Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Return to Roots

We begin Lent today. “Return to me,” he says. “But where are you, Lord, so that we can return?” we ask. “Look into your heart and hearth,” he says. He waits within, in the entrails, while we seek him overseas, in the exteriors. During the season of Lent 2020, through the terror of pandemic COVID-19, we were taught this painful truth that God is not primarily in our external celebrations or fanciful pontifications or pompous liturgies, but in the ‘sound of sheer silence’ as Elijah had once encountered. Coronavirus drove us away from external celebrations and we learned to practice our faith with certain interiority. We shared our food without trumpeting it to the world, we shut ourselves in and prayed through sighs and groans, we washed each other’s feet within the families, our domestic churches. We shall re-discover such authentic interiority during this Lent as well, without any tragedies forcing us to learn. A fruitful Lent to you.


Ash Wednesday -  "Your Father sees in what is hidden". 

Today we begin the Lenten season , a time dedicated to returning to God. In today's gospel we are given a very healthy motto: to learn everything as best as possible to live before God and to do his will from the heart. When we give alms, let us do so by seeking how best to help the needy. And if we pray, let it be from the depths of our hearts. If we fast, it should be to share what we have with those who have nothing, because that is what God wants from us in this time of Lent. 

For she invites us to ask ourselves: "How do we open ourselves to the needs of others, and how do we live in the face of God? It is in the silence of our heart that we meet ourselves, and it is in this naked solitude that God is closest to us. We go out of ourselves, giving ourselves in a disinterested way, and with absolute gratuitousness, and this is what makes us ready to receive and to be grateful for his gifts. 

Lord, you know us very well. Nothing in us is invisible to your eyes, and we rejoice in this because you will always see us with the love of a Father. At the beginning of Lent it is good for all of us to ask for the grace to remember what the Lord has done in our  life: how he has loved me, how he has loved me... This is the meaning of the expressions: Look back - which is not the same as looking back - the path you have taken.  And well-being, even spiritual well-being, carries with it the danger of falling into a certain amnesia. It is precisely at this moment that the heart begins to turn back.


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