Who is Jesus for me?

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 29 JUNE 2024   SATURDAY X11 SAINTS PETER & PAUL WORD of the DAY  When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so, I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16: 13-19) How shall I live this Word?    The liturgy of today’s feast invites us to celebrate simultaneously the faith of Peter, his confession in the divinity of Christ, the mandate that the Lord Himself has entrusted to him to be the leader of the church, and the continuity of that mandate in the person of his successors. It is therefore a feast that involves the whole church, the one who represents Christ on earth, the Roman pontiff, and all the members of His Church. The whole Gospel is pervaded by the question, Who... read more

BE LIKE JESUS…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 28 JUNE 2024   FRIDAY X11 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.”                      (Matthew 8: 1-4) How shall I live this Word?    Jesus comes down from the mountain. We know that the mountain is one of the special places that He chooses to be in the presence of the Father and to enter into a relationship with Him. These are extremely necessary moments that Jesus chooses to live in solitude with the Father, nourishing His filial relationship do not distance Him from others rather, but allow Him to live in fullness the mission for which He was sent. Coming down from the mountain, many people followed Him. Why does the crowd choose to follow Jesus? It is a question that today challenges our personal life. Why do I choose to follow Jesus? It is an invitation to take Jesus seriously, to take the Gospel seriously, to take seriously the path taken by Jesus because love makes us similar; love generates imitation! Following Jesus changes my desires, changes my way of behaving, changes my words because following Jesus means adhering to His person. It is not... read more

Build your life on JESUS…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 27 JUNE 2024   THURSDAY X11 WORD of the DAY  Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’ Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’ “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.                                          (Matthew 7: 21-29) How shall I live this Word?    “Not who says… but who does …”. The Lord Jesus spoke these words at the end of the Sermon on the Mount in which he outlined the profile of the Christian. In another passage Jesus says, “Go and you do... read more

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 26 JUNE 2024   WEDNESDAY X11 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 thornbushes, 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.”                (Matthew 7: 15-20) How shall I live this Word?    Nature is our teacher. Jesus often uses images of nature to help us understand an important message. The whole Bible is rich in images taken from nature, eloquent and effective in transmitting to us a content of faith.  “By their fruits you will recognize them “; “if the branch does not bear fruit …” Certainly, we cannot judge the human heart; it is known only to God. However, works (fruits) can be a revealing clue in witnessing to who we are and what we believe in. In his letter, Saint James expresses it very well, “What good is it, my brothers, if one says he has faith but has no works?” No bramble produces juicy table grapes! Thus, we can see if the faith proposed brings fruits of conversion, of inner peace, of active charity, of forgiveness. But if this is true, we can also say the opposite! There are people who... read more

DO UNTO OTHERS…

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 25 JUNE 2024   TUESDAY X11 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.” (Matthew 7: 6/12-14) How shall I live this Word?    “Whatever you want others to do to you, you also do to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.” This statement would be enough to restore peace to the world! It is the golden rule that encapsulates in itself all possible wisdom about behavior among people. A teaching contained in different cultures, religions, and traditions; it is the basis of all authentically human values. How many times have we looked for a sure compass that would show us the path to take. This statement of Jesus, clear and immediate to understand and live, shows us the way. Jesus invites us to put ourselves in the shoes of the other just as He did by taking on our human flesh to love us. In the different situations of life, faced with even daily choices, let us ask ourselves if we can put ourselves in the shoes of the other. This... read more

His name is JOHN – GIFT OF GOD!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 24 JUNE 2024   MONDAY X11 BIRTH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST WORD of the DAY  When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So, they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.            (LUKE 1: 57-66/80) How shall I live this Word?    At the beginning of the summer this great feast is celebrated, an ancient anniversary: the solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. It is the only witness of which the New Testament recalls the birth, so intertwined with that of Jesus. The birth of... read more

BORN AGAIN IN JESUS

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 23 JUNE 2024   SUNDAY  X11 WORD of the DAY  Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So, whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor 5: 14-17) How shall I live this Word?    “… if one is in Christ, he is a new creature”: this is the gift of our faith! With Baptism we are in Christ, grafted into this gift of Love that makes us new creatures. Paul sees every reality, every situation with the eyes of faith because in Christ he became a new creature. In Christ we, like Paul, are new creatures. It is Christ himself who enables us to love, to forgive, to be instruments of reconciliation and peace. “… old things have passed; behold, new ones have been born.” The old man is nailed to the cross with our sinful nature. Now we are new, saved, liberated creatures through the Cross of Christ. This is why we can live according to the Spirit who dwells in us and has inserted us into Christ through Baptism. Therefore, let us free the... read more

Do not worry!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 22 JUNE 2024   SATURDAY  11 WORD of the DAY  Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. 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.  (Matthew 6: 25/33-34) How shall I live this Word?    “Do not worry” is the refrain of Jesus that gives us much peace! Putting life in the hands of the Father means being free from anxiety. It is God who guarantees life, gives it, and nourishes it. He cares like a mother for what we need, why not trust? He does not tell us not to work, but not to make the work become an idol! The fact that everything is a gift is not an alibi for commitment, but an antidote to concern! We must work to live, but we are given the opportunity to do so with much freedom and confidence knowing that Someone cares for us. Worrying is devouring the present and not living the moment we have, fleeing into a future that is not yet there. This empties us, leaving us anxious and dissatisfied. Let us live the gift of the here and now as a gift of God and so we will live tomorrow in its time, as His gift. Lord, give us the grace of the present moment, lived in love, in gratitude. Grant us to savor... read more

OUR TRUE TREASURE IS JESUS

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 21 JUNE 2024   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.                                                  (Matthew 6: 19-21) How shall I live this Word?    this passage begins the conclusion of the body of the sermon of the mountain, which will culminate with the command of love, synthesis of the law and the prophets (7:12). We continue to see the theme of the fatherhood of God that in this passage is to be lived in relation to things as freedom from the accumulation of things. Things are given for life; this is the truth of everything around us. When we become greedy masters, we distort things, but above all, we distort ourselves. The desire to possess becomes practical atheism. it is theft, the origin of all divisions, of all evils: it is true idolatry. We come to place our trust in our ability to accumulate, in the security created with our hands, rather than in the Father “who knows what we need”. “Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be”. We become what we love and dwell where we have laid our heart. Grant Lord, that we may always dwell in You! The voice of Pope Francis   Homily 20 June 2014 Money, vanity, and power do not make us happy. The true treasures, the... read more

PRAY ALWAYS!

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 20 JUNE 2024   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.                                                  (Matthew 6: 7-9) How shall I live this Word?    Therefore, pray thus; pray this way”. Jesus commands us to pray in a different way than by multiplying words to be heard by God. Rather, we must listen to the Father so that His plans for us may be realized. Prayer is welcoming; it is not something to be done. And the Our Father is the prayer that contains all the other prayers as we ask the Father what He wants to give us. He wants and we want it to be so, for us, for everyone. Moreover, Jesus commands us, “Pray”! Also, in other parts of the Gospel this command is present, to the point of becoming “always, without ever getting tired”, as if prayer is like life; if it stops, we die! Holy Spirit, continue to cry out in us, “Abba, Father”! Help us to let You resound in our hearts, to welcome You, so that You, the Love of the Father and of the Son, may make us grow and delineate ever more clearly the image of the Son that is hidden in our lives! The voice of Pope Francis   Lent 2022 Let us not tire of praying. Jesus taught that it is necessary to “pray always, without ever getting tired” (Lk... read more