OUR FATHER

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD FEBRUARY 23, 2021  First Tuesday of Lent WORD of the DAY  Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6: 7 – 15) How shall I live this Word?   We are different from pagans not because we recite a prayer authenticated by the Church, formulated exactly with a lot of ‘nulla osta’, as if a sequence of words could save us in a magical way. What differentiates us is the fact that this prayer is so different from one thought or written by any human. Every time we recite it, we are amazed, impressed by its distance from our way of thinking. We almost want to smile, disenchanted, we feel overwhelmed.   We realize these words do not belong to us, or at least they do not yet belong to us completely. Yes, this is normal: otherwise they would be our words, and not those of Jesus. It is He who gives us the guarantee of the truth. His...

Openness to the Spirit

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD FEBRUARY 9, 2021  Tuesday – Week Five WORD of the DAY  So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:   This people honors me with their lips,  but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”  He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and whoever curses father or mother shall die. Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is ‘korban’ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.  You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”   (Mark 7: 5 -13) How shall I live this Word?   While the...

Jesus heals us

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD FEBRUARY 8, 2021  Monday – Week Five WORD of the DAY  After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed. (Mark 6: 53-56) How shall I live this Word?   A multitude of the suffering want to meet Jesus to be healed. They hope  that just touching the hem of His cloak is enough to achieve this. Perhaps they attribute a particular prodigious power to the mantle of Jesus. However, I believe that touching means something more. Just take a step back in the previous chapter, to recover the story of the hemorrhaging woman. Even that woman dreamed in her heart that if she could only touch the hem of His cloak she would be healed. Touching the cloak, perhaps without...

Jesus brings us life

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD FEBRUARY 7, 2021  Sunday – Week Five WORD of the DAY  On leaving the synagogue he entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her.  He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.                           (Mark 1: 29-31) How shall I live this Word?   Immediately after leaving the synagogue, Jesus goes to Simon’s house. There he is informed of the health situation of his mother-in-law. In an immediate, simple, and gratuitous way, Jesus makes a gesture of liberation. Without fanfare or special rituals, he takes the woman’s hands to set her on her feet. The woman does not resist, she puts herself, we could say, in the hands of Jesus and in this way she is freed from the fever. The action performed by Jesus for the benefit of the woman should literally be translated: He “made her rise again”. The use of this expression is not accidental, it serves the Evangelist Luke to tell us that Jesus came to save us, to make us rise from the...

In and with Jesus

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD FEBRUARY 6, 2021  Saturday – Week Four WORD of the DAY  The apostles  gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.  He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.  People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  (Mark 6: 30-34) How shall I live this Word?   The apostles meet each other again, they re-unite around Jesus. Around Him we find the meaning of what we are and what we do. From “being with Jesus” comes the mission. The apostles go and return to Him. They tell what they have done, they share what they have taught, always with reference to...