Carry our Cross with Jesus

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD FEBRUARY 18, 2021  Thursday after Ash Wednesday WORD of the DAY  Jesus said to his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?” (Luke 9: 22 – 25) How shall I live this Word?   The path that Jesus proposes is demanding, as evidenced by today’s Word, but we must not misunderstand it. He invites us to be free people who, as such, are also capable of saying no to each other, of not putting their own ‘I’ at the center because what is the use of gaining the whole world if we then lose or ruin ourselves? Conversion to love is conquering freedom, first of all for oneself....

31st Wednesday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD 31st Wednesday of Ordinary Time November 4, 2020 WORD of the DAY Great crowds were traveling with him, and he turned and addressed them, “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, every one of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot...

Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time June 28, 2020 WORD of the DAY Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10: 37-39) How shall I live this Word? We have a cross, any cross, large or small, light or heavy, we all have a cross! We received it with an illness, the painful death of a loved one, a difficult relationship, a dangerous bond, a disastrous economic situation, an endless war … or who knows how. We all have a cross, believers or atheists, Christians or Muslims, practicing or not. We all have a cross, and perhaps we have more than one. But it is how we accept and welcome it in our life that makes us true Christians, authentic disciples of that Jesus who carried His heavy and painful cross along the Via Dolorosa to Golgotha. But...

Twelfth Tuesday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Twelfth Tuesday of Ordinary Time June 23, 2020 WORD of the DAY 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? Our faith in Jesus and in the Gospel does not ask us to renounce our sensitivity and intelligence. Even if taken with ardor and passionate love, we must not go from considering ourselves ‘sheep’ following the ‘beautiful Shepherd’, to being ‘sheep’ in pursuit of everything that flutters by mistaking it for one’s flag. Healthy discernment passes through the recognition of one’s limitations, as well as through the humble awareness of one’s own abilities. Let us not be taken by the illusion that everything...

Tenth Thursday of Ordinary Time

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Tenth Thursday of Ordinary Time June 11, 2020 WORD of the DAY As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.     (Matthew: 10: 7-8) How shall I live this Word? Along the way. Walking. … The mission is dynamic, it is a way to reach the others. The ‘disciples of the Way’, as Jesus’ followers were called. Jesus was always on the way. A journey filled by sharing an experience, not by words, not by an ideology! The encounter with Jesus translated into a strong experience of joy, fullness, life. It was a testimony of liberation, of sharing a gift received and freely given back. … Thus it was for the disciples. And for us? Grant that Your Spirit may grant us the vibrancy of being ‘disciples on the Way’, with our heart in Jesus and our hands and feet among our sisters and brothers! The voice of Pope Francis, Morning Meditation at St. Martha 6/11/15 The path of the disciple of Jesus is to go...

Third Tuesday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Third Tuesday of LENT March 17, 2020 WORD of the DAY Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18: 21-22) How shall I live this Word? What Jesus says here is of a power that inundates with light the path of those who walk not only with the Gospel in their pocket, but within their daily life. Who has not been tried by some trouble brought to them by a man or woman from this earth? Sometimes the offense is very serious and forgiveness becomes difficult. But here is the Christian challenge. Yes, because Jesus Himself, on the infamous scaffold of the Cross, pronounced the precious words. “Forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). Lord, give me a heart that is continually vivified by You, by Your love, by Your grace so that forgiveness becomes a real occasion to tell You, “I believe in You Jesus and I love You.” The voice of Pope Francis Forgiveness is a power...