Posted by: livingscripture | December 11, 2016

Third Sunday of Advent


WORD of the DAY

 With this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.  And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”              (Mt 11, 3-6)

 How shall I live this Word?imagesCAJM9BOP

 The Gospel of this third Sunday is dominated by a basic question asked of Jesus by John the Baptist who is in prison, through his disciples.  It must be seen in all its drama: ‘Are you the living one or should we look for another?’  This question shows a sense of uncertainty and delusion that dwells in the Baptist’s soul, who seems to be a protagonist of this Advent week.  From here we can deduce that John awaited a Messiah that was different than the one he referred to  and that he himself imagined.  In fact, the Baptist dreamt of a Christ who would have brought the definitive elimination of sin and sinners.

However, the mission of Jesus now does not seem to go in that direction, rather, it seems to take another road contrary to John’s messianic dreams.

Thus, John’s question retains all its gravity.  In His response to John’s disciples, Jesus clearly perceives John’s mixture of uncertainty and of disappointment in regard to Him, especially when He says “Blessed the one who takes no offense in Me”, because in the original Greek, the word means something that can be an obstacle.  To adhere fully to Jesus, we must overcome the ‘obstacle’ of a Messiah who is humble, poor, unarmed, merciful, and crucified!

On this third Sunday of Advent we are urgently invited to receive Jesus the Messiah as He is; as He is revealed in the Gospel and in the Word, also and above all, when He upsets our common places, our plans, and our expectations.  Our God is never a God to be taken for granted, predictable; He escapes our many attempts to make Him in our image and likeness.  Then we will see the blind regain vision, the lame walk, the leper purified, the deaf hear, the dead rise, the Gospel announced to the poor.

The Good News we preach is either reduced to words alone or is a concrete sign of a change happening in our depths, a miraculous transformation of our life. (R. Laurita)

  The Voice of Advent Liturgy

Lord, always renew the offering of this sacrifice that actuates the holy mystery You instituted, and with Your divine power, make the work of salvation efficacious in us. Amen.

(Offertory Prayer for Advent Sunday III A)




Posted by: livingscripture | December 10, 2016

Meditation for 12-10-16

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

DECEMBER 10, 2016

“He who enters into the secret place of his own soul passes beyond himself, and does in very truth ascend to God. Banish, therefore, from thy heart the distractions of earth and turn thine eyes to spiritual joys, that thou mayest learn at last to repose in the light of the contemplation of God.”
— St. Albert the Great


“St. Augustine says, that to prevent the sheep from seeking assistance by her cries, the wolf seizes her by the neck, and thus securely carries her away and devours her. The Devil acts in a similar manner with the sheep of Jesus Christ. After having induced them to yield to sin, he seizes them by the throat, that they may not confess their guilt; and thus he securely brings them to Hell.”
— St. Alphonsus Liguori
Posted by: livingscripture | December 10, 2016

Second Saturday of Advent


WORD of the DAY


Then the disciples asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply,  “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”   Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.             (Mt 17,10-13)


 How shall I live this Word?healing_of_the_blind_man_jekel_t[1]

 The man of God “they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.  So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands”.

The human heart and mind risk erecting an idol of themselves and no longer recognize the True, the Beautiful, and the Good if they do not enter into a serious journey of conversion to Truth, to Purity, to Humility.

The prophets are here today among us.  We have Jesus who is with us, as He taught us: “I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me; in jail and you came to see me.  In truth I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my people, you did for me”.

 Lord, heal the eyes of our heart so that we can recognize You in our sisters and brothers who are in our midst.

 The Voice of Pope Francis

It is asked of us to be vigilant like sentinels so that it will not happen that, with the poverty produced by the culture of comforts, the gaze of Christians weakens and become unable to see the essential.  Look at the essential.  What does this mean?  Look at Jesus, look at Jesus who is in those who hunger, are in jail, are sick, are naked, in those who are unemployed and have to support a family.  Look at Jesus in these brothers and sisters; look at Jesus in those who are alone, sad, in those who make mistakes and need counsel; in those who need to journey with Him in silence so that they will feel accompanied.  These are the works that Jesus asks of us!  Look at Jesus in them, in these people.  Why?  So that Jesus will look at me; will look at all of us. (Jubilee Audience, June 30, 2016)





Posted by: livingscripture | December 9, 2016

Meditation for 12-9-16

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

DECEMBER 9, 2016

“May the Holy Spirit enkindle you with the fire of His Love so that you may persevere, unfailingly, in the love of His service. Thus you may merit to become, at last, a living stone in the celestial Jerusalem.”
— St. Hildegard von Bingen


“The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience, and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words . . . it is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.  But the apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself!”
— St. Anthony of Padua
Posted by: livingscripture | December 9, 2016

Second Friday of Advent


WORD of the DAY

 To what shall I compare this generation?* It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.   (Mt 11,16-19)

 How shall I live this Word?Revelation6-12SkyRolledUp_250

 Jesus invites us to discernment:  there is a sadness that comes from God and one that comes from the enemy.  One is authentic joy and the other is its opposite.  We are called to know how to discern the two signs with which Jesus speaks to us:  grief for evil and joy for the good.  Instead, the enemy fools us by making evil seem pleasant and the good seem unpleasant.  Knowing this, we are called to choose freely  and responsibly what makes us happy and reject what makes us unhappy!

Only by converting ourselves to Him will we find our center again and we will know how to discern the choices that make us happy and those that leave us deluded.


 The Voice of Pope Francis

The Gospel image of the children who are afraid to dance, to cry, who are afraid of everything, who seek security in everything, makes us think of these sad Christians that always criticize the preachers of the truth because they are afraid to open the door to the Holy Spirit.  Let us pray for them and also for ourselves, so that we will not become sad Christians, those who take away freedom from the Holy Spirit to come to us through the scandal of preaching.  (Mediation of December 13, 2013, St. Martha’s Chapel)







Posted by: livingscripture | December 8, 2016

Meditation for the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

DECEMBER 8, 2016

“Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the Mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son. There can be no doubt that whatever we say in praise of the Mother gives equal praise to the Son.”
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux


“But as great as was St. Paul’s devotion to our Lord, much greater was that of the Blessed Virgin: because she was his mother, and because she had him and all his sufferings actually before her eyes, and because she had the long intimacy of thirty years with him, and because she was from her special sanctity so unspeakably near him in spirit. When, then, he was mocked, bruised, scourged, and nailed to the Cross, she felt as keenly as if every indignity and torture inflicted on him was struck at herself. She could have cried out in agony at every pang of his. This is called her compassion, or her suffering with her Son, and it arose from this that she was the ‘Vessel of Devotion’ unlike any other.”
— Bl. John Henry Newman
Posted by: livingscripture | December 8, 2016

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

 WORD of the DAY

 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.    (Luke 1:30)

 How shall I live this Word?100_Queen_of_peace[1]

 “Do not be afraid” is one of the most common reassurances that we can express.  It is part of the common experience we feel when the state of fear lives in us latently and emerges like an alarm in front of an unknown novelty we come into contact with.  Often, this anxious fear is provoked by the difficulty to accept diversity, changes, the unforeseen, and frustrations.  In some people, this fear becomes pathological and manifests the state of immaturity and of extreme fragility of the human condition.  Reactions to fear are varied and multiple.  We go from a violent reaction to fleeing in isolation; from intolerance to indifference.  It is the manifestation of our fear of loving and living.

In Biblical thought, the invitation to “not be afraid” should be understood as a reassuring expression, but also as a revelation that opens new perspectives in view of faith and hope in tomorrow.  Mary is invited to not be afraid, to not close in on herself, to be on the defensive:  She has found favor with God!  Mary has found so much grace that she is full of Grace and becomes the Blessed One.  This is her true name!  It is her true name and ours as well.  In fact, the Love God has for us is Himself in us!

Trust conquers fear because it lets us rest tranquilly and serenely, like a baby in its mother’s arms.  Trust regenerates energies to love and continue to love.  Trust converts us to the Heart of Christ and helps us to let ourselves be loved by Him.  Mary Immaculate helps us to do as She did, to trust God’s Love to the point of being able to recognize our true name in this Love!

 The Voice of Pope Francis

 On this feast we contemplate our beautiful Immaculate Mother, and we also recognize our truest destiny, our deepest vocation: to be loved; to be transformed by love, to be transformed by the beauty of God.  We look at Her, our Mother, and we let Her look at us because She is our Mother and loves us very much. Let Her look at us to learn to be more humble and also more courageous in following the Word of God; to receive the tender embrace of Her Son Jesus, an embrace that gives us life, hope, and peace (Angelus, December 8, 2013).






Posted by: livingscripture | December 7, 2016

Meditation for 12-7-16

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

DECEMBER 7, 2016

“Health is God’s great gift, and we must spend it entirely for Him. Our eyes should see only for God, our feet walk only for Him, our hands labor for Him alone; in short, our entire body should serve God while we still have the time. Then, when He shall take our health and we shall near our last day, our conscience will not reproach us for having misused it.”
— St. John Bosco


“Praying fervently for the coming of the Kingdom also means being constantly alert for the signs of its presence, and working for its growth in every sector of society. It means facing the challenges of present and future with confidence in Christ’s victory and a commitment to extending his reign. It means not losing heart in the face of resistance, adversity, and scandal. It means overcoming every separation between faith and life, and countering false gospels of freedom and happiness. It also means rejecting a false dichotomy between faith and political life, since, as the Second Vatican Council put it, ‘there is no human activity—even in secular affairs—which can be withdrawn from God’s dominion’. It means working to enrich . . . society and culture with the beauty and truth of the Gospel, and never losing sight of that great hope which gives meaning and value to all the other hopes which inspire our lives.”
— Pope Benedict XVI
Posted by: livingscripture | December 7, 2016

Second Wednesday of Advent

 WORD of the DAY

 Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matthew 11: 28-30)


How shall I live this Word?Jesus food 1

 Those who are meek and humble of heart feel an irresistible attraction for the words of Jesus who invites us to go to Him without fear to find refreshment. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest”.  Where else can we find rest if not with Our Lord?  We have a great grace.  This source that restores us from our labors is not far from us; we find Him in Church, in the Tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament.  Jesus waits for us.  The humble of heart clearly perceive this invitation and do not delay.  On the contrary, the proud wander the streets of this world, anxious and agitated, and cannot find rest.

If we really understood that Jesus is waiting for us, we would not make Him wait so long for us and we would not leave Him alone in our Churches or in our hearts.  Like a pure and tranquil fountain, He restores the traveler who has walked long and hard.  This is what the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus gives to us, ever new energy to face the burdens of the day with serenity and a peaceful heart.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours.

 The Voice of St. Ambrose

 This is the Bread of Life; therefore whoever eats Life, cannot die.  How can they die if they have food for life?  How can they faint if they have Life for sustenance?

Approach Him and be satisfied:  He is bread.

Approach Him and drink; He is the source.

Approach Him and be illumined; He is light.

Approach Him and let Him free you; in fact where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Approach Him and be freed of your shackles; He is the remission of sin.

Who is He, you ask?  Listen to what He Himself says: “I am the bread of life; those who come to me will not hunger; those who come to me will not thirst”. (Comment on Psalm 118).


Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy E-mail: –



Comment by Sr. Monica Gianoli, FMA





Posted by: livingscripture | December 6, 2016

Meditation for 12-6-16

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

DECEMBER 6, 2016

“To use this life well is the pathway through death to everlasting life.”
— St. John Almond


“Even if you do not confess, God is not ignorant of the deed, since he knew it before it was committed. Why then do you not speak of it? Does the transgression become heavier by the confession? No, it becomes lighter and less troublesome. And this is why he wants you to confess: not that you should be punished, but that you should be forgiven; not that he may learn your sin—how could that be, since he has seen it?—but that you may learn what favor he bestows. He wishes you to learn the greatness of his grace, so that you may praise him perfectly, that you may be slower to sin, that you may be quicker to virtue. And if you do not confess the greatness of the need, you will not understand the enormous magnitude of his grace.”
— St. John Chrysostom

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