Posted by: livingscripture | June 26, 2021

Trust Jesus…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

26 JUNE  2021  Saturday 12

WORD of the DAY 

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority,  with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. (Mt 8: 5-9)

How shall I live this Word?  

The reflection, this time, is given to us by Fr. Franco Mastrolonardo, animator of “The boys of the young point of Riccione, who writes:

“I found several comments from the boys about this gospel. I try to put them together by ordering them in three places. The first, the one that is most striking is the Roman centurion’s going to meet Jesus. It starts with an originality. Usually it is Jesus who meets, calls, and heals. Here it is a Roman centurion, a foreigner, an oppressing soldier, of a different religion who approaches Jesus. Perhaps this man does not even know who Jesus is, but something inside pushes him. This intuition, this desire, this invisible but moving need is the engine that drives him. It is the search for God who dwells in every person on earth. The centurion takes seriously this desire that he feels in his heart. He does not allow himself to be intimidated, he does not fear Jesus, but confronts Him head on. He already feels loved and healed, he already trusts Him and so he goes to meet Him sure of receiving healing!

Second point: Jesus is surprised because He is approached by a stranger who is not part of His discipleship; he is amazed that he is faced with a brave man who begs a healing not for himself but for his servant. He is amazed that he is humble and the words “I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof” almost melt Him. Jesus marvels at humanity, at the beautiful surprises He discovers in the hearts of people. In these encounters, in these situations, Jesus is no longer the teacher, but the disciple. Disciple of a master paradoxically greater than Himself: the Mystery of Life.

And finally the third point: the movement of Jesus. “I will come and cure him.” How authoritatively Jesus moves. He does not allow Himself to be overcome in generosity or even in courage. In the face of this courageous and humble man, Jesus does not hesitate. The centurion knows that everything is possible for God and Jesus is the Son of God and he knows exactly that this is so.

The Voice of  THE BOYS

Jesus’ answer to our prayer is always both affirmative and negative; it depends on our faith whether it is one or the other. In this case, Jesus immediately senses the soldier’s great faith and puts Himself at his complete disposal. And faith performs the miracle of healing, even at a distance.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 25, 2021

Jesus cures us.

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

25 JUNE  2021  Friday 12

WORD of the DAY 

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” (Mt 8: 1-4)

How shall I live this Word?  

A leper comes close to Jesus. He is excluded. Whoever touches him becomes impure! For this, the lepers had to be removed. But that leper has a lot of courage. He transgresses the norms of religion in order to get in touch with Jesus. When he gets close, he says, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean!” That is, ‘You don’t need to touch me! It is enough that the Lord wills it and I will be cured.’

 The leper does not pretend, he waits. Jesus touches him and says, “I will do it. Be made clean.” Filled with deep compassion, Jesus heals two diseases. In the first place, to cure his loneliness, before saying any word, He touches the leper. It is as if He said, ‘For me, you are not excluded. I am not afraid of becoming impure by touching you. And I welcome you as a brother!’ Then He cures the leprosy saying, “I will do it. Be made clean!” The Teacher not only proclaims the Good News of the Kingdom. He performs the miracle of regenerating life. A body torn apart by disease is purified and regenerated. There is a close connection between word and touch. Humans are transformed by the word that touches their heart. Like the leper, let us also draw close to Jesus and believe in His tenderness and compassion for us. He won’t let us down. He also knows and listens to the unspoken cry of our heart.

The Voice of  the Liturgy, Preface VIII

In His mortal life, Christ your servant and our Redeemer passed by benefiting and healing all those who were prisoners of evil. Even today as a good Samaritan, He comes close to every person wounded in body and spirit and pours the oil of consolation and the wine of hope on their wounds. For this gift of Your grace, even the night of pain opens up to the paschal light of your crucified and risen Son.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 24, 2021

John the Baptist

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

24 JUNE  2021  Thursday 12

WORD of the DAY 

In those days, Paul said: “God raised up David as king;  of him God testified, I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish. From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus. John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel; and as John was completing his course, he would say, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’ My brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent.” (Acts 13: 22-26)

How shall I live this Word?  

The today’s passage from  Acts is part of Paul’s proclamation of Christ on his first missionary journey together with Barnabas. It was located in the synagogue of Antioch of Pisidia, an area of ​​present-day Turkey. Retracing the main stages in the history of Israel, Paul comes to present Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises, thanks to the coming of Jesus Christ, to His death and resurrection. In this revival of the history of salvation an important role is given to John the Baptist, the saint we are celebrating today. John said at the end of his mission, “I am not He! Behold, one is coming after me; I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of His feet.”

In this discourse John re-dimensions himself. To those who thought he was the Messiah he says, ‘I am not the one you suppose!’ And he proclaims the one who follows him, who is much greater than him in dignity. The Baptist clearly affirms the absolute superiority of the Messiah; he is only His witness and in front of Him he feels less than a slave. John claims nothing for himself and claims to be only ‘a voice crying out’ in the service of the Messiah. The Forerunner was only a finger pointed towards the Messiah, he indicated His presence, and then withdrew and disappeared. John, therefore, hastening to ‘decrease’ so that ‘He may increase’, immerses himself in solitude and disappears in the extreme witness of martyrdom, which highlights his faith and allows the servant to conform to his Lord.

John the Baptist clearly gives us his task and his humility. Like him, we try to put ourselves at the school of the Word. In this way we will know the will of God for our life. And it will be peace.

The Voice of  St. Peter Damian

John was the forerunner of Christ with his birth, his preaching, his baptism, and his death. He started this mission while still in his mother’s womb. He could not yet make his voice reach human ears, and already, leaping in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, he alerted her to the presence of the King of Heaven, hidden in the womb of the Virgin. This made Elizabeth say, ‘As soon as the voice of your greeting reached my ears, the child rejoiced in my womb’ .

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 23, 2021

Alive in Jesus

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

23 JUNE  2021  Wednesday 12

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them.” (Mt 7: 15-20)

How shall I live this Word?  

The Teacher, as a good Semite, son of a culture that speaks with images, in today’s Gospel passage, uses three metaphors: the door, the way, and the tree. Three elements that recall the journey of our life. Any door that is not the love of the Father and of others leads to perdition. The good way is Jesus Christ Himself who said, “I am the way!” By following this path we can become good trees that bear fruit in every season. Our existence can be like a plant that rises from the earth to the sky and is filled with strength to face the cold of winter or the heat of summer. But the good tree par excellence is the tree of the Cross which gives rise to all our resurrections after death due to the difficulties and anxieties of life.

Today, let’s allow ourselves some time for prayer and reflection on our daily life and ask ourselves, “What wood am I made of? What is the nature of my tree? What are the fruits that the Spirit can help me produce in myself?

The Voice of  a Biblist

The good tree par excellence is the tree of the cross, from which hangs the ripe fruit of God’s love. Grafted onto Him, we too make the same good and abundant fruit. “I am the true vine and my Father is the winemaker. Every branch that does not bear fruit in Me, He removes, and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have proclaimed to you. Remain in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself if it does not remain on the vine, neither can you, if you do not remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in them bears much fruit.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 22, 2021

The GOLDEN RULE

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

22 JUNE  2021  Tuesday 12

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Mt 7: 6/12-14)

How shall I live this Word?  

The ‘Golden Rule’ is the name attributed to the principle taught by Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount and which we find in today’s Gospel, “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus knew the human heart and its selfishness. The golden rule of Jesus gives us a model according to which naturally selfish people can calibrate their actions, treat others as you would like to be treated.

Jesus brilliantly sums up the entire Old Testament in this single principle, taken from Leviticus 19:18: “Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”  A Biblical scholar notes, “Once again we understand the fact that people naturally love their ego and the commandment uses this human defect as a starting point for how to treat others.”

What is interesting to note about the Golden Rule is that no other religious or philosophical system provides for it. The Golden Rule of Jesus is not the ‘ethics of reciprocity’ commonly accepted by non-Christian moralists. Jesus’ commandment has a subtle but very important difference. Eastern religions say: “avoid doing”; Jesus says: “Do it”! Eastern religions say that it is enough to keep one’s negative behavior under control; Jesus says to look for ways to act positively.”

The commandment to love is what separates Christian ethics from that of any other religion. In fact, the support that the Bible gives to love includes the radical commandment to love even one’s enemies. This is unheard of in other religions. Loving one another … it is wonderful, but “as I have loved you”, that is, with the same infinite love with which the Father loves me! This is impossible with our strength alone. It is necessary to welcome the love of Jesus in faith and life in order to be able to pour it out on others.

The Voice of  Charles de Foucauld

My God, make me understand the silent signs hidden in things and teach me the gospel of the road.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 21, 2021

Stop judging!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

21 JUNE  2021  Monday 12

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” (Mt 7: 1-5)

How shall I live this Word?  

Luigi Maria Epicoco, a young theologian and writer appreciated by the Pope and by many who follow his lectio, opens the commentary on today’s Gospel with some words from which we feel challenged: “Who among us would not want a better world? Who among us would not want to wake up in the morning and live in a world where hatred, wars, social injustices, pollution no longer exist? Well, know that all this is possible only if you understand where to start. Many attempts to change the world have failed simply because we have tried to change the world around us not understanding that the biggest contribution we could make to change is first and foremost ourselves.” In fact, the first condition for   good community coexistence is to begin   ourselves not to judge the brother or the sister, that is, to eliminate the preconceptions that prevent transparent coexistence. What does this mean concretely? The Gospel gives us a very practical example and asks us, “Why do you notice  the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your won eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the splinter from your eye’, while the wooden beam is in your eye? Hypocrite,  remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” In hearing this sentence we usually think of the Pharisees who despised the people considering them ignorant. In reality, the phrase of Jesus serves us all. In the family, in the community, in the workplace it is easy for us to judge others and highlight what is wrong or simply what is not according to our tastes. Be careful though. Jesus Himself tells us that with the same yardstick, with the same measure with which we judge others, we ourselves will be judged.

The Voice of  Silvano Fausti, Biblist

Love does not judge, but it does not lack discernment. Charity must be ‘discreet’, it discerns situations, actions, reactions to see what helps the other here and now the most. Throwing the truth at another without preparing for acceptance leads to the plagiarism of those who welcome it and to the hardening of those who do not accept it. Doing so is neither respect for the truth nor for the other!

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 20, 2021

Have faith in Jesus

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

20 JUNE  2021  Sunday 12

WORD of the DAY 

On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet!  Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” (Mk 4: 35-41)

How shall I live this Word?  

Today’s Gospel offers us a very human picture of the life of Jesus and of the disciples. It is the sunset of a heavy day. The Teacher spoke for a long time from a boat near the lakeshore and is now very tired. Jesus says “Let us cross to the other side.” His disciples sense His need to rest. Then “they took Jesus with them in the boat just as He was.” After a short time, a wind storm breaks out on the lake, throwing water into the boat. But Jesus is so tired that, despite the danger, He continues to sleep in the stern, on a pillow. It is not the storm, but the desperate cry of the disciples that awakens Jesus. “Teacher do you not care that we are perishing?” The situation is desperate and He continues to sleep. This deep sleep is not just a sign of great fatigue. It is also an expression of the peaceful trust He has in God. But as soon as He awakes, He calms the sea, scolds the wind, and turning to the disciples He says: “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They do not know what to answer and ask themselves, “Who then is this whom even the wind and sea obey?” Jesus seems like a stranger to the disciples! Despite having lived with Him for a long time, they don’t really know what He is like. Who is He? With this question in mind, the communities even today, continue to read the Gospel. There in the sacred and at the same time simple and vital pages one finds, little by little, that answer that reveals the Teacher.

And it is precisely for this reason that Pope Francis repeatedly tells us to read the Gospel, to keep it in our pocket, above all to keep it in our heart. The more we go into the reading, the more we understand that the essence of the Lord Jesus is Love, life, He who does not leave us orphans and who overcomes fear and death.

The Voice of  Ermes Ronchi, Theologian

God is present, but in His own way; He wants to save me, but He does it by asking me to use all my abilities, all the strength of my heart and intelligence. He does not intervene in my place, but together with me. He does not exempt me from the crossing, but He accompanies me into the darkness. He does not guard me from fear, but in the fear. Just as He did not save Jesus from the cross, but on the cross. Our entire existence can be described as a dangerous crossing, a passage to the other shore, that of an adult, responsible, good life.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 19, 2021

Seek God…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

19 JUNE  2021  Saturday 11

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” (Mt 6: 24-34)

How shall I live this Word?  

For some  it can be a risk, for some  it is reality to spend one’s life in a continuous, whirling breath of urgencies that cannot be avoided. Often it is like this for us too: faster than time, life flows as worry, as anxiety, as fear of not ‘being up to’ situations, situations that are increasingly difficult, pressing. Spending even just a minute in front of the Word of God has a liberating effect, even in this respect. It stops the inexorable passing of the hours, forces me to reflect, puts me in crisis to the point of surrender, in the face of the truth that Christ reminds me. Perhaps I did not know it, perhaps it escaped me … How much grace enters today through these words of Jesus, which want to purify our heart by urging it to unification. Do not get lost, my heart! Do not cling to what passes, to what wears out, to what weighs you down and prevents you from looking at the sky, where the children of the Kingdom fly high, looking at the fields that ripen for the good season.

Today I want to overshadow a commitment that I thought was urgent, but maybe it isn’t. Instead, I will spend more time in contemplation…

The Voice of  Leo Tolstoy, Author

People are devising everything possible, with the exception of that one thing that can save them, or that, even if it could not save them, could at least alleviate their situation, and which consists precisely in stopping at least for a moment and not continuing to  increase one’s misfortunes with one’s wrong actions.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 18, 2021

Live in CHRIST-LIGHT!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

18 JUNE  2021  Friday 11

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.” (Mt 6: 19-23)

How shall I live this Word?  

Very often we Christians too, in the concreteness of facts, behave like pagans, under the guise of faith we admit and justify the pursuit of our particular interests. For Christ to be truly formed in us, there is a need for every area of our life to be clothed with the newness of the Gospel, for the light of the Word of God to enter even where the dim light of our well-being pleases and comforts us. Let us not delude ourselves that the ‘foreign body’ clouding our sight is a small speck! … We will not be wrong at all in thinking instead that it is a beam, and that there is still something to be done to clear the field of vision. We therefore take care to purify our wrong inclinations, what is at the root of our sins, that indulgent orientation to evil that keeps us accumulating, rather than freeing us to give.

Today in prayer I want to find the courage to ask the Lord for the grace to be completely freed from my attachment to sin, which is the place from which all my disappointments and failures start..

The Voice of  Ephraim di Nisibis, Church Father

The sunrise marks the beginning of mortal activity. Grant, O Lord, that the day that does not know the end persist in our minds. Give us to see in ourselves the life of the resurrection, and let nothing distract our spirit from Your joys. Impress in us, O Lord, the sign of this day that does not begin from the sun, infusing us with a constant search for You.

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Posted by: livingscripture | June 17, 2021

OUR FATHER…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

17 JUNE  2021  Thursday 11

WORD of the DAY 

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,  hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Mt 6: 7-15)

How shall I live this Word?  

The ‘Our Father’, summa of every prayer and concrete model of prayer that Jesus Himself left us, reminds us of a ‘scientific’ truth: the mutual dependence that binds us all. No one can claim to be completely free from others, but there is truly an identity that unites us all. Same origin, same family, same respiratory system. Without choice, we breathe the same air. Just as we need bread, so we need to hold each other’s hand more or less concretely. If we want joy, we cannot take it away from those around us, but we must recognize it as a good that is inevitably to be shared. If we want to be accepted and be successful, we must accept and allow the others to achieve their happiness before me.

Today I will make a preferential choice of silent prayer, in front of the Tabernacle, where I can meet the One who knows me even before I speak.

The Voice of  Fr. Andrea Gallo, Priest on the periphery

If there is one thing that I could never forgive myself, it is not to grant the right to pleasure and the right to non-suffering to everyone I meet.

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