ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Third Monday of Lent, March 25, 2019 ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD  WORD of the DAY  In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.  Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.  (Luke 1: 26-27/38)   How shall I live this Word? “The Lord is with you ”. God, the ALL-Present, meets Mary, greets her, reveals her profound identity: “Full of God – the Beloved” and awaits an answer, God waits for Mary to choose to turn her heart or to the views of God , or towards her views. Waits for her to choose herself as the criterion of discernment or trust the words of God.  And Mary chooses: “let it be done to me according to your word”! Every moment is a moment of choice, of response; every moment...

Third Sunday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Third Sunday of Lent, March 24, 2019 DAY OF MISSIONARY MARTYRS WORD of the DAY By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”. (Luke 13: 5) How shall I live this Word? The present moment is the point, the only point where one can and must convert. But in short, from what should we be converted? Are we not good people? D. Bonhoeffer suggests a thought: “The opposite of faith is not disbelief; it is idolatry”. But what is idolatry? In common opinion, while true faith worships only one God, idolatry worships many gods. But in the Bible idolatry is something more subtle: it is not so much to bend the knee in front of a golden or wooden statuette; it is not even worshiping the golden calf; it is rather to erect one’s ego in place of God. At the bottom of every idolatry, there is autolatry, “self-love pushed to the point of contempt for God” (St. Augustine). From here, if conversion means literally “turning back, making a U-turn”, at the origin of conversion there is the desire to change direction:...

Second Saturday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Second Saturday of Lent, March 23, 2019 WORD of the DAY So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son. But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found. Then the celebration began. How shall I live this Word? This Gospel of the ‘spendthrift’ son has greatly stimulated artists of all times and places. Among the most known and loved, the pictorial work embraces is the Father of Rembrandt. This young man was lost and was found. This is what happened to the sheep saved by the shepherd...

Second Friday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Second Friday of Lent, March 22, 2019 WORD of the DAY Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes’? Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. (Matthew 21: 42-43) How shall I live this Word? Jesus continues in an attempt to introduce the Twelve to thoughts far removed from their vision of a Messiah who is glorious and overcomes all evil. He is the cornerstone that will soon be discarded, but which will then become the basis and support of every human construction. The Master refers back to the Scriptures, which His disciples certainly know, but who find it difficult to apply concretely to the life of the Lord Jesus. The history of each day is a time in which people follow the philosophy of waste, the fruit of that mentality so criticized by Pope Francis. Discarding, marginalizing, disqualifying, and other verbs denote an anti-Christian style, the opposite...

Second Thursday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Second Thursday of Lent, March 21, 2019 WORD of the DAY Blessed are those who trust in the Lord; the Lord will be their trust. They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit. (Jeremiah 17: 7-8) How shall I live this Word? The image of the tree lush with leaves and with long roots that reach the streams of water is a living and realistic symbol of the person blessed by God. It regards a different reality in the imagination of the prophet Jeremiah, dramatic witness of the fall of the Kingdom of Juda and the destruction of Jerusalem. Fidelity to God and to His law is the principle of life, of fruitfulness, of interior freshness. Often we too, when things do not go well, when we feel misunderstood and abandoned by friends, experience the desolation of the desert. We hunger and thirst for life that seems to flee from our days. Abandoning ourselves trustfully to the Lord, to...
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