Posted by: livingscripture | December 14, 2018

Second Friday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 14, 2018

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.   (Matthew  11: 16-19)

 How shall I live this Word?

As St. Ignatius of Loyola rightly teaches us, humans are subject to the opposing action of two spirits, one who invites us to good and one who invites us to evil. It is up to us to learn to discern what comes from the one and what comes from the other, with the ability to become familiar with the upheavals of our inner world. If we really want the good and we are attracted by the good spirit, then we will let ourselves be guided by joy for all that is true, noble, right, that which is virtue and deserves praise (Phil 4: 8). If it is true that every day has its pain and that we are called every day to assume our burden of commitments, the light of every day calls us to enter the narrow door of the kingdom, to enter the joy of small things transfigured by warm rays of the presence of the Lord. He bends over us, becomes neighbor, friend, brother, discreetly asks for a little attention from us, without the audacity of those who annoy, without the claim of those who impose, without the arrogance of those who provoke.

 I ask you, Lord, to give me daily the wisdom to humble myself to live little things well, to read the events in depth, not to judge by appearance, not to be carried away by the judgments that others often use to try to provoke me with their malice. True joy is the one that only You can give me.

 The Voice of A. de Lamartine

“[The parish priest is] a man who, without being part of any social class, belongs to all equally: to the inferiors, for his poor life and often for the humility of his birth; to the highest  for his education, for science, for the nobility of affections inspired by a religion that is all charity.  He is a man who knows everything, who has the right to say everything, and whose word descends into intelligence and hearts with the authority of a mission and with the power of a divine law.

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Posted by: livingscripture | December 13, 2018

Second Thursday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 13, 2018

Second Thursday of Advent

St. Lucy

 WORD of the DAY 

 Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.   From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence,  and the violent are taking it by force.  All the prophets and the law  prophesied up to the time of John.  And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come.  Whoever has ears ought to hear.   (Matthew  11: 11-15)

 

How shall I live this Word?

The indispensable attitude to accept the Kingdom of God is openness to the unthinkable and unbelievable novelty of God, to His capacity to accomplish what the human mind cannot imagine. It is a broadening of horizons, expanding the possibilities that until then were measured on known laws; it is having the courage to believe the paradox, to hope against all hope, to jump headlong into love beyond all plausibility and convenience. John the Baptist impersonated the ability to let himself be educated by the Law in its most hidden folds, becoming a model and example of those who set out on the path of God.  Jesus brings  more than he or rather to him, salvation to His ‘today’ and its fulfillment, unties it from our bad will and tells us that what our heart has always been waiting for has finally arrived! Everything that was part of our requests and our desires, we have before us in Jesus! We need not hope for anything more. The history of salvation with its wise pedagogy, led us by the hand to understand the observance of the Law; now he abandons us into the hands of the One who is our salvation, fulfillment, and perfection so that we can lift our eyes and see in Jesus the true face of God, who inaugurates a new order of things in us.

 In our life we certainly had one or more people who carried out a role of authority towards us, by blood ties or other ways. Try to compare the image that they transmitted to us with the presentation of God in the prophet Isaiah: “Do not be afraid … I come to your aid … your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel”.

 The Voice of Silvano Fausti, Biblist

 In the New Testament there is a passage in the small and modest format of the OT images: a slip in a minor tone, where the steed is a donkey […] and the eagle a hen “

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 12, 2018

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 12, 2018

OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

 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?

Those who meet the cold days of the month of March are able to better withstand the rigidity, compared to those – perhaps in the same conditions and at the same temperatures – who face it in November. In fact, the first are supported by the hope that spring is soon coming, with all its relief! What makes the difference for us Christians is precisely the hope that the Lord gives us, with the pledge of a joy that is eternal. This is why even fatigue and oppression, often provoked by the daily routine, melt and lose their burdens if we place them at Jesus’ feet. “Those who hope in the Lord regain strength, have wings like eagles …”, the prophet Isaiah reminds us: it is the lightness that distinguishes the soul of someone who knows that the yoke is carried by two, and not alone.

 I recall that the Eucharist was defined as the “medicine of immortality”, therefore medicine of the soul and of the body. I approach Holy Communion with the full awareness that the healing and regenerating power of the Son of God enters into me, that “He loved me and gave Himself for me”, so that I would be freed from all evil.

 The Voice of St. John Eudes

 The Son of God desires a certain participation as an extension and continuation in us and in His whole Church of the mystery of His incarnation, of His birth, of His childhood, of His hidden life. He does this by taking shape in us, born in our souls through the holy Sacraments of Baptism and the divine Eucharist. He does it by making us live a spiritual and interior life that is hidden with Him in God.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 11, 2018

Second Tuesday of Advent

 

 FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 11, 2018

SECOND Tuesday  of ADVENT

 WORD of the DAY 

 What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?  And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.  In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.   (Matthew  18: 12-14)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Among many myths that have fascinated our imagination, among many exemplary personalities, real or the result of fantastic elaboration, which have followed one another over the centuries, there is one that has resisted the wear and tear of time and that still attracts attention and arouses curiosity. It is the image of the ‘good shepherd’ that this passage from Matthew presents to us as a pearl set in the beautiful tapestry of chapter 18, entirely dedicated to fraternal life. Surreal or bucolic at a superficial glance, in its paradoxical appearance it translates the identity of the God of Jesus Christ, which

is not characterized by delicacy of features or by a feeble refinement of behavior but reveals its essence by making it coincide with the role of shepherd: available and attentive to everyone. He is able to see what not everyone sees, He becomes close to everyone, He waits for nothing other than the possibility of expressing His diligence towards everyone, even without being asked to do so. It is a different level of life, which makes us feel how much our thoughts are still far from the thoughts of God..

 Knowing that the Lord asks me to love my enemies too, I let His will of Father be my will too, asking for the grace to see with His eyes even those who travel far from me and I find it hard to encounter.

 The Voice of Pope Leo the Great

 Just as God does not lose His characteristics when He is merciful, so too human beings are not annulled by divine dignity.

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 10, 2018

Second Monday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 10, 2018

SECOND Monday  of ADVENT

 WORD of the DAY 

 One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.  And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence.  But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles  into the middle in front of Jesus.    (Luke 5: 17-26)

 

How shall I live this Word?

In this highly symbolic account, we see stylized through an enthralling narration, the dynamics of divine grace that allows humanity to rise from the baseness into which it had fallen after sin, to attain salvation, to begin again to live in a new creation. In the Church, and only in it, we can experience being led to the One who not only speaks and proclaims salvation, but who makes His word operational, who gives life through the word, which adds powerful action to the word.   With the eyes of faith we understand that the true infirmity we carry with us, the true ‘stretcher’ that paralyzes us, is our sin; the heavier and more oppressive it is, the more we become attached to it. In the scene, at the center there is only Jesus: no other name, no other historical or geographical reference. Because we are asked to look only at Him. And then if we want it, everything can become a means to bring us closer to Him. Every obstacle is removed to the extent that we let our resistance give way to this great force of attraction that leads us to Him, to the One who alone can free us.

 The time of grace that we are living invites us to go deeper into our journey of faith. If I do not strongly experience the Lord’s liberating power on an existential level, it means that I am serving a god that exists only in my imagination. If I give up, it means that I do not trust those who are accompanying me. I commit myself to always look at the fruits of my journey in joy, in serenity, in the stability that Jesus promises to those who turn to Him

 The Voice of Mark I. Rupnik, Iconographer

 Humility is an ecstatic attitude of a person, this is why it is precisely humility that makes the person be thus.

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 9, 2018

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 9, 2018

SECOND SUNDAY of ADVENT

 WORD of the DAY 

 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,  and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,  the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.  He went throughout [the] whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:  “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths’.    (Luke 3: 1-4)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Advent has begun, a privileged period to once again undertake a conscious journey towards the Lord. The figure of John the Baptist, which we contemplate in this liturgy, reminds us how faith begins by listening (Rom 10,17) and how listening depends on someone who makes oneself the ‘voice’ of this ‘word’ that our heart awaits. We are asked to have the great humility to accept that someone is different from us – different from our ego that would always prevail and win – to pronounce an authoritative word to listen to. Each of us will have (or will have had) our John to the extent that we discovered our own limitations, recognizing that we are in need of putting our life in the hands of one whom we trust. We are invited to act as a child that learns to speak not because of being taught the rudiments of grammar, but because of perceiving a sound that is recognized as a ‘voice’, and succeeding in giving it meaning, makes it a ‘word’.  Let us accept therefore that along the ridges of history, of our history, the Lord traces His path, and that our daily road also becomes the history of salvation for us!

 With profound humility and trust, I let the Lord take the reins of my life. I will not resist: every encounter, every episode, every event will no longer be the fruit of chance, but will retain the flavor of a word that He will speak over me and will be the sign of a familiarity with Him that will always grow.

 The Voice of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pastor

 There only  remains, when one cannot listen, spiritual chatter, fraternal condescension that suffocates with so many beautiful pious words. Those who cannot listen at length and patiently, will speak without really touching the fibers of the other and those who believe that their time is too precious to be lost in listening, will never have time either for God or for others, always and only for self, always for their plans.

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 8, 2018

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary Most Holy

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 8, 2018

FIRST Saturday of ADVENT

SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

 WORD of the DAY 

 I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

They will strike at your head,

while you strike at their heel.

   (Genesis 3: 15)

 

How shall I live this Word?

At the moment of the dramatic separation between God and humanity, a promise seeks to fill that distance and good news is launched by God to humanity as if it were a bridge, to be chosen and traveled in reverse in order to meet again.  It is an instrument for the desire of reconciliation to be expressed and organized. But the promise is bound to a woman, the only one who can crush the head of the snake and create this passage. It is as if saying what Eve surrendered, only a woman can rebuild. The promise will thus translate into the expectation of a liberating Messiah who will enter history through a woman. For hundreds of years the Jews imagined who and how the Messiah would be and which woman would be chosen as His mother. Generations of men and women waited and scrutinized among themselves as to who were the chosen ones. Thus faith was kept in the promise; the presence of God was sought.

Mary of Nazareth is the chosen one and having reached the fullness of time, she reveals herself as the one who will crush the head of the serpent. With her entire body, intelligence, feelings she represents all the people who waited for the Lord. In her, waiting becomes acceptance and the Messiah takes shape and is born. He will need her care and in her, reception will become protection, accompaniment, education. Mary will teach Jesus to think and speak, she will detach Him from her and introduce Him into the community.

 Lord, I thank Mary who chose to collaborate with You in the mystery of the Incarnation.  Her entire life was dedicated to You.  She urges us to love You and to say with her, “Be it done to me as You will”.

 The Voice of the Catechism of the Catholic Church  CCC 410

 After the fall, humanity was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls it, and mysteriously predicts that evil will be overcome and that humanity will be raised from the fall. This passage of Genesis has been called ‘Proto-Gospel’, since it is the first announcement of the Messiah Redeemer, of a struggle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of her descendant.

 

 

I

Posted by: livingscripture | December 7, 2018

First Friday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 7, 2018

FIRST Friday of ADVENT

 WORD of the DAY 

 On that day the deaf shall hear

the words of a scroll;

And out of gloom and darkness,

the eyes of the blind shall see.

   (Isaiah  29: 18)

 

How shall I live this Word?

There is deafness and blindness that we do not recognize as part of a disease. Yet they intercept and deform knowledge. This often happens with regard to the Word of God. The choice of God to let His Word be mediated by language is extremely courageous. It is also fragile, misunderstood, interpretable from a thousand points of view, determined also by that blindness and deafness of which we spoke before. Yet the Bible is a privileged place of God’s Revelation and we call it Sacred, without doubting.

The Jewish experience shows us how the same revelation, the same Word of God produces different outcomes in people. When God’s Word is heard also by the ears of a deaf person and is read and proclaimed by the eyes and the mouth of a blind person, the Messiah has arrived, He is among us!

Lord, do not abandon me to temptation and guide me with Your Word in my daily choices.

 The Voice of Gianluca Barbanotti Waldensian Community

 Blind people who see, deaf who hear, the mute who speak, and even the lame who leap like deer. Do we believe in change? Do we believe in miracles? I am naturally, culturally, historically very skeptical when I am confronted with people who talk about miracles, and even more when they show them off. Then, like all believers, in the silence of my bedroom, in my private life, I saw God at work many times. Interventions that others, perhaps, would attribute to luck, to chance, and that instead for me were and remain actions of God

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 6, 2018

First Thursday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 6, 2018

FIRST Thursday of ADVENT

 WORD of the DAY 

 Trust in the LORD forever!

For the LORD is an eternal Rock.

He humbles those who dwell on high,

the lofty city he brings down,

Brings it down to the ground,

levels it to the dust.

The feet of the needy trample on it—

the feet of the poor.

   (Isaiah  26: 4-6)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Today there is another vision: a beautiful and very large city is razed to the ground and the feet of those who are despised because they are poor, trample it. This is an anticipation of what was sung by Mary of Nazareth in the Magnificat, who saw the rich empty-handed and those who wanted to rise up lowered. This is a recurring theme in the revelation of God who sees justice as the triumph of the oppressed. Almost as though only by being trampled down   can sin, the disorder in creation introduced by disobedience, be healed. If we think of our times, it is immediately obvious to find that the poor and the oppressed increase exponentially and exponential is the growth of exclusive, excellent, and superb cities. Every latitude of the world knows these tragedies, which seem to have no epilogue: domestic violence, abuse, prostitution, mutilations, addictions, racial hatred, the need to migrate due to drought, war, poverty, traditional religions. New forms of slavery replace the oldest, unfortunately with the same result, the oppression of the feelings, thoughts, possibilities, and skills of many people.

Lord, forgive the exalted city, but allow it to be destroyed in order to build the strong city that remains faithful to you.

 

The Voice of Fr. Milani

If you have the right to divide the world into Italians and foreigners then I claim the right to divide the world into disinherited and oppressed on the one hand, privileged and oppressors on the other. Some are of my homeland, others are foreigners to me.

 

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | December 5, 2018

First Wednesday of Advent

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

December 5, 2018

FIRST Wednesday OF ADVENT

 WORD of the DAY 

 On this mountain he will destroy

the veil that veils all peoples,

The web that is woven over all nations.

He will destroy death forever.

The Lord GOD will wipe away

the tears from all faces;

The reproach of his people he will remove

from the whole earth; for the Lord has spoken.

   (Isaiah  25: 7-8)

 

How shall I live this Word?

Isaiah’s vision allows us to perceive a new world, Paradise with its dreamlike description that leads us to imagine a mountain to which all people arrive from different directions.  There the veil that covered, protected, hid them is taken away and if clouds were covering their Nations, even these thin out and disappear.  This unveiling affirms life as victorious over death which is eliminated forever.  What is really eliminated is suffering, tears, ignominy that all disappear because they no longer have any reason for being.  Suffering, the fruit of our first distancing from God, kept this distance between us and God that we were unable to fill.  The Incarnation, the arrival of the Messiah invested with spiritual gifts, fills this distance on the part of God and makes it possible to reconnect with Him.  It can be thought of as a new creative action that adds to the first, the knowledge of good and evil.  The veil that is taken away allows us to see, to recognize with clarity, and to choose with awareness.  Suffering is assumed by the Messiah and life can return to being eternal and desired as such.

Lord, our hope is in You!  Help us to give meaning to suffering by associating it with Yours and You promise to eliminate forever every tear and every type of denigration.

 The Voice of Pope Francis

 Here is the goal to which the Church strives: it is, as the Bible says, the “new Jerusalem”, “Paradise”.  More than a place, it is a “state” of the soul in which our deepest expectations will be fulfilled in a superabundant way and our being, as creatures and children of God, will come to full maturity. We will finally be clothed with joy, peace, and God’s love in a complete way, without any limits, and we will be face to face with Him! (Cf. 1 Corinthians 13: 12). It is lovely to think this, to think of Heaven.  All of us will find ourselves up there, everyone. It’s beautiful, it gives strength to the soul.

 

 

 

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