Posted by: livingscripture | October 13, 2017

27th Friday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 13, 2017

27th Friday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY 

Like dawn spreading over the mountains,

a vast and mighty army!

  (Joel 2: 2)

How shall I live this Word?

Another minor prophet enlightens our week: Joel.  He probably lived in Jerusalem in the eighth century BC and was one of the most ancient prophets.  He left only a few pages on which he concentrated a message: The Lord will come.  His day will arrive and when it comes, what will He find?  His word is a service for conversion and for fidelity of the people of God, an invitation expressed in apocalyptic language to interpret the signs of the times.

With poetry, he gives us a foretaste of the greatness and beauty of this day.  A day of devastation, of darkness and shadows, but also of blessing, of new generation, a passage that purifies, strengthens, and defines the people of God.  His words imply a future vision of universality: the children of Zion will be able to rejoice and be glad because the Lord is with them, in their midst.  It is a prophecy of the new people born of Mary.  It is the prophecy of Christ, Lord and judge who will come so that all people will encounter His mercy.

Lord, permit that Your every sign may help us to our nourish hope, reinforce our faith, and make our conversion continuous, daily, happy.

The Voice of Fr. Pietro Parolin

   It is not enough to reform structures we must have, if this is not accompanied with a permanent personal conversion.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 12, 2017

27th Thursday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 12, 2017

27th Thursday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 

Then those who fear the LORD spoke with one another, and the LORD listened attentively.

  (Malachy 3: 16)

How shall I live this Word?

Today we meet the prophet Malachy, a short book that is so small it risks being forgotten.  But its few words have explosive power.  From the time of the exile, he proclaims the God who listens, who does not forget His people.  He foresees the closeness of God to His people, expressed so powerfully that He will become a person among them:  Jesus.  The preaching of Malachy obligates the God-fearing to avoid indifference and to declare what they have at heart, what is right and what is not right.  God listens to them and renews with them the covenant sealed by scripture in a new book that helps them to cultivate faith and hope.

Lord, we move, live, and exist in Your Word!

The Voice of Cardinal Maria Martini, a Prophet of Today 

The Word of God is what wins the battle of faith in us.

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 11, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

OCTOBER 11, 2017

“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.”
— St. Thomas Aquinas

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“One of the most formidable obstacles to the conversion of a soul is the fact that God is a hidden God: Deus absconditus. But God, in His goodness, reveals Himself, in a certain manner, through His saints, and even through fervent souls. In this way, the supernatural filters through and becomes visible to the faithful, who are thus able to apprehend something of the mystery of God . . . make no mistake, there is a sort of instinct by which souls, without clearly defining what it is they sense, are aware of this radiation of the supernatural.”
— Dom Jean-Baptist Chautard
Posted by: livingscripture | October 11, 2017

27th Wednesday of Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 11, 2017

27th Wednesday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

Then the LORD said, “You are concerned over the gourd plant which cost you no effort and which you did not grow; it came up in one night and in one night it perished.  And should I not be concerned over the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot know their right hand from their left, not to mention all the animals?   (Jonah 4: 10)

How shall I live this Word?

Jonah’s anger continues.  He leaves the converted city and stays at a distance to see how things will go.  In his dialog with God, he justifies his first flight and he seems to tell the Lord that he knew God would forgive the city.  So?  Why send him to preach?

God provides some shade for Jonah to calm him down.  There is a gourd that suddenly appears.  The gift is appreciated and Jonah rests under the delicate shade of the plant, which in a short time, withers and leaves Jonah at the mercy of the torrid sun.  Jonah again reacts with depression and complaints.  He wants to die and has neither the heart nor the mind to grasp the allegorical meaning of what is happening.

We become attached to small, futile things, and we do everything to keep them, guard them, save them.  Why is it that regarding people, we often cannot cultivate intense sentiments like we do for animals and objects dear to us? The Lord obliges Jonah and us to recognize His magnanimity, His benevolence, not as signs of weakness, but as the power of God which alone can change the world.

Lord, help us to savor mercy and a heart like Yours, to continually give life, generate hope in our life and that of others.

The Voice of R. Laurentin, Theologian

We are able to be merciful in the measure in which we know we are the object of mercy.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 10, 2017

Tuesday Thoughts

#Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

OCTOBER 10, 2017

“You can’t go to heaven hating somebody. Forgive now. Be compassionate now. Be patient now. Be grateful now. Love Jesus and Mary now. Accept God’s will now.”
— Mother Angelica

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“True devotion to Our Lady is interior; that is, it comes from the mind and the heart. It flows from the esteem we have for her, the high idea we have formed of her greatness, and the love which we have for her. It is tender; that is, full of confidence in her, like a child’s confidence in his loving mother … It implores the aid of its good Mother at all times, in all places and above all things: in its doubts, that it may be enlightened; in its wanderings, that it may be brought into the right path; in its temptations, that it may be supported; in its weaknesses, that it may be strengthened; in its falls, that it may be lifted up; in its discouragements, that it may be cheered; in its scruples, that they may be taken away; in the crosses, toils and disappointments of life, that it may be consoled under them. In a word, in all the evils of body and mind, the soul ordinarily has recourse to Mary, without fear of annoying her or displeasing Jesus Christ.”
— St. Louis De Montfort
Posted by: livingscripture | October 10, 2017

27th Tuesday in Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 10, 2017

27th Tuesday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 

Man and beast alike must be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; they all must turn from their evil way and from the violence of their hands. When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out. (Jonah 3: 10)

How shall I live this Word?

Jonah overcame his initial fear and let himself be transported by the huge fish to Nineveh.  Here his preaching, his faithful repetition of God’s words shake up the inhabitants who take him very seriously and take on an attitude of conversion.  This seems to represent what will be the paresis of the first apostles who fearlessly proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus to anyone.

God is moved by the readiness and conversion of the Ninevites and forgives them, removing the threats he had made.

His efficacious mediation does not please Jonah and he criticizes this weakness of God.

 

Lord, we too are like Jonah and like the older brother in the story of the Prodigal Son.  We are not happy when a great sinner repents and returns to You.  It seems that You are wasting Your mercy and Your forgiveness.  We think it should be earned with hard work.  Give us new eyes and heart to learn to appreciate Your mercy in a different way, knowing that it is not given because of our good works, but so that we may begin to do them.

The Voice of Ermes Ronchi, Theologian

   Human perfection is the conquest of mercy and mercy is the synthesis of the Good News.  Mercy, scandal for justice, folly for the intelligence, consolation for us debtors.  The debt for existing, the debt for being loved are paid only with mercy.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 9, 2017

27th Monday in Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 9, 2017

27th Monday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish, away from the LORD. (Jonah 1: 2)

How shall I live this Word?

We will meet Jonah in the Liturgy of the next three days, the prophet who runs away and gets mad!  It is an exemplary and pleasant story that well represents what it means to do God’s will.  Jonah is a minor prophet, cited in the Second Book of Kings, but in this text, we can consider it a later midrash (a theological re-reading but also popular, an interpretation of other writings of Sacred Scripture and at the same time, a story organized as an evolving interior path).  Jonah is a tranquil man, observant, and a lover of the God of Israel who never thought he could be called so directly by God to go to meet the most blasphemous people and the most distant from God that he could imagine.

The determined and arduous proposal of God provokes fear in Jonah; he is disconcerted and confused.  His only thought is to run away, as though he did not know that we cannot flee from God, nor hide from His sight.

He tries to flee to Tarshish, in the opposite direction of Nineveh.  It takes only a few passages, and the situation is already dangerous.  Jonah cannot hide from God.  The small challenge made to God by fleeing, reinforces in him the idea that God is close and therefore, he agrees to listen to God.  He has himself thrown into the sea, as an expiatory goat to calm the unexpected tempest that had enveloped him and his companions on the voyage.  Even this dialog in the tempest becomes a proclamation: they all recognize the God of Jonah as powerful, the most powerful.

Throwing him into the water means giving him to the fish’s belly: an image that immediately connotes for us a tomb in which to develop a transformation that leads to new life.

Lord, Jonah did not lose his faith even as he was running away from You.  He faced his humanity and re-elaborated it to make it able to respond to You.  Grant that our humanity as well, passing through times of crisis, of refusal, of abandonment, may find the power and energy to say Yes to You with our whole heart.

The Voice of Pope Francis

The sign of Jonah is what gives us the confidence of being saved by the blood of Christ.  There are many Christians who think they are saved because of what they do, for their works.  Works are necessary but are a consequence, a response to the merciful love that saves us.  Works alone, without this merciful love, are not enough.

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 8, 2017

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 8, 2017

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

 

 

WORD of the DAY

Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?      (Matthew 21:40)

How shall I live this Word?

This provocative passage of the evangelist Matthew leads us to think of our relationship with God, but also of inhabited time and space, the two dimensions that contain our life.  At the center there is the image of the vineyard, which often recurs in biblical language and that can be considered as an architype of the human experience of God.  God brought his vineyard into existence; He tended it and made it grow and then He entrusted it to the care of human beings.  It is precious and especially dear to God.  Left in the hands of others, over time it was transformed from a rapport of trust into personal property.  They forgot the owner to the point of becoming spitefully jealous of the good entrusted to them.  Here we are assisting at a dynamic of trust and gratuity that is cancelled out by greed.  It is a collapse that sees only the perspective of considering the object entrusted as exclusively one’s own, having lost the external horizons.  It is a movement of closure, done not by individuals, but by a community that reinforces itself negatively in a self-referencing conviction of being in the right.

Jesus relates this parable to warn the Jews, His contemporaries, about their exclusive way of interpreting the promise of God and His choosing them.  However, the parable also speaks of us and solicits us to realize that every time we distance ourselves from God, forget Him, we appropriate to ourselves a good that is His, considering it our right only, our property.  We become those murderous workers every time we erect a wall of separation, not only symbolic, that distinguishes between those who are worthy and those who are unworthy to enter our countries, our civil and church communities; we demand absolute respect to be and remain who and what we are.

Lord, free me from the desire for supremacy, for superiority that makes me a judge of people and their executioner, and that closes my eyes to who my neighbor is today.

The Voice of Amartya Sen 

Duty toward our neighbor is not only limited to those who live near us.  What establishes a bond between the wounded Samaritan and the Israelite are the events themselves.  Finding himself in that situation, he had access to a new closeness.  In our world, there are very few people that cannot be considered our neighbor.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 7, 2017

Our Lady of the Rosary

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

October 7, 2017

26th Saturday of Ordinary Time

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

 

WORD of the DAY 

The poor see and rejoice. (Psalm 68)

How shall I live this Word?

Already in the Old Testament this expression is found and we could say that it prepares for a very important verse that opens the Canticle of the Beatitudes in the discourse on the mountain: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5: 3).

In effect, the Word of God teaches us that the road to joy (or beatitude) is not generally taken by the rich and powerful of the earth, unless they are using their money and power to help the poor of every kind.  Rather, we know from the social network that suicide is often the epilogue of a life marked by every expenditure on the part of the children of those who control the world economy.

Thus, it is important to focus on a certainty: precisely in the Most Holy Virgin Mary, to a life of poverty and deep joy, is joined the good.  It is enough to recall her Magnificat!  What is a ‘poor life’ according to the Gospel?  It does not mean misery, but rather one that is lived under the sign of simplicity and moderation that allows us to walk with agility without heavy and useless burdens, on the road of hope and of joy.

Lord Jesus, grant me a mind that allows itself to be illumined by Your Gospel and a heart that discerns and decides for joy in a simple and sober life style.  Mary, our Help, intercede for me!

The Voice of Fr. Andrea Gallo, Founder & Animator of St. Benedict Community at Genoa

Being poor means living according to our means, not above them.  It means making friends with moderation.  It is only thanks to moderation that respect for nature and the environment can blossom forth.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | October 6, 2017

Friday Food for Thought

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

OCTOBER 6, 2017

“In everything, whether it is a thing sensed or a thing known, God Himself is hidden within.”
— St. Bonaventure

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony and bitter torments, except faith, and especially faith in the resurrection? What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love . . . It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.”
— Pope Benedict XIV

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