites who formed the priestly class of the people of Israel.  It was a class entirely occupied with teaching how to live the Law of God in all its details of interior attitudes and of behaviors.

It is lovely to grasp here a precise will of God regarding the CARE of what is in the full light of truth outside of the ‘fetid swamp’ which is worrying about ‘appearing’ like good people rather than truly being so.

It is this absolute opposition between the truth of being and the lie of appearing that Jesus Himself will denounce with the strongest and harshest words of the whole Gospel.  If you are in authority or even if you hold the affection or consent of a loved one, a reproof can seem hard and unseemly. Yet life often requires it.

Lord, grant me the light of the Holy Spirit so that I will not fear to reprove someone when it is for their good.  However, grant that I may do so without harshness, like one who proffers medicine in order to heal, and never to vent my own irritations or for other reasons.

The Message of Anselm d’Aosta, Theologian

I adjure you Lord, grant that I may see your light (…) teach me to look for you and show yourself when I look for you. May I seek you with my desire and desire you while I seek you.

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Posted by: livingscripture | February 18, 2018

First Sunday of Lent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

First Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

God said: This is the sign of the covenant that I am making between me and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come:  I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.    (Genesis 9: 12)

How shall I live this Word?

The page of Genesis the Liturgy offers us today as we begin Lent is very beautiful.   The Word of God is in the rainbow, a natural phenomenon that marks the passage of a period of tempest to a serene quiet.  This is how the great LOVE of God is expressed.  In fact, it regards that pact of Eternal Love that God desires to make with His people – the Covenant – and with each one of us.

In times like ours, marked by the deterioration of many of the earth’s elements, not only for climactic cataclysms, but also due to our abuses and neglect, this Bible page is very encouraging.

Lord, the Old and New Covenants throughout sacred history tell us how You have our good at heart.  The gift of the rainbow of seven colors shines like a sign-promise that You love us with a strong and tender love that will never change.  Yes, Lord, the rainbow as a meteorological phenomenon shines when the sky is ending the struggle with lightning and wind.  We ask ourselves if it is perhaps also necessary that our heart shine with the rainbow of a faith that generates hope and strength to overcome with God, various difficulties, and enables us to promote all that lives, that is Your gift for our life?

It is logical for believers, Christian or not, to know how to be aware of the rainbow of Your COVENANT: the certainty of a love – SALVATION – that redeems life everywhere.  With You, we will protect everything be it a stray dog, an abandoned cat, a little bird, a tiny worm on the road.  Yes, Lord, all that You have created is in some measure sacred.  How much more then is every human son and daughter of Yours sacred!

The Message of Etty Hillesum, Young Jewish Woman martyred at Auschwitz

If you know how to assign even the cold of the day to the right place in your life, you will not be disenchanted for long.  Because you know even that is part of life.

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Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy

E-mail:     srmterzo@gmail.com

Website: www.sanbiagio.org  info@sanbiagio.org

Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com

Comment by Sr. Maria Pia Giudici, FMA

 

Posted by: livingscripture | February 17, 2018

Saturday after Ash Wednesday

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Saturday after Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2018

WORD of the DAY  

“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.  I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” (Luke 5: 32)

How shall I live this Word?

Today, the Gospel presents us with the call and election of Matthew-Levi as a follower and an apostle of Jesus.  He calls him in his situation and in his trade as the collector of taxes, a profession that was considered evil but was tolerated by the people who considered him an accomplice of the Roman oppressors of the time and therefore a sinner.

At Jesus’ call, Levi left everything and got up and followed Him.  The Gospel here shows the characteristics of this special vocation to be an apostle of Jesus.  First, he leaves everything and trusts in divine providence.  Second, he gets us, that is, he does not remain in his former position, but accepts to live a new reality.  Third, he follows Jesus, accepting His message of salvation and then living it in his life and spreading it to others.

Matthew becomes an example for every Christian vocation that is accomplished by accepting the letter of God’s Word.

O Lord, grant that I too may respond with promptness and enthusiasm to the vocation You have reserved for me.

 

The Message of Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience August 16, 2006

Matthew got up and followed Him!  In this ‘getting up’, it is legitimate to read the detachment from a situation of sin along with the adhesion to a new life, upright, and in communion with Jesus.

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Posted by: livingscripture | February 16, 2018

Friday after Ash Wednesday

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Friday after Ash Wednesday, February 16, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

“Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.    (Matthew 9: 15)

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus’ presence gives us joy and happiness.  Thus, it is not necessary to perform the penitential practice of fasting.  His love pervades our life and gives us enthusiasm for acting.  This does not mean a thoughtless lack of consideration, but serenity because God is close to us and loves us and we do not give in to the temptation to do everything by ourselves.

For the ancient ones, fasting was also a community practice, thus if the bridegroom is present, as Jesus says, then the community must celebrate.  For Christians, the sacramental and real presence of Jesus is in the Eucharist, and for this reason our joy is never diminished.  It is always united to the effort to witness to our love toward God and to our sisters and brothers.

O Lord, Your presence fills me with joy.  Make me a sign of Your love among my sisters and brothers.

 

The Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2018

Fasting takes away power from our violence, it disarms us, and is an important occasion for growth.  On the one hand, it allows us to experience what all those who lack what is strictly necessary and know the daily suffering of hunger.  On the other hand, it expresses the condition of our spirit, hungry for goodness and thirsty for the life of God.  Fasting wakes us up, makes us more attentive to God and to our neighbor, restores the will to obey God, who alone can satisfy our hunger.

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Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy

E-mail:     srmterzo@gmail.com

Website: www.sanbiagio.org  info@sanbiagio.org

Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com

Comment by Fr. Mario Maritano, SDB

 

Posted by: livingscripture | February 15, 2018

LENTEN LIVING

“What was the first rule of our dear Savior’s life? You know it was to do His Father’s will. Well, then, the first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly to do it in the manner He wills; and thirdly, to do it because it is His will.”
— St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Winnow not in every wind, and do not start off in every direction (Sirach 5:11). It is essential to discern what the Spirit wants when we are making important choices in our lives. Through prayer, fasting, spiritual reading, spiritual advice, discernment of signs, sorting out our hidden motivations, etc., we develop a sense of what God wants of us.”
— Rev. Jude Winkler, O.F.M.
Posted by: livingscripture | February 15, 2018

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Thursday after Ash Wednesday, February 15, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”    (Luke 9: 23)

How shall I live this Word?

As we enter into Lent, we hear the Word of Jesus resounding in us on the need to deny ourselves, take our cross, and follow the Savior.  He asks us to renounce our egoism, to open ourselves to charity and sharing, in a word, to follow His example.

It deals with becoming conscious of our condition as sinners, to convert ourselves to God with our whole heart and soul; to listen to His divine Word; to act as the real sons and daughters of God.

God is always close to us, the first impulse and the first help for conversion come from Him.  It is a gift that we must ask for with insistence and perseverance.

Embracing our cross, which God in His justice and goodness, gives us according to our possibility of carrying it, will give us peace and joy in accomplishing His will.

O Father, take from us our lazy and torpid conscience, made so by sin, and grant that by grasping the judgment of Your Word on our incoherence, we may live in a more responsible way our commitment of faith.  Amen.

 

The Message of Pope Francis at the Angelus on June 19, 2016

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” This does not mean a decorative cross, or an ideological cross, but the cross of life.  It is the cross of our duties, the cross of sacrificing ourselves for each other with love, for parents, children, the family, for friends, even for enemies.  It is the cross of availability to be in solidarity with the poor; to work for justice and peace. 

 

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Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy

E-mail:     srmterzo@gmail.com

Website: www.sanbiagio.org  info@sanbiagio.org

Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com

Comment by Fr. Mario Maritano, SDB

 

Posted by: livingscripture | February 14, 2018

ASH WEDNESDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 

WORD of the DAY 

 

“Your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.” (Mark 8: 16)

How shall I live this Word?

Today is Ash Wednesday, the time dedicated to prayer in a special way, to penance, to charity.  Jesus exhorts us above all, to not put ourselves in the limelight to be praised by others.  Instead, penance is centered mainly at the interior level: dominate our thoughts, act by doing good to everyone, depriving ourselves of superfluous things and, if possible, sharing what we have by helping those in need and the disadvantaged.

Charity requires that no one should be deprived of the essentials for life: food, shelter, dignified and remunerative work.  As Christians, we are called to make our voice heard against the exploitation of people, against discrimination, and for whatever other just motive.

Help me, Lord, to make available to the less fortunate whatever I can so that as children of God, we can recognize each other as brothers and sisters.

 

The Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2018

This year as well, with the present message, I desire to help the whole Church to live with joy and truth, this time of grace.  And I do this by letting myself be inspired by the expression of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel: “For the spread of evil, the love of many becomes cold” (Mt. 24: 12).

 

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Institute of Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy

E-mail:     srmterzo@gmail.com

Website: www.sanbiagio.org  info@sanbiagio.org

Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com

Comment by Fr. Mario Maritano, SDB

 

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