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...

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...

Second Wednesday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Second Wednesday of Lent, March 20, 2019 WORD of the DAY  As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve [disciples] aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, “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: 17-19)   How shall I live this Word? Today’s Gospel presents us with three points: the third announcement of the passion; the request of the mother of the sons of Zebedee; and the discussion of the disciples for the first place. However, it is an uphill journey towards Jerusalem, towards the Passion and death. It is a journey of fear in which Jesus does not spare the apostles the painful prophecy of everything that will have to happen to Him. And while He predicts it for His Twelve, He already suffers it in the first person. It is the anxiety of His nights. It...

SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Second Tuesday of Lent, March 19, 2019 SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH WORD of the DAY Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her”. (Matthew 1: 18-21) How shall I live this Word? “When Mary His Mother was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit”. Only a man of great faith and deep humility could believe with simplicity in a mystery so beyond our thoughts. Joseph was that man. He did not understand what had happened to Mary, but he could read her innocence in her eyes. He...
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