Posted by: livingscripture | April 4, 2020

Fifth Saturday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Saturday of LENT
April 4, 2020

WORD of the DAY

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him. (John 11: 49-53)

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus is wanted: at the center of the Easter feast in Jerusalem there is no longer the Temple, but now only Him. Everyone awaits Him suspended: both those who want to immolate Him as an atoning victim, and those who place in Him the hope of true happiness. Even today, on the part of men and women, He continues to be pulled on both sides: there are those who would like to use Him to serve their purposes, those who would like to put their hands on Him and eliminate Him, demonstrating to themselves and others that the Gospel is all an illusion!
However, He continues to be the protagonist of the story – above all of His own story – when He chooses to give His life for everyone, not only for the good but also for the bad, not only for those who love Him but also for those who detest Him, not to be acclaimed but for pure love, so that in front of this unsurpassed love, every knee will bend, every closure will fail, every heart will open.

I will take in hand the account of the Passion according to John, and I will attentively look at the attitudes and behaviors of all those the Evangelist includes in recounting the last hours of the life of Jesus.

The voice of Salvatore Martinez, Evangelizer
Christianity remains the prophecy of a new era, that historically has already been given (for some perhaps, also dated), it is always to be proved true, renewed, inaugurated.
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Posted by: livingscripture | April 3, 2020

Fifth Friday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Friday of LENT
April 3, 2020

WORD of the DAY

The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” (John 10: 31-33)

How shall I live this Word?

The marvelous works of God are not lacking and will never be lacking at any epoch of history. Life itself is a beautiful gift that is renewed for us gratuitously each day. However, God’s work is only recognized by those who listen to His Word, like the crowds who knew how to see a continuity between the mission of John the Baptist and that of Jesus, which the other Jews could not see. The latter presume to know and instead remain deaf and blind to the Word. They regard Jesus as an unknown or as a blasphemer.

Going back to the source of our faith, exploring the pure fonts from where the water of life flows, asking ourselves who is the God we believe in and how does He act, is the presupposition and maturity of our Christianity.

Today, I will bring to mind the person who first transmitted the faith to me with words, actions, witness. As I remember, I will go back to my ‘Jordan’, and seek to arouse anew in my heart, awe for the newness that Jesus brought to my life.

The voice of St. Gregory the Great
Learn to know the heart of God through the words of God.
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Posted by: livingscripture | April 2, 2020

Fifth Thursday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Thursday of LENT
April 2, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” (So) the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word.” (John 8: 51-55)

How shall I live this Word?

Knowledge of God is denied to all those who are not able to see His incarnation in the present. In the same way that Jesus hid Himself, leaving the sacred enclosure of the Temple, and thus disappearing from the eyes of those Jews who declared He was an impostor and exalted Himself, even today He becomes elusive for those who continue to believe in God but do not allow Him to show Himself in their life.
Their preferred pastime is that of leaving the world as it is for their personal interests, and look with a resigned attitude and grim expression at the reality and people around them. They are incapable of seeing the good and the beautiful that is in every creature, and instead show off their knowledge of a God existing only in the rubrics. They cannot grasp with awe that new life is being born this Spring as well; that a hidden power is about to blossom beneath the earth and this marvel speaks to us of God once again.

No one is so poor as to exclude all possibility of the good. Today, I will say words of approval, of agreement, of encouragement, and of praise to those whom I meet.

The voice of St. John of the Cross, Mystic
Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.
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Posted by: livingscripture | April 1, 2020

Fifth Wednesday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Wednesday of LENT
April 1, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8: 31-34)

How shall I live this Word?

Truth is never a purely private fact. Jesus Himself had received it from the Father.
Thus, we too, if we want to be guardians of the truth, must leave others the freedom to express what is in their heart. The Law the Lord came to bring is a law of freedom. It can be lived if we accept it within ourselves. Being on the side of truth means leaving room for others, so they can speak and say their part.
This can come in the highest way if we allow God to pronounce a definitive word on our life, if we leave both the judgment and the choice to Him. If we accept that Jesus tell us the truth about ourselves, we will be truly free, that is, fulfilled, no longer conditioned by or a slave to this world. We will not be afraid of confrontation either from within ourselves or from outside of us.

Today, let us commit ourselves to listen to those closest to us. In fact, God speaks to us, not only in the official, solemn times given to prayer, but also and above all through our neighbor, who helps us to make emerge the truth that is within us.

The voice of St. Ambrose, Church Father
The Word of God is the vital substance of our soul.
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Posted by: livingscripture | March 31, 2020

Fifth Tuesday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Tuesday of LENT
March 31, 2020

WORD of the DAY

He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” (John 8: 21-24)

How shall I live this Word?

The dispute the Gospel presents us with today between Jesus and the Jews shows us how impossible it is to approach the mystery of Christ without faith. Only an illumination coming from on High, only a divine revelation can provide a taste of familiarity with Him. This is the essential condition to avoid falling into the ever-present risk of appropriating Him to ourselves, of making Him serve our ends. We well know that human beings are capable even of exploiting the name of God, if this can be to our advantage. This is the reason why a veil of ignorance is spread over the intelligence of the men of the Law and Religion, of His (and our) contemporaries who question Him trying to put Him in a tight spot. Rather, it is we who should make ourselves transparent in front of Him: tell Him and ourselves who we are, where we go, what we are looking for.

Today, let us commit ourselves to take the path of openness and honesty towards ourselves and others. This will be a starting point for a deep conversion of our attitudes by recognizing and admitting all the prejudices and judgments that I believe when I am before another person.

The voice of Marcel Proust
In fact, every time he reads, every reader is a reader of himself.
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Posted by: livingscripture | March 30, 2020

Fifth Monday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Monday of LENT
March 30, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. …Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin anymore.” (John 8: 3-7/10-11)

How shall I live this Word?

What strikes us in this passage is the long reticence of Jesus before He speaks. He is repeatedly provoked by the insinuations of the by-standers, but He remains silent, writing on the ground. It is a very eloquent silence, a silence that shows and brings to light the hidden thoughts of hearts, which He supports without throwing back on His neighbor all these evil proposals, these sharp and prickly darts of a poisoned quiver, which wish to make Him join in a common condemnation, the one in misery and Mercy!
This is an unusual contemplation for us. It is more familiar to us to second the instinct to exchange evil for evil. It is much more natural for us to speak without thinking, to obey our passions, those that war within us and dominate us by ruling our souls. After having taught in the Temple, today Jesus teaches us to remain silent.

The words and behaviors of others many times are subtle invitations or provocations to act in a certain way, to think in a determined manner. Let us learn to keep silent especially when it would be easier to make our opinions matter.

The voice of Pope Francis
We must trust in the memory of God. His memory is not a ‘rigid disc’ that registers and archives all our information. His memory is a tender heart full of compassion that rejoices in cancelling definitively any trace of evil in us.
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Posted by: livingscripture | March 29, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Sunday of LENT
March 29, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. [But] even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” (John 11: 21-27)

How shall I live this Word?

John’s compelling prose leads us to notice a whole gradation of existential conditions – corresponding to the various characters of the account – marked in a different way by the drama of death. Lazarus closed his eyes, his human features are made unrecognizable by those linen bandages … but also the two sisters, Martha and Maria, carry with them the anguish of inner emptiness; they cannot make sense out of what has happened.
The disciples misunderstand Jesus, do not understand His decisions, think that their Teacher is inconsiderate … A kind of death is also the heaviness of ignorance that weighs on them. Faith is not yet well grounded.
We would like to put the right answers on the lips of Christ, the ones we expect … One thing, yes, we can do: get out of our narrow views, and say with enthusiasm: “Come, Lord! We tell you with the loving insistence of the two sisters, with the insistence that moved You. Come! Look at our inner deaths and have compassion! Come to our house, and show us with Your presence that where You are there is no death, that You are before and beyond our judgment, that everything depends on You and nothing is possible without You!”

Today, let us direct our will to be rid of our way of judging. Help us welcome those you have given to us and let all rancor fall away, making the decision to preserve our rapports with everyone even when it costs and goes against our interests.

The voice of Fr. Lorenzo Milani, Educator, to his pupils at the Barbiana School
I have loved you more than God.
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Posted by: livingscripture | March 28, 2020

Fourth Saturday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Saturday of LENT
March 28, 2020

WORD of the DAY

Some in the crowd who heard these words said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. (John 7: 40-43)

How shall I live this Word?

Because of how He speaks, Jesus is recognized by some a prophet who speaks words of truth, words that give life. Others instead, recognize Him not only by how He speaks, but by how He fulfills and accomplishes what He says. They recognize Him as the Christ, the One who not only says the Word, but who fulfills it, restoring the truth to humanity, and realizing the promised Kingdom. Faced with the evidence of what Jesus said and did, there were some who raised the objection relative where the Christ would come from. It was not possible to consider Him as such because they were limited in their knowledge that identified Him with Galilee and the Scriptures that tied Him to Bethlehem.
From this question, dissension arises, division, a schism. The real difference is in the way of conceiving and living a relationship with God, if in the flesh or in other ways. The humanity of Jesus, precisely His being flesh bound to time and space, always gives rise to many schisms.

 

My Lord and my God!
Convert us to You Lord. We are in Your hands!

The voice of Pope Francis Morning Meditation, St. Martha, 12 November 2019

What is the devil envious of? Of our human nature. Do you know why? Because the Son of God became one of us. He cannot tolerate this, does not succeed to tolerate it.
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Posted by: livingscripture | March 27, 2020

Fourth Friday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Friday of LENT
March 27, 2020

WORD of the DAY

After this, Jesus moved about within Galilee; but he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. …So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 7: 1/30)

How shall I live this Word?

Here the danger of death is felt in the air: they want to kill Jesus; first, however, they try to arrest Him, to limit His word, His gestures, but they fail. A question comes naturally: “Is it possible to imprison God?” Unfortunately! We can imprison God in our schemes when we have a hardened heart and we become rigid, banal, inattentive people, basically, when we proceed in one direction, restricting the field of vision to our interests only. We can imprison God with our twisted reasoning, our desire to have everything under control! The pretense of wanting to understand God’s action! But God does not allow himself to be captured. How many times do we live the tension between capturing Him, silencing Him, the presumption of understanding Him, and we do not welcome the Word that saves, that gives life. Not listening to the Word is not only ‘arresting’ the Word, but it is already ‘killing’ the Word.

Thy Will be done!”

The voice of Pope Francis Meeting with the Discalced Carmelites, Madagascar 2009

I think that all of you, cloistered nuns, have come to be close to the Lord and seek the way of perfection, but the way of perfection is found in these small steps of charity, on the road of obedience. Small steps, which seem as nothing, but are small steps that make God a slave. Small threads that imprison God. […] Small, very small, because our little soul cannot do great things.
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Posted by: livingscripture | March 26, 2020

Fourth Thursday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Thursday of LENT
March 26, 2020

WORD of the DAY

For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”. (John 5: 46-47)

How shall I live this Word?

To believe in Moses, the envoy of God, is to believe in God himself who speaks and communicates by speaking.
Today the Lord helps us understand how the foundations are important in order to have a safe home. There is a close relationship between Moses, the law, the Old Testament, and Jesus. If one does not know the Old Testament, how can one understand in depth who Jesus is? If Christians do not begin humbly to understand the thought, life, spirituality of our Jewish brethren, we will struggle to understand Jesus truthfully because Jesus is the One who revealed Himself in that history, in that promise, in those facts. Of course, He then gave them to the whole world, but they were born in that context. St. Jerome said: “Ignoring the Scriptures is ignoring Christ.” There is certainly a cognitive ignorance, but trust and faith are gifts. To “believe” is to rely on the One of whom the Scriptures speak. This heart-to-heart relationship with God in Jesus allows us to “believe in His words.”

Your Word is a lamp to my steps! Convert us to You , Lord, we are in Your hands!

The voice of Pope Francis Discourse in Rome Synagogue, 1/17/2016

Precisely from a theological point of view, the inseparable bond that unites Christians and Jews clearly appears. To understand themselves, Christians cannot fail to refer to Jewish roots, and the Church, while professing salvation through faith in Christ, recognizes the irrevocability of the Old Covenant and the constant and faithful love of God for Israel.
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