With Christ on the cross, we are made to understand where sin leads to: it renders a person unrecognizable. But immediately John has us contemplate God’s response to sin: the gift of his Spirit and the resurrection of the Holy and Just One.
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“We cannot live without the Lord’s supper.” “Yes, I went to the assembly and celebrated the Lord’s Supper with my brothers and sisters, because I am a Christian.” Christians have participated in the breaking of bread every Sunday. It was for them an indispensable requirement. They understood that that was the hallmark of the disciples of the Lord Jesus.
Today’s version of the passion being proposed to us is that of Matthew. In our comment, we will highlight only the characteristic aspects. The first and most important is that Matthew punctuates the whole story with repeated references to the fulfillment of the Scriptures.....
The Bible has preserved the memory of their disorientation and concerns to remind us how dense was the darkness of the tomb, before the light of Easter shine on the world. To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Although I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil, for you, O Lord of life, are beside me.”
We are in spring, the vegetation awakens and life resumes after the rigors of winter. To the believer, the appearance of new shoots can only recall, in a spontaneous and immediate way, the true spring, the blessed day when, with the incarnation of the Son of God, the new world began.
“The true light that enlightens everyone came into the world” (Jn 1:9). Christ came to dispel our darkness, to illuminate our nights, to usher in the family of the “children of light and children of the day” (1 Thes 5:5).
We believe that there was a meeting of Jesus with a Samaritan woman, but the fact was then redacted with the language, images, and biblical references with which he wanted to convey a theological message. “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and let the one who believes in me drink” (Jn 7:38). He is the source of pure water that quenches all thirst.
This passage is sometimes interpreted as a brief preview of the experience of paradise, granted by Jesus to a group of friends, to prepare them to endure the ordeal of his passion and death. One should always be very cautious when approaching a gospel text because of that which, at first glance, seems to be a chronicle of facts, but at closer look, often reveals itself as a text of theology drawn up according to the canons of biblical language. The account of the Transfiguration of Jesus reported almost identically by Mark and Luke is an example.
The Bible invites us to consider the temptation in an original way: as an opportunity to assess the soundness of a person’s choices, an opportunity for growth. In temptation, the risk of making mistakes is also inherent. This danger is inevitable if one wants to mature, to become“experts,” “adepts.” These terms, in fact, do not mean other than “being tempted,” subjected to a test, an “exam.”
Unlike the Jewish moral, the Christian proposes an unattainable goal: the perfection of the Father who is in heaven (Mt 5:48). On the road to life, the accurate and detailed signpost of the Torah, with its well-defined commandments, remains behind. In front, it opens up the endless horizon of the perfection of the Father and the way toward him is to be invented.
The Torah revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, however, was not the final Word of God. On the Mount of the Beatitudes, Jesus has recognized its validity, but, considering only one phase, he indicated a new goal, a more distant and boundless horizon: the perfection of the Father who is in heaven.
A wonderful parable of Jesus (Mt 25:31-46) reveals how God’s way of evaluating is different from ours. Instead of paying attention to religious practices, loyalty to the traditions, the scrupulous observance of rites, God is interested in concrete adhesion to his plan of love for people.
The feast of the Presentation of the Lord has very ancient origins. It was already celebrated in the East in the fourth century with the name of the Feast of Encounter: it recalled the encounter of Jesus in the temple with his Father and with Simeon and Anna—representatives of the rest of Israel who remained faithful to the God of Abraham.
Today’s Gospel is made up of three parts. First of all, with a quotation from the prophet Isaiah, Jesus’ activity in Galilee is introduced (vv. 12-17). Then there is the vocation story of the first four disciples (vv. 18-22). Finally, the activity of Jesus is summed up in one sentence (v. 23). After the conclusion of John the Baptist’s mission, Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. It became the center of his activities for nearly three years.
God calls a people and prefers them among all the peoples of the earth (Dt 10:14-15). He calls Abraham, Moses, the prophets and gives them a mission to bring to fruition, a plan of salvation to be realized. He also calls the stars of the firmament by name and they respond: Here we are!
The biblical sites are often tied to a theological significance. The sea, the mountain, the desert, the Galilee of the Gentiles, Samaria, the Jordan River, the land beyond the Lake of Genezareth are much more than simple geographical indications (often not entirely accurate).
The dream of God came true when a star appears in Israel, Christ the Lord, as the Lord has promised (Num 24:17). His light drives away the darkness created by ancestral hates and convokes all the people in one family. This is the message of hope of the Epiphany, the feast of light.
May the Lord bless and protect you.May the Lord shine his face upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord direct his gaze on you and give you peace.
What made the family of Mary and Joseph holy? Even in the midst of life’s struggles, they remained faithful to God and to each other. Do I expect God to remove all the struggles of everyday life just because I have remained faithful to him? Pray for broken families in our midst. Pray that our families may become holy and blessed. Pray for the values of love, deep respect, mutual submission, obedience, compassion, forgiveness, and centeredness on God to reign supreme in our families.
The darkness covered the abyss, when “God said, ‘Let there be light’” (Gen 1:2-3). Light is the first word that God speaks in the Bible. celebrate the Christmas liturgy during the night to reproduce, perhaps meaningfully, the darkness won by the word of the Creator, the darkness of the human condition illumined by the coming of the Savior.