FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Friday 26 NOVEMBER 2021
Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Luke 21: 29-33)
How shall I live this Word?
“Heaven and earth will pass away – says Jesus – but my words will not pass away” (v. 31). The real crux is this. On that day, each of us will have to understand if the Word of the Son of God has illuminated our personal existence, or if we have turned our back on Him preferring to trust in our own or others’ words.
The parable of the fig tree is an invitation to know how to read the signs of the times and, above all, to recognize the mysterious presence of Jesus in the today of our history. Reading the signs of the times means making discernment: that is, allowing ourselves to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit to see the signs of grace, love, and good that the Lord offers us every day. How to discern if we do not allow ourselves to be enlightened by the Word? If we don’t make the Word the yardstick of our life as disciples?
I use the words of a great lover of the Word, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini: “.. among the means that can most help Christians living in the contemporary world to achieve that unity of life and that capacity for orientation which is a prerequisite for a constructive social life, there is certainly patient, methodical, basically daily practice of the lectio divina. By the term lectio divina I mean the ability to confront a page of Scripture in order to read it in a spirit of faith and prayer, so as to unmask the pitfalls of the contemporary mentality and come to read all the realities according to the mind and heart of God. I would like to insist on the fact that it is not lectio divina just to pick up a few pages of the Bible from time to time, alone or in small groups. Lectio is an orderly, methodical, not casual exercise, done in an atmosphere of silence and of prayer, with an ideally continuous reading of the whole Bible, according to the model that the liturgy proposes to us in the triple cycle of Sunday readings and in the double cycle of weekday readings. Lectio is therefore an act that takes place in the Church and in communion with a Church, but with an activation of the prayerful and intelligent subjectivity of each one. It does not replace catechesis or other initiatives of teaching and cultural updating which help a Christian to become an adult in the faith. However, the lectio does something that speeches, sermons, and catechesis cannot always do. It places each one with their conscience and responsibility before God who speaks, who invites, who calls, who consoles or reproaches, in an atmosphere of prayer and dialogue, of a humble request for forgiveness, of a request for light, with the disposition to let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit to carry out the offering of one’s life. I want to underline that the lectio divina, lived in this way, propitiates that inner unity, that depth of convictions, that practical coherence of life that contrasts with the forces of fragmentation operating in modern society. It is truly a providential divine remedy for our time.”
The Voice of Cardinal Martini
Listening to God, on the part of the Christian, concretely means listening to the Word contained in the Bible. Contact with this written Word leads, in fact, to an unexpected richness of life. To me, who have been reading Scripture for about fifty years, it appears so new every time that it causes in me astonishment and creates that shock of intelligence and emotion that arouses the sense of human values and that brings us into contact with the values of God. (Taken from “Finding yourself” Centro Ambrosiano Edition)”
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Sr. Vilma Colombo, FMA