GOOD FRIDAY

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD GOOD FRIDAY April 19, 2019 WORD of the DAY After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit. (John 19: 28-30) How shall I live this Word? Today the death of Jesus pervades the universe. The memorial of His passion collects all the passions, all the pain of the world and carries it on the cross. A crucifix, a thousand crucifixes. Jesus dies in full awareness of the injustice of His death, but He chose not to resist it; He knows He chose ‘lowliness’ to reach the human heart and the only elevation He was granted was on the cross. He knows that the ridicule and the derision suffered will not stop and it will be difficult to believe Him. His death is not glorious, edifying. But His death is for everyone, in the...

HOLY THURSDAY

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD HOLY THURSDAY April 18, 2019 WORD of the DAY  So, during supper,  fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist.  (John 13: 3-4)   How shall I live this Word? John gives us a very detailed account of the multiplication of the loaves but He does not narrate the Last Supper. He does not emphasize the rite of the Jewish Passover fulfilled by that of the new Passover.  What he remembers is the unique gesture:  Jesus takes a basin of water, puts on an apron, and washes the feet of those present.  It is an embarrassing gesture for the one who does it, but especially in this case, also for the one who receives it.  Allowing one’s feet to be washed by someone important and beloved like Jesus, makes one react and Peter does precisely this. ...

Wednesday of Holy Week

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Wednesday of Holy Week April 17, 2019  WORD of the DAY   Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?  (Mt 26: 17-18)   How shall I live this Word? It seems a thoughtful request, but it hides a lot of dullness. The apostles think of preparing Easter for themselves and they have no idea that Easter is preparing Jesus for them. They also think of doing a favor, a service to Him.  Easter is His, not to be done together.  As if the years spent with Him had not built their sense of community. But that phrase could also reveal other meanings.  Easter is only of Jesus, because He will be the immolated lamb. In this case, the apostles are unconsciously declaring themselves those who go to prepare the sacrifice, not just the rite. They are readying the victim. Dramatically all is true. Unawareness, misunderstanding are mixed with disappointment, distrust, sadness, and prepare the death of Jesus.  It is as if in those gestures and in those emotions all the refusals, the betrayals, the sins of a whole story were condensed! Everything, however, is being organized so...

Tuesday of Holy Week

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Tuesday of Holy Week April 16, 2019  WORD of the DAY   Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it.” So he dipped the morsel and [took it and] handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot.  After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. (John 13: 26-27)  How shall I live this Word? Today the word that we will study is BETRAYAL.  Jesus knew that He would be betrayed. He always knew he was betrayed and ‘betrayable’.  Peter, John and James had already shown him, trivializing His words, not recognizing Him as a friend, demanding a hierarchical organization around Him, which included first and second places. Judas continues the sequence: disappointment after three years of enthusiasm leads him to sell Jesus, to get rid of Him. All of this is very evident in our lives: we like people, ideas, projects.  Then, when they get old or they don’t turn out to be so exciting anymore, we ‘betray’ them, we pass them on to others.  We don’t know them anymore. Everything is ready to be thrown in the trash. Jesus knows this posture of...

PALM SUNDAY

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD PALM SUNDAY April 14, 2019 WORD of the DAY I did not refuse, did not turn away (Isaiah 50: 5) How shall I live this Word? Holy Week in many parts of the world is still a time that people, even non-believers, ‘notice’. Not only for the incipient spring and the bit of holidays that it introduces, but also for the climate, the traditions that it evokes. Even the most distracted people think about death and life. Death always weighs heavy. It is scary because in an unpredictable way, it pays attention to life and shows itself as the great enemy to avoid or fight against. Unjust death scandalizes, pains, and causes despair. This is why it makes us think of it, even if it is a thought that we all want to remove, to distance. Death must be avoided, fought. The good news of Jesus, always disconcerting, touches also and above all this aspect. Isaiah had anticipated it in the poems of the Suffering Servant: not resisting, not withdrawing from it, appears to be the way to exalt life. Jesus will say “love not only those who love you, but also your...

Fifth Saturday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fifth Saturday of Lent, April 13, 2019 WORD of the DAY Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill...
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