Fifth Wednesday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fifth Wednesday of Lent, April 10, 2019 WORD of the DAY Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son always remains. So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free. (John 8: 31-42) How shall I live this Word? Christian discipleship is a progressive awareness of who we really are: as if someone were dusting off an old identity document, seeing each other again with the features of the past and discovering with surprise that the card still has validity. Not a religious tradition, but an existential memory that leads us back to our origin from God the Father, which has been affected and faded by sin. The Son, who...

Fifth Monday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fifth Monday of Lent, April 8, 2019 WORD of the DAY Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You testify on your own behalf, so your testimony cannot be verified.” Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I do testify on my own behalf, my testimony can be verified, because I know where I came from and where I am going. But you do not know where I come from or where I am going… (John 8: 12-20) How shall I live this Word? In these artfully orchestrated accusations, almost like the general proofs of the trial that would be made against him, the Pharisees try to force Jesus into a minority, to disqualify Him as if His was an isolated voice without substance. He is an uncomfortable Jesus because He claims to listen to and follow only the Father. So not an established order around a ‘creed’, not the representatives of a hierarchy, not those who hold religious power and exercise it tyrannizing over...

Fifth Sunday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 7, 2019 WORD of the DAY Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on...

Fourth Saturday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fourth Saturday of Lent, April 6, 2019 WORD of the DAY Some in the crowd who heard these words said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not scripture say that the Messiah will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. (John 7: 40-43) How shall I live this Word? It is interesting to see that even the Word of Jesus does not immediately create consensus and full agreement. Envy, jealousy, and other weeds of human nature unleash opposing positions. To the simple joy and vital adhesion of people who are upright and open to the Gospel is here opposed a facile pretext. It consists in being scandalized by the fact that Jesus’ homeland was that depressed and poor area in every sense that was called Galilee. THE VOICE OF Tonino Bello, Holy Bishop Listen to me because I am in the final stage of my life. I would like to leave you a message to remember; let us love...

Fourth Friday of Lent

  FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fourth Friday of Lent, April 5, 2019  WORD of the DAY   Many are the troubles of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them from them all… The Lord is the redeemer of the souls of his servants; and none are condemned who take refuge in him.      (Psalm 34: 20)   How shall I live this Word? Today’s  scriptural passage does not try to hide the fact that in the life of those who want to be just, that is, honest, fair, and good, there are difficulties.  God does not always save us labor and suffering inherent  in the harshness of our earthly life and the difficulties arising from daily life and from interpersonal relationships.  However, God assures us that we will always find refuge in Him and thus have His light upon us filling us with peace of mind and the will to always choose and accomplish what is good.   Lord, grant me a strong love for You and the unconditional commitment to what You desire for my life each day.  THE VOICE OF Lorenzo De Medici, Italian Renaissance man  Those who do not hope in a life hereafter are already dead...

Fourth Wednesday of Lent

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD Fourth Wednesday of Lent, April 3, 2019 WORD of the DAY Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation but has passed from death to life. (John 5: 24) How shall I live this Word? As we read in the Gospel of Saint John, Jesus communicates to us a truth that illuminates our path. What is important and absolutely necessary is listening. It is a question of having a mind and a heart free from useless talk, from the noise of an insular and banal life. We note this first of all as Jesus tells us the importance of what He is about to say, repeating in verse 24: “Amen. Amen”. Here it is a question of educating oneself to listen to the Word of Jesus; not just any listening but listening to the One whom God the Father sent to save us. It is not even the fear of eternal judgment that must mark us but rather a living faith precisely in Jesus as sent by the Father to save us. From this...