Posted by: livingscripture | March 16, 2017

Second Thursday of Lent

 

WORD of the DAY

Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.  Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.   (Luke 16: 25-26)                       

How shall I live this Word?

The Parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus is at the center of the Pope’s message for Lent this year.  We all wish to reach the happiness of life eternal.

In today’s Gospel we find the “key for sincere conversion”: to gratefully recognize the value of every person.  The others are sisters and brothers  who call me to a relationship of justice, good and true.  The other person is a gift.

The first invitation this parable addresses to us  is to open the door of our heart to others, precisely because each person is a gift.  We have many gifts in life of well-being, of prosperity, of material or immaterial wealth, but the greatest gift is fraternity.  To waste this gift means living egotistically, which is the immense abyss that divides the joy of heaven from the sadness of hell.

Lord, true wealth is Your presence in every sister and brother; help us to live as children of God our Father.

The voice of Pope Francis

Lent is the favorable time to renew our encounter with Christ living in His Word, in the Sacraments, in our neighbor.  The Lord who during the forty days spent in the desert overcame the wiles of the tempter, indicates to us the road to follow.   The Holy Spirit guides us to accomplish a true journey of conversion in order to re-discover the Word of God, be purified from sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in the needy.  Let us pray for each other so that as participants in the victory of Christ, we will know how to open our doors to the weak and poor.  Then we can fully live and witness to the joy of Easter.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | March 15, 2017

Second Wednesday of Lent

 

 WORD of the DAY

Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day. (Matthew 20: 18-19)                       

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus speaks clearly about the journey of the sequela.  The disciples must follow the Teacher even if they must suffer like Him.  The disciples are frightened and they accompany Him with fear.  They do not understand what is happening.  Suffering did not go with the idea they had of the Messiah.

However, even hearing this announcement of death, two disciples present a request to Him through their mother to obtain the first places.  The disciples not only do not understand the weight of Jesus’ message, but they continue with their personal ambitions.  While Jesus is insisting on service and the gift of self, they continue to ask for the first places in the Kingdom.  They looked at Jesus with the same look as ever, of the past.  They wanted a recompense for having followed Jesus.

“You do not know what you are asking!”  He asks them if they are able to drink the chalice that He, Jesus, would drink and if they are ready to receive the baptism He will receive.  It is the chalice of suffering, the baptism of blood!  Jesus wants to know if they, instead of the place of honor, accept to give their life to the death.

The disciples accept drinking the same chalice of suffering; they accept without knowing what this decision means.  Only in the certainty of the Resurrection will they discover the greatness of this acceptance that leads them to serve with love.

Jesus, give us the strength of love that even without knowing everything, we trust in You.

The voice of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus

Let us offer our sufferings to Jesus to save souls.  Poor souls!  They have fewer graces than we do and yet the blood of a God was poured out to save them.  Jesus is ready to make their salvation depend on a breath of our heart.  What a mystery!  If a breath can save a soul, how much can God do with our sufferings?  Let us never refuse anything to Jesus!

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | March 14, 2017

Second Tuesday of Lent

 

WORD of the DAY

“Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice…  You are all brothers. (Matthew 23: 3/8)                       

 

How shall I live this Word?

Jesus acknowledges the authority of the Scribes and the Pharisees.  They occupy the chair of Moses and teach the Law of God, but they themselves do not observe what they teach.  This is the root of the criticism: they preach but they do not practice.

It is a terrible criticism!  Immediately, as in a mirror, Jesus shows some aspects of the incoherence of the religious authorities.  However, we cannot stop at evaluating others; we can see this same criticism in ourselves.  Do we do what we say is true and good?  A few steps ahead, and Jesus calls us: Brothers, we cannot judge others so that we can appear more important.

Jesus alone is the Teacher and we are all brothers and sisters.  This is the basis of the fraternity that is born from the certainty that God is our Father.

Help us Lord to live in harmony with our thoughts, feelings, actions.

The voice Pope Francis

We need to pray a lot so that we may not catch the virus of hypocrisy, that pharisaical attitude that seduces with its lies as it stands in the shadows.

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | March 13, 2017

Second Monday of Lent

 

WORD of the DAY

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you. (Luke 6: 37-38)                       

How shall I live this Word?

With what goodness Jesus calls us to be merciful!  All through the Gospels, Jesus insistently tells us: “Do to others what you want them to do to you”. (Luke 6: 31/Cf. Mt. 7:12)

Today too, He tells us: If you do not want to be judged, do not judge others!  If you do not want to be condemned, do not condemn others!  If you want to receive in good measure, give good measure to others!  Do not wait for the other to take the initiative; you be the first to begin!  Then, you will see that this is the way!

These imperatives of love  open the doors to freedom, especially forgiveness that restores interior peace to our heart.  The journey of forgiveness is often preceded by legitimate rancor for offenses that have wounded the soul, but to remain with rancor is not Christian.  Even if it seems impossible, we can arrive at accepting the one who offended us, looking at them as God does.  When we are able to forgive, God’s love penetrates us and what had before made us cry, what had destroyed us, is transformed into the certainty of love that God forgives us.

God, Father of mercy, forgive me as I forgive others.  Teach me to forgive like You.

The voice Pope Francis

Jesus tells us clearly that revenge and rancor are not Christian.  If I have rancor in my heart for something that someone has done to me and I want revenge, this distances me from the journey of holiness.  No vendettas.  ‘He did this to me and he will pay for it”, is not the language of a Christian.  Say no to revenge; say no to rancor.  ‘But this makes life impossible!  She badmouths me every day!  I will do the same to her…No!  Jesus says, pray for her/him.  I have to pray for them?  Yes, pray for them!  This is the journey of forgiveness, of forgetting offenses.  Evil is conquered by the good; sin is conquered with this generosity, with this power. (February 21, 2017)

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | March 12, 2017

MEDITATION

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

MARCH 12, 2017

“Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offense you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has forgiven you.”
— St. Josemaria Escriva

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Like an hourglass with a certain number of grains of sand within it, God has appointed your life to last only a certain number of days, and you have absolutely no idea how many there are. … In God’s presence, consider: I have no idea when my life will end. All I know is that death will come for me eventually. Am I doing anything to prepare for the real possibility that God may call me, sooner rather than later? If he called me into eternity today, would I be ready?”
— Patrick Madrid
Posted by: livingscripture | March 12, 2017

Second Sunday of Lent

 

WORD of the DAY

Lord, it is good for us to be here.  (Mt. 17: 4b)

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:7)                       

 

How shall I live this Word?

On our journey with Jesus, He often takes us aside, takes care of us, and shows us the power of His love.  Like the disciples, we go up the mountain in the joy of walking with Jesus; it is a marvelous and tremendous ascent.  We exclaim, “It is good for us to be here”.

In our life we have had such experiences of the Lord’s presence who holds us close, guides and sustains our steps.  This real presence of Jesus prepares us for times of doubt, difficulty, darkness.  Fear or uncertainty may come, but Jesus is with us and tells us “Rise, and do not be afraid”.

Jesus’ Transfiguration is His desire to return to the Father, taking with Him all of humanity.  To live a transfigured life, is to accept His presence that encourages us to walk beyond the Cross to arrive to the joy of the Father by rising with Christ.

God, please grant us growth in the knowledge of the mystery of Christ and in witnessing to Him through a worthy life style.

The voice Pope Francis

Listening to Christ implies assuming the logic of His Paschal Mystery; placing ourselves on the journey with Him to make our existence a gift of love for others, in docile obedience to God’s will, with an attitude of detachment from worldly things, and with inner freedom.  In other words, it means losing our life, giving it entirely so that all people may be saved  and we can meet each other in eternal bliss.  (Sunday, March 1, 2015)

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | March 11, 2017

Meditation

#Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

MARCH 11, 2017

“When an evil thought is presented to the mind, we must immediately endeavor to turn our thoughts to God, or to something which is indifferent. But the first rule is, instantly to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary and to continue to invoke them until the temptation ceases. He who trusts in himself is lost. He who trusts in God can do all things.”
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“Temptation to a certain sin, to any sin whatsoever, might last throughout our whole life, yet it can never make us displeasing to God’s Majesty provided we do not take pleasure in it and give consent to it. You must have great courage in the midst of temptation. Never think yourself overcome as long as they are displeasing to you, keeping clearly in mind the difference between feeling temptation and consenting to it.”
— St. Francis de Sales
Posted by: livingscripture | March 11, 2017

First Saturday of Lent

 

WORD of the DAY

 

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors* do the same?  And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?*  So be perfect,  just as your heavenly Father is perfect.  (Matthew 5: 38/ 43-48)                       

How shall I live this Word?image004-light to my feet

This is one of the most difficult pages of the Gospel and also the most sublime.  These words of Jesus, like those of the Sermon on the Mount, sound unreal and impossible to the mentality of people today, almost naive.  How is it possible with these precepts to maintain a minimum of law and order in society?  It was Hammurabi who promulgated the ‘Law of Retaliation’ as an antidote to the excesses of human revenge.  But the whole of history has shown that this has met total failure.

Certainly, Jesus and His apostles are not here to manage politically correct order in human society but to bring light to the heart with a sign of what the Kingdom of God will be like when this ‘world passes away’.  The Kingdom of God where God will be all in all and His Love will inundate the Universe.  Merciful Love does not pay evil for evil but responds to evil with the good.  It overcomes evil, cancels it by transforming the heart of the evil doer.  Only the power of God can truly conquer evil.  It is a power called Mercy that can often appear as subversive in the eyes of this world.  However, it is the sun that lights the earth, this garden that makes us so ferocious (Paradise, XXII, 151) with a ray of celestial light, a reflection of the Father.

During Lent, I will try to generously banish from my heart every spirit of contrariness and intolerance so as to be merciful like the Father.

The voice the Pope Francis

We want to live in the light of the Lord’s Word:  Be merciful like the Father.  This is what Jesus tells us through Luke the Evangelist.  It is a program of life that is very demanding but rich in joy and peace. (“Misericordiae vultus”, Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy)

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | March 10, 2017

Meditation

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

MARCH 10, 2017

“In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.”
— St. John of the Cross

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“From the natural point of view we come to know God from the vestiges of Himself that He has left in the splendors of the visible universe: the blazing red sunset, the snow-covered mountain peaks, the graceful flight of a bird, the breathtakingly magnificent complexity of a single living cell. On a still more exalted level we know Him in the loveliness of the saints – but it remains a knowledge of the infinite through the finite.”
— Fr. Thomas Dubay
Posted by: livingscripture | March 10, 2017

First Friday of Lent

 

 

WORD of the DAY

Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5: 23-24)                       

How shall I live this Word?image029- circle of friends

Lent is a time of forgiveness, of reconciliation with others.  Today, Jesus is very clear when He tells us that we cannot offer our gift until we are reconciled with those who have something against us.  When a relationship is broken, we must try to re-establish it.  Jesus tells us we cannot experience true communion of prayer with God if we exclude our sisters and brothers.  Only those who are reconciled among themselves can find a place at the Lord’s altar.

This basic teaching must be firmly impressed in our heart and in our life.  This teaching was taken very seriously by the first Christians and should be taken seriously by us today as well.

Today, as I ponder these words of Jesus, I will examine my conscience in order to remove from my heart resentment, rancor, anger toward anyone.  Jesus will help me.

The voice the Didachè 14, 2, Ancient Patristic Text

Whoever is fighting with someone else cannot be united to us until they are in peace, to avoid that our sacrifice be profaned.

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories