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

 

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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

 

Posted by: livingscripture | February 13, 2018

Sixth Tuesday in Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WORD of the DAY 

“Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees.” (Mark 8: 15)

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus warns His listeners to guard against the leaven of the Pharisees.  Leaven serves to give flavor to bread and therefore is important for food.  But it must be pure and genuine and not contaminated.

In the deepest meaning, leaven symbolizes the doctrine of religious thought as well.  It must be authentic, based on the genuine Word of God, not deformed by human ideas that are egoistical and contrary to divine truth.

Only by approaching the Divine Word without prejudice or alteration, can we succeed to grasp its true meaning and to apply it to our daily life.

Help me, Lord, to be authentic in interpreting Your Word and fulfilling it in my life.

 

The Voice of Mother Teresa of Calcutta

If you judge people, you will not have time to love them.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | February 12, 2018

Meditations before Lent

“Fix your minds on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Inflamed with love for us, he came down from heaven to redeem us. For our sake he endured every torment of body and soul and shrank from no bodily pain. He himself gave us an example of perfect patience and love. We, then, are to be patient in adversity.”
— St. Francis of Paola

 

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Now man need not hide from God as Adam did; for He can be seen through Christ’s human nature. Christ did not gain one perfection more by becoming man, nor did He lose anything of what He possessed as God. There was the Almightiness of God in the movement of His arm, the infinite love of God in the beatings of His human heart and the Unmeasured Compassion of God to sinners in His eyes. God was now manifest in the flesh; this is what is called the Incarnation. The whole range of the Divine attributes of power and goodness, justice, love, beauty, were in Him. And when Our Divine Lord acted and spoke, God in His perfect nature became manifest to those who saw Him and heard Him and touched Him. As He told Philip later on: Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father [John 14:9].”  Bishop Sheen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | February 12, 2018

Sixth Monday in Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Monday, February 12, 2018

WORD of the DAY  

Why does this generation ask for a sign? (Mark 8: 41)

How shall I live this Word?

The Pharisees ask Jesus to give them a sign, that He work a miracle.  But they do not know or want to believe that the most important sign is the very life of Jesus; that His words and His actions manifest the goodness and power of God.

Often, we too today want God to intervene in a miraculous way in our personal and community situations.  Faith is above all, trust in God who guides humanity toward final perfection.  Often, however, the journey is not very linear as we would wish or expect, but tortuous, because keeping in mind human freedom, God permits certain situations to exist for a period of time.  But He can never allow evil to triumph, because only the good fulfills truth and beauty.  The good is the efficient cause, while evil, the absence of good, is a deficient cause, it is missing something.

Help me, Lord, to believe that the greatest sign given to humanity is Your very life of love and of sacrifice for our salvation.

 

The Voice of Henry David Thoreau, Philosopher, Poet, Writer from the United States

Every change is a miracle to contemplate.  It is a miracle that happens every instant.

 

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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 11, 2018

A lovely reflection

“Build an oratory within yourself, and there have Jesus on the altar of your heart. Speak to Him often while you are doing your work. Speak to Him of His holy love, of His holy sufferings and of the sorrows of
most holy Mary.”
— St Paul of the Cross

 

 

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Consider not only that God your benefactor is present but also that He acts continuously in all His creatures. And for whom is this continual action, this work of God in nature? For you. Thus, He lights you by the light of day; He nourishes you with the productions of the earth; in a word, He serves you by each one of the creatures that you use; so that it is true to say that at every moment the bounty, the wisdom and the power of God are at your service and are exercised in the world for your wants or pleasures. This conduct of God toward man should be the model of your conduct toward God. You see that the presence of God in His creatures is never idle; it acts incessantly, it preserves, it governs. Beware, then, of stopping at a sterile contemplation of God present in yourself. Add action to contemplation; to the sight of the Divine presence add the faithful accomplishment of the Divine will.”
— St. Ignatius

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