Posted by: livingscripture | December 6, 2019

First Friday of ADVENT

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

FIRST FRIDAY OF ADVENT

December 6, 2019

WORD of the DAY  

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed [him], crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!”  When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him.     (Matthew  9: 27-28)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Today the Word focuses on the encounter of Jesus with two blind people. Their request to restore their sight draws our attention to Jesus’ behavior towards them.  Not only in our times, but always, the fact that someone shouts in the street, has aroused negative reactions rather than compassionate listening.  The disturbance to the ears of those walking on the same route has more weight than the constant pain of those who cannot see anything or anyone. For Jesus it is simply the opposite: He listens, acts, and resolves their grave trouble with a positive concrete response.

This page of the Gospel also offers us the knowledge of Christ Jesus not only praised as Teacher but as True Man, with rich sensitivity in a living and participating heart.  Here Jesus is anything but indifferent. However, He wants to reinforce in these poor people a full trust in His human-divine person. The affirmative answer of the blind to such a categorical question: “Do you believe that I can do this?” Becomes for us today something that questions us on the meaning of authentic faith, profound, without hesitation. The question that the Word asks us is this: And do you really believe in Jesus today? He, the Only Begotten Son of the Father who created the world, He is the Lord of life and you can enjoy His rich positive aspects, unlike those who are blind with disbelief.

Lord, I cannot deny being blind to what is comfortable for me not to see: the good to be done, the evil to be avoided, the pain to be alleviated in life not only of my loved ones but of the poor in the world.  Grant Lord that  I may see and believe so that You may heal my blindness.

The voice of  Lev Tolstoy, Russian Author

Faith is the strength of life. If people live, it means that they believe in something. If they did not believe that we must live for something, they would not live. If they do not see and understand the illusory nature of the finite, they believe in this finite.  If they understand the illusory nature of the finite, they must believe in infinity. Without faith one cannot live.

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Posted by: livingscripture | December 5, 2019

First Thursday of ADVENT

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

FIRST THURSDAY OF ADVENT

December 5, 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?

This deeply wise word of Jesus illumines the path of Christian believers of all times. Indeed the temptation of a certain ‘blurry’ religiosity is to replace prayer with a lot of words: yes, a lot of expressions perhaps even high-sounding ones that caress the ears but do not illumine or feed the heart.

Warning! prayer is indispensable because, besides praising God, it frees the believers from presumptuous illusions and words, leading them to the true path of the Lord: that of asking Him for help (prayer) to fulfill His will.

Lord, when I was a child it was easier for me to climb a tree in the garden than to pray. Growing up, your Word helped me to understand and unify myself. Please help me to pray always but to draw strength from it for what matters most: to do what pleases You. Of great comfort to me is the certainty that what You want for me coincides with what saves me from evil and leads me to fulfill myself in doing good.

The voice of  the Bible, 1 John 2: 17

Yet the world and its enticements are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

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Posted by: livingscripture | December 4, 2019

First Wednesday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

FIRST WEDNESDAY OF ADVENT

December 4, 2019 

WORD of the DAY  

The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I lack.

In green pastures he makes me lie down;

to still waters he leads me;

 he restores my soul.

He guides me along right paths

for the sake of his name.

    (Psalm  23: 1-3)

 

How shall I live this Word?

At a time when pastoralism was a very popular occupation in Palestine as in other Middle Eastern locations, what the psalm says is significant. The figure of the shepherd becomes an effective image of the Lord! That of grassy pastures alludes to the relief of restful pauses. Like a good and strong shepherd, he treads good ways to reach places of fertile pasture with his sheep, so the Lord, by virtue of His power, also availing Himself of very useful tools such as a cane and a wagon, guides the sheep to their healthy nourishment: the grass of the surrounding meadows.   If the metaphor of the shepherd and the sheep is very appropriate for those times, we realize however that it is an effective image even today.

Yes, Lord, the relationship you establish with me is filled with a deep and continuous tenderness. The grassy pastures are the Sacred Scriptures and the teachings of the Church, the moments of rest express the beneficial reality that gives breath courage and continuous renewal of energy above all to the soul but also to my sentimental psychic reality, oriented by You to good choices: really human, authentically Christian, I know peace and often joy …

The voice of  Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Theologian

Christians cannot be tranquil while a brother/sister is lost because they share the feelings and concern of the Good Shepherd.

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Posted by: livingscripture | December 3, 2019

First Tuesday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

FIRST TUESDAY OF ADVENT

December 3, 2019 

WORD of the DAY  

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,

and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat;

The calf and the young lion shall browse together,

with a little child to guide them.

 The cow and the bear shall graze,

together their young shall lie down;

the lion shall eat hay like the ox.

 The baby shall play by the viper’s den,

and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.

 They shall not harm or destroy on all my holy mountain;

for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord,

as water covers the sea.   (Isaiah 11: 6-9)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Lord, how beautiful it is to believe in this prophetic vision of Isaiah!  The power of Your Word convinces us that the time in which evil threatens the good is a time of trial for the children of God!  It will pass and the good will triumph, not only for some time but forever under the sun of eternity.

Thank You, Lord Jesus!  Filled with hope,  putting all my trust in You, I already perceive the joy that will endure in the continual novelty of love forever. 

The voice of  St. Thomas Aquinas, Church Doctor

One who walks along the road leaves footprints.  Instead, the works of God are called His roads.  Thus, the footprints of God are some footprints that are found in creatures and from these one can, to a certain extent, succeed to know God.

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Posted by: livingscripture | December 2, 2019

FIRST MONDAY OF ADVENT

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
FIRST MONDAY OF ADVENT
December 2, 2019

WORD of the DAY

He shall judge between the nations,
and set terms for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!
(Isaiah 2: 4-5)

How shall I live this Word?

This prophecy of Isaiah is very beautiful, cultivating in us not only the theological virtue of faith but also those of hope and charity. The prophet gives us a glimpse of an age in which the instruments of war will disappear and God’s plan will triumph: the true good of individuals and peoples which is peace.

Lord, give me a heart that forgives easily. Convert me to true goodness. Always respecting my person and that of others, let me look for and encourage everything that makes me an ‘ally’ of all those who seek collaboration and communion in building your Kingdom of peace.

The voice of Bishop Antonio Bello

To love, the verb die means to decentralize. Get out of yourself. Give without asking. Be discreet on the edge of silence. Suffer to drop the scales of selfishness. Get out of the way when you risk compromising the peace of a home. Desire the happiness of others. Respect their destiny. And disappear when you notice that you are disturbing the mission.
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Posted by: livingscripture | December 1, 2019

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

December 1, 2019

WORD of the DAY  

In days to come,

The mountain of the Lord’s house

shall be established as the highest mountain

and raised above the hills.

All nations shall stream toward it.

 Many peoples shall come and say:

“Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain,

to the house of the God of Jacob,

That he may instruct us in his ways,

and we may walk in his paths.”

   (Isaiah 2: 2-3)

 

How shall I live this Word?

It is the time of Advent, that is, a possibility offered by this liturgical period to prepare serenely, but truly committed, for the coming of the Lord Jesus.

Yes, Advent means that the solemnity of Christmas is coming and Isaiah, the great prophet, far in time but very modern because inspired from on High, awakens in us the desire for a true spiritual preparation for the solemnity: the coming of the Word into the world, inside the human reality of a Child.

The invitation of the prophetic Word even today is very important. In a society often forgetful of spiritual values, Isaiah encourages us by prophesying what has already taken place and will be fully completed.

Yes, a partial victory over evil has already come true, fulfilling the prophecy with the coming of Jesus, the Almighty Son of the Father made Human for our salvation.

We do not know when the full victory of good over evil will have its fulfillment. We are therefore invited to live the waiting day by day fulfilling the will of God who created us out of love and by love wants us saved.

Lord, thank You for the voice of Your luminous servants the Prophets.  Thank You for what the Prophet  Isaiah tells us today. Grant that we may have a listening and attentive heart to accomplish what You communicate to us, the Word of Salvation.

The voice of  Leon Bloy, French Author

Jesus is at the center of everything, assumes all, bears all, suffers all.  It is impossible to hurt anyone today without hurting Him.  It is impossible to humiliate anyone or annihilate them, without humiliating Him, to curse or murder anyone, without cursing and murdering Him.

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Posted by: livingscripture | November 30, 2019

St. Andrew, Apostle

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Last Saturday of Ordinary Time

St. Andrew, Apostle

November 30, 2019

WORD of the DAY 

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.  He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”   At once they left their nets and followed him.  He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.    (Matthew 4: 18-22)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Special unique moments embellish human life: appointments. Every person is made to desire something beautiful, great that they realize they do not possess, and what is missing can only come from a ‘you’ different from me. To arrive punctually at appointments, one must shake off apathy, resignation, boredom, laziness, and run … run to meet otherness! Sometimes, we know it well, there is the risk of losing the train …

The first appointment – who can deny it? – is the appointment with life. We found ourselves here, on this earth, and we didn’t choose it. This first radical experience is not foreign to any of us: we are alive, here and now. From here we proceed following a hope that leads us, that invites us to move towards something, towards someone: someone who has an ardent desire to meet us!  This is what happened to the first disciples of Jesus.  They did not choose that place and that hour.  They did not even know that One who trod the shoreline of the Sea of ​​Galilee … yet their desire crossed that of someone else. They let themselves be punctual for the appointment. And it was an event, an apt meeting (Kairòs) that confirmed their thirst for fullness: from fishermen to fishers of men!

Today I will try to face the day by giving a new rhythm to daily actions, to move from commitment to passion,  from stress to love,  from chance to the unrepeatable occasion.  If  I go out of myself and my illusions I will find myself transfigured.  In order not to miss the important appointments, simply let yourself be found.

The voice of  St. John Bosco

In every young person, even the most rebellious there is a point accessible to the good.  The first duty of the educator is to look for this point, this sensitive chord, and use it.

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Posted by: livingscripture | November 29, 2019

Last Friday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Last Friday of Ordinary Time

November 29, 2019

WORD of the DAY  

He taught them a lesson. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.  When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 

(Luke 21: 29-33)

 

How shall I live this Word?

The anxiety of those who fear the future because they consider it a grim harbinger of unknowns, the strife with which we sometimes experience the present that unloads on us an unbearable burden of responsibility … These are choices that make us blind to the salvation of God. In His last talks, Jesus took the risk of upsetting His disciples with the premonition of cataclysms and punishments. Serene, with a calm tone, I would almost say caressing that restless audience suddenly made silent to welcome an important word.

The Man of Galilee, having become a stranger to things outside, notices the tender blossoming of a fig tree, points His finger to indicate it… He says that the meaning of life is in beauty – just mentioned and available only to an attentive eye – of a present that foreshadows a future full of hope: the bud of a fig tree. Salvation is here, before our eyes, for those who know how to stop and seize the unstoppable movement of life that risks escaping our notice.

I will pause with a contemplative gaze to look at all that is around me, things, creation, structures….It is the fruit of work, of constancy, of human industrious.  I will consider how in everything there is God’s hand that makes all grow and reach accomplishment.

The voice of  Silvano Fausti

Action that is not born of prayer is like an arrow shot at random from a loose bow.  Without aim and without strength, it cannot reach its target.

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Posted by: livingscripture | November 28, 2019

Last Thursday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Last Thursday of Ordinary Time

November 28, 2019 

WORD of the DAY  

When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand.   Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city,  for these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles  are fulfilled.

  “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens  will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.  (Luke 21: 20-28)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Christians cannot place their trust only on this earth and on what belongs to this world. They are enlightened persons: they know how to see beyond appearances, beyond immediate success, beyond the ephemeral joys offered to us by the rulers of this world. Therefore they share with solidarity the events that involve their contemporaries, they know how to be neighbor to all, participants in every genuinely human feeling, but they maintain within themselves a space of freedom that opens them to a spiritual evaluation of history. It cannot be defined by an ideological, political or cultural judgment. They  know how to look at facts and people with a deep gaze, are able to fight tenaciously, cultivate the dream of transforming the world with work and ingenuity, but they do not want to hold everything in their hands to feel like someone. They do not nourish a thirst for power and know how to leave place to others. They see, before any other, the serene sky beyond the curtain of rain. They see the return of life after every death, because they know that life does not belong to them.

Today I want to strengthen in me the hope that the world, thanks also to my contribution, can evolve in a different way than what others would want, that it is possible to resist conditioning of those who always want to leave things the way they are.

The voice of  Cardinal J. H. Newman

One of the causes of corruption in religion is when one escapes from following the path of an evolving doctrine, and one remains stubbornly attached to the ideas of the past.

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Posted by: livingscripture | November 27, 2019

Last Wednesday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Last Wednesday of Ordinary Time

November 27, 2019 

WORD of the DAY 

Before all this happens,  however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name.  It will lead to your giving testimony.  Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand,  for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking  that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.   You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death.  You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed.  By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”  (Luke 21: 12-19)

 

How shall I live this Word?

The occasion for the greatest witness for us Christians is when we renounce safeguarding ourselves, when we no longer rely on our defenses, and open ourselves to true love. They will get their hands on us, we will no longer be able to manage our time according to our tastes, we will seem chained and helpless, yet the world will understand that we have something to say. The words of Jesus are not a sad prediction of the failure of our discipleship, they indicate on the contrary the necessary conditions for our faith to have the widest possible freedom of action. It is when our strength fails that it is replaced by the power of God! It is when we renounce our too rationalizing approach to reality, that the wisdom of God comes to our aid! It is when we no longer know what to say, that the Lord manages to explain Himself through the poverty of our means! In the greatest prostration, when even the affective certainties seem to waver, the Lord acts and cares deeply for our restlessness and need of salvation!

Today, I will ask the grace to be able to look at my life with God’s eyes, who assures me success where I see only failure, to give me consolation when  I do not receive it from humans.  I ask God for the strength, above all, to love those who do not love me.

The voice of  St. Ignatius of Antioch, Martyr

For me, ask only for strength, internal and external, not only to speak, but also to want, so that not only am I called Christian, but I will really be one. If I am, I could also be called thus, and then be faithful when I no longer appear in the world. Nothing that is visible is good. God our Lord Jesus Christ, being in the Father, is better recognized. Christianity is not a work of persuasion but of greatness when it is hated by the world.

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