Monthly Archives: August 2017

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – September 3, 2017

Offer life if you don’t want to lose it

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/8LqT0iU4LFg

 

Introduction

 

In the days of trouble” (Ps 77:3) we call upon the Lord because we are convinced that “he gives life and breath and everything else to everyone” (Acts 17:25). We appeal to the saints, visit shrines, kiss relics, make novena …. always to have life.

 

The crowds were seeking Jesus, “they tried to dissuade him from leaving” (Lk 4:42). They touched him “because of the power that went out from him and healed them all” (Lk 6:19). They approach him for life. “I have come—he said—that they may have life, life in all its fullness” (Jn 10:10).

 

Yet in his proposal, there is something of a paradox, indeed, absurd. To achieve the life it is necessary to lose it, “I lay down my life to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down freely” (Jn 10:17-18). He justifies his choice of comparing himself to the seed: “Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12:24).

 

It really takes a lot of faith to be convinced that, in order to have life, you have to “give it up to death” (Rev 12:11). Strange, disconcerting logic! God assures Abraham a posterity as numerous as the stars in the sky … and asks him to sacrifice his son Isaac, who should make the promise a reality. A test like this may well be faced only by one who firmly believes, like Abraham.

 

Jesus promises to introduce the disciple into life. “The one who follows me will have the light of life … will never see death … will never experience death” (Jn 8:12,51-52) … and goes toward the cross; he plunges into the waters of death.

 

But “he will re-emerge” on Easter Day. Blessed are those who have the courage to follow him: he will give them to eat of the “tree of life” (Rev 2:7). They will be with him forever (1 Thes 4:17) and they shall see God as he is (1 Jn 3:2).

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

 

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21st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – August 27, 2017

A discovery that changes your name

and your life

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/NFYrdDxV5KY

 

Introduction

 

A picture of Christ ‘wanted’: long hair, untrimmed beard, a friend of the marginalized, herald of a revolutionary message, frowned upon by the powers that be, circulated at the end of the 60s. It was the Jesus of the protesters. It made its appearance alongside the mystic who was attracted by the religious devotions and spiritual intimism.

 

The triumphant Jesus had also his time, between banners and flags: He was the “conqueror of kingdoms” and the protector of the rulers of this world.

 

The Jesus of religion is the most rustproof. He guarantees justice, awards the good, protects the pious and punishes the wicked. Sometimes someone puts him down to the role of a bogeyman or bugbear for the children who misbehave. He is still the useful guarantor of moral behavior deemed positive.

 

Jesus is a character that everyone seems to want to yank to have him on one’s side.

 

There’s also the Jesus that we carry within us since the years of our childhood. He is presented to us by sometimes more willing than prepared catechists. A Jesus that may never have convinced us to the end. At some point of our life, he did not have much more to say to us.

 

After two thousand years, he never ceases to provoke and question every person and, as he did one day near Caesarea Philippi. He urges us with a puzzling question: “Who do you say I am?”

 

In front of so many circulating images of him, it is difficult to select the authentic one.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
I do not venerate a character from the past nor his doctrine, we believe in Christ, the Son of the living God.”

 

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