The story of the call of James and John seems to be a repetition of the previous one. Why does Mark tell it to us? Because it is an important message for us. Jesus meets with all kinds of people and therefore, with us too, in the condition in which we find ourselves, with the profession we are carrying out and it is not that it makes us change our profession, he makes us live our life in a radically different way.
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Today's gospel passage begins with a time indication "The next day." Spontaneously we wonder what happened the day before. The Baptist was still on stage and it seems that he was alone, there doesn't seem to have anyone at his side. "Seeing Jesus pass by, he says: Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” He was not addressing anyone in particular because it seems that only he and Jesus were present.
This Sunday's Gospel text presents Jesus who, having left Nazareth, goes to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. It is the beginning of his public life; later he will settle down in Capernaum, he will call the first disciples and will start the journey that will lead him to his final destination: the gift of life.
"When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
“The LORD bless you and keep you!” These are the first words we hear on this first day of the year and I think there is no better greeting. I would love that my brothers and sisters of the faith give this greeting back to me on this day: "May the Lord bless you" - beautiful.
The first message we take for our families: the reference point of this couple who begins their life together is the Torah, the Word of God. When they have to make decisions or make a choice, they are inspired by the Word of God. They are at the beginning of their life as a couple and they show that they are in tune with the choices they have to make.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL. What message does he have to bring us this Christmas? He comes to tell us that our weak, fragile, destined to death existence is involved in an indissoluble love relationship with the immortal God. Indissoluble, because no infidelity, no betrayal of ours can damage this love. This is the great news of Christmas. And, in the prologue of his Gospel, John tells us the story of this incredible love between God and humanity.
The angel tells her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” In other words, ‘you have entered into the design of his benevolence. God comes to bring you joy and life; you are going to conceive a child; you will name him Jesus.' This name is important. God had a name that could not be named, but now God tells us what He wants to be called.
The third Sunday of Advent is ‘Gaudete’ Sunday—“Rejoice!” Sunday. How extraordinary that there are twenty-seven words used in the Bible to express joy! On the other hand of course, there are words of sadness, pain, and grief in the Bible, but they are balanced with the “shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the feasting throng” (Ps42:5), or hymns of thanksgiving “My heart will rejoice on seeing your salvation. I will sing to the Lord for he has been good to me.” (Ps 13:6)
Happy feast day to all. On December 8, 1854 in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception with these words: "The Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin by special grace and privilege of Almighty God in anticipation of the merits of our Savior Jesus Christ."
Today we will hear the first page of the Gospel according to Mark. It was written in a dramatic moment for the Christian community of Rome; the persecution of Nero had just ended and the historian Tacitus told us, on a dramatic page, that among the victims of this persecution Peter and Paul have also been martyred.
“Watch!” This is the key word with which the Church raises the curtain for new liturgical year on this first Sunday of Advent. The theme of Advent is waiting. We are reminded that we are also waiting in hope and expectation for Christ who is to come. The early Christians implored: “Maranatha: Come, O Lord!” (1 Cor 16:22). “Come, Lord Jesus” is the invocation which concludes the book of Revelation (Rev 22:20). To internalize the message, we repeat: “Come, Lord Jesus! Come and, with us, renew the world.”
This Gospel passage is generally regarded as a parable, but this is not accurate. It belongs to the genre called judgment scene, found both in the Bible (cf. Dan 7) and in rabbinic literature. The aim of this literary genre is not to inform about what will happen at the end of the world, but to teach how to behave today.
One might wonder about the justice of unequal distribution of the talent among the servants. However, it is not what one receives that counts, but what one does with what he/she has received. The Master’s delight and offer of reward are the same towards his servants who doubled their talents. God looks not at the quantity of our offerings, but at their quality as well as the attitude with which we offer.
In the early Christian communities, there was a widespread belief that Jesus would return very soon to catch up with his disciples and introduce them in the Father’s kingdom. Paul also shared this idea. From where did it come from? How did it begin? It is spontaneous and natural to imagine that one’s generation would be the last and the world ends with us.
In the universe we know, the world to which we long for does not exist. To satisfy the need for the infinite that God has put in our heart, it is necessary to leave this land and embark on a new exodus. We are asked for a new exit, the last—death—and this frightens us.
Among the people who appeared in this world, only Christ has possessed the fullness of this force of goodness and only he can be declared saint, as we sing in the Gloria: “You alone are holy.” But we, too, can rise up to him and become partakers of his holiness.
Today there are believers, people in the Church, who fulfill all religious practices, but at the same time worship their bank account, social position, honorary titles, career, power and their ambitions. They have indeed a “divided heart”; they do not love with all their heart, as Jesus claims.
A human being does not live alone. One is part of a civilized society and should establish collaborative relationships with others. From the need to organize for the sake of coexistence, comes the need to determine the rights and duties to give to institutions, and to set ways and forms to contribute to the common good.
The invitation to the banquet of the Kingdom is freely offered to all. Everyone is invited. However, not everyone accepts it. And those who accept must play by the rules of the Kingdom. That is why the one without the wedding garment is thrown out. Sometimes we have an erroneous understanding of God’s mercy – that he forgives everything and therefore, everything goes. It doesn’t.