Monthly Archives: September 2017

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – October 1, 2017

The more convinced “yes” passes through a “no”

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/UnreVFN5zPE

 

Introduction

 

There are people who answer yes without having understood. There are also sincere people who say no because they are not convinced and want to understand better. Their ‘no’ is just a polite way to ask for explanation and to say that they want to see thing more clearly. Whoever immediately answers ‘yes’ to God perhaps does not realize who He is, what He thinks and proposes.

 

Whoever produces is appreciated in our society. The old, the sick, the disabled are respected, loved, helped, but are often felt as a burden. The perception of their value and the preciousness of their contribution to making our world more humane is not immediate. We reward the efficient and the capable. We esteem those who are able to succeed by themselves and we remunerate those who work. God instead starts from the last, is interested of the last, privileges and rewards the last. Freely.

 

The parable of last Sunday has shocked us and perhaps, during the week, we reflected on the inconsistency of the master’s behavior. He pays the last hour workers as the first ones. It is difficult to give up the religion of merits and believe in gratuitous love of God. Today’s reading seems to respond to our objections: “You say Yahweh’s way is not just! Why Israel, is my position wrong? Is it not rather that yours is wrong?” (v. 25).

 

Saying yes to God means giving up one’s own thoughts and accepting his. He does not look for the satiated, but those who are hungry to fill them of his possessions (Lk 1:53). He does not appreciate the powerful who sit on thrones, but lowers himself to raise the lowly (Lk 1:52). He does not reward the righteous for their own merits, but makes himself companion of the weak and introduces the tax collectors and prostitutes first in the kingdom. Only those who recognize themselves as last, sinners and in need of his help will experience the joy of being saved.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
The Lord teaches his ways to the humble, the poor and the sinners.”

 

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25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – September 24, 2017

“God awards according to merits”

is the epitaph on the tomb of love

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/5hu-wtVZTqo

 

Introduction

 

The terms Eucharist and charisma are known. They are derived from the Greek charis which means benevolence, free gift, a gift that gives joy and makes one happy.

 

We feel a great satisfaction when we are given the diploma of graduation, after so much work and sleepless nights. However, a simple flower given to us by a loved one in the moment in which he declares his love awakens an immense joy.

 

The gift produces a unique emotion because it is a sign that someone thinks and loves us as well as tenderly pronounces our name.

 

The introduction of the criteria of retributive justice, the accountability, rewards and punishments, threats and flatteries, recording of merits and transgressions in our relationship with God is a diabolic deformation of faith. The rabbis had cataloged persons into four categories: the just, if they observe all the law; the wicked, if infractions prevail in them; the mediocres, if merits and faults are equivalent; the repentants, if they ask forgiveness of their sins. With the principle: “Reward is given only for good work,” they decreed the end of a love relationship.

 

The dialogue between God and man is established only where there is a free encounter, free gift, unconditional reciprocal love. Who loves claims nothing and expects nothing but to see the loved one smile and rejoice.

 

In the line of the prophets, the best among the rabbis said to the Lord: “Your salvation is manifested in this: you are merciful to those who have no treasure of good works.” “What you’ve done is grace, because in our hands there were no good works.” Jesus made this righteousness of God his own.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
I thank you, Lord, because you welcome and love me just as I am.”

 

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24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A – September 17, 2017

Forgiveness:

The feast of God and man

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
https://youtu.be/acjgzXKDHu8

 

Introduction

 

“Do not break the tenuous link of friendship because, once broken, even if later you fix it, a node always remains.” I attended elementary school when the teacher gave me this advice that remained in my memory. It comes back to mind every time I’m aware of contrasts, misunderstandings, disagreements. It upsets me to think that a mistake is enough to put an end, forever, to a friendship, that relationship the Bible calls the “balm of life” (Sir 6:16). “Like a bird, you have let your friend go, you will not get him back. Do not pursue him, he is far away” (Sir 27:19-20). The inability to forgive, the fear of giving full confidence again to one who did wrong are the evil forces that make irretrievable the bond of broken love.

 

We forgive ourselves with difficulty: we torment ourselves with remorse. We do not accept the humiliation of a weakness. We drag our fault behind as an unexploded, dangerously not triggered bomb. Only one who has a peaceful relationship with oneself is able to recognize one’s own mistake. He knows that a positive recovery from a bitter experience of sin is possible.

 

We do not forgive others. The disappointment, the delusion of betrayal, the fear that it may be repeated are too big. The urge to break the relationship and to take revenge for the offense suffered are almost unrestrainable.

 

Sucked into this whirlwind of passions and resentments, we let the greatest joy escape. It is the joy which God also experiences a hundredfold when he manages to revive a love relationship. Even to one who is old, he always gives the opportunity to start again, giving him back a perennial youthfulness.

 

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:
Our resentments do not prevail but the action of your Spirit.”

 

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