FEBRUARY 24, 2021 

First Wednesday of Lent

WORD of the DAY 

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.  Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment  the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation  and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.  At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”                    (Luke 11: 29 – 32)

How shall I live this Word?  

The wickedness for which Jesus reproaches His contemporaries is not material for the initiation of a judicial procedure, as we would do by claiming legitimate rights. It is the heartfelt cry of the One who has made Himself sincerely in solidarity with His people, and demonstrates that He is so to the end. He wants to give them a heart capable of knowing God (Jer 24,7). That wickedness, of which we too can feel accused, is still an unconscious guilt, it is the inability to recognize Jesus for what He is, to welcome His salvation. Jesus feels upon Himself the evil that only He, for now, can see, our sin, the sin of the world, the vanity, the pettiness of every creature. Not even today does a bitter reproach come from the mouth of Jesus, but rather, the compassionate lament for a people who, despite their outward closeness, did not understand His true feelings. It is the disapproval that expresses the distance between His and our feelings, between His and our intentions. It is the voice of the One who prophesies about His death and proclaims the truth so that His interlocutors may one day repent. Only Jesus knows how to read our history with truth, judging it from a point of view superior to ours, and  above all, without condemning it.

Today I will try to accept willingly that inattention, that rudeness, that wrong suffered in a given circumstance, refraining from the instinct to judge the other and allowing myself to be comforted by the thought that the Lord, for love of me, has suffered much more than what I can imagine.

The Voice of  Pope Paul VI

Fidelity to modern human beings is demanding and difficult, but it is necessary if you want to be completely faithful to the message. It is neither servility nor mimicry, but courageous preaching of the Cross and the Resurrection, with the confident certainty that this message has its resonance also in the heart of modern human beings.

E-mail:  Website:  Blog:   Comment by Fr. Enrico Emili

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