Monthly Archives: May 2018

The Body and Blood of Christ – Year B – June 3, 2018

The Alliance: The Ring of the Bride

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles

commenting on today’s Gospel reading:

 

Introduction

 

The word covenant occurs 286 times in the Old Testament. This gives an idea of the importance that Israel has given to this institution. She used it as an image to express her relationship with the Lord. But what does it mean to make a covenant with God?

 

Talking about bilateral contract is approximate and even misleading. The first covenant, stipulated with Noah and, through him, the whole of humanity and “with every living animal, birds, cattle, all living creatures of the earth that came out of the ark” (Gen 9:8-11) was one-sided. The Lord alone took on commitments and demanded nothing in return. He promised that there would be no more flood waters, though he knew that man would continue to be unfaithful, “because man’s heart is set on evil from childhood” (Gen 8:21).

 

He called Abraham from Mesopotamia to give him a land though Abraham had done nothing to deserve this gift. He was only asked to believe in gratuitous love. To convince him, God made a covenant with him and sanctioned it with a ritual (Gen 15). The patriarch did not have to be afraid. He would come into possession of the land, because the covenant of the Lord was inviolable. It was founded on his word, solemnly confirmed by an oath.

 

The gratuitousness and unilateral commitment characterize the covenants of God. Throughout its turbulent history, Israel maintained its memory and, even in the most dramatic moments, she never lost hope. She was aware that the predilection of the Lord for her would never have come less. She could have sinned as long as she wanted, the Lord would not have revoked his covenant, because, without asking anything in return, he promised to bless his people. The covenants of God are contractual; they are pure grace.

 

 Yet the Lord expects an answer from man. He does not ask him to sign a deal, but to accept his proposal of mutual belonging, as it happens between the groom and the bride. The Eucharist… is the exchange of rings.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:

“The Eucharistic celebration is the wedding feast with the Lord.”

 

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Most Holy Trinity – Year B – May 27, 2018

The joy of discovering the hidden mystery

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles

commenting on today’s Gospel reading:

 

Introduction

 

We do not have exclusive right to faith in God. However, the assertion that, in the one God, there is a paternity, filiation and a gift of love is specific to Christianity. With an abstract term, not biblical and certainly inadequate, we call this mystery Trinity.

 

The Jews deny it. In their morning and evening prayer, they repeat: “Our God is one Lord” (Deut 6:4-5). The Muslims do not accept it, for them only “Allah is great and Mohammed is his prophet.”

 

We speak of “mystery,” not in the sense of an incomprehensible, obscure reality and, if poorly understood, even contrary to reason, but of the wealth of infinite life of the one God. He transcends all understanding, and gradually reveals himself to person to introduce him in the fullness of his joy.

 

Will it be possible for humans to explore this unfathomable secret? A wise man, who lived in the time of Jesus, stated: “We are barely able to know about the things of earth, and it is a struggle to understand what is close to us; who then may hope to understand heavenly things?” (Wis 9:16).

 

To penetrate into the mystery of God, the Muslims have the Koran, from which they derive the ninety-nine names of Allah; the hundreth remains unspeakable, because man cannot understand all of God. The Jews find the Lord through the events of their history of salvation, meditated, rewritten and reinterpreted for centuries, before being finally delivered to the people, and later, in the holy books. For Christians, the book that introduces the discovery of God is Jesus Christ. He “is the open book with strokes of spear;” he is the Son who, from the cross reveals that God is Father and gift of Love, Life, Spirit.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:

“Introduce me Lord, with mind and heart, in your life that is love.”

 

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Pentecost Sunday – Year B – May 20, 2018

The Spirit: Fancy to Power

 

There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles

commenting on today’s Gospel reading:

 

Introduction

 

The natural phenomena that impress most the imagination of humans—fire, lightning, hurricane, earthquake, thunder (Ex 19:16-19)—are used in the Bible to describe the manifestations of God.

 

The sacred authors used images also to present the outpouring of the Lord’s Spirit. They said that the Spirit is a breath of life (Gen 2:7), the rain that irrigates the land and transforms the desert into a garden (Is 32:15; 44:3), a force that restores life (Ex 37:1-14), the rumble from the sky, wind that strongly blows, thunder, tongues of fire (Acts 2:1-3). All vigorous images that suggest the idea of—an uncontrollable bursts of strength!

 

Where the Spirit comes, radical upheavals and transformation always happen: barriers fall, doors are opened wide; all the towers built by human hands and designed by “the wisdom of this world” shake; fear, passivity and quietism disappear; initiatives are developed and courageous decisions are made.

 

Who is dissatisfied and aspires the renewal of the world and of humanity can count on the Spirit: nothing can resist its power. One day the prophet Jeremiah asked himself discouragingly: “Can an Ethiopian change his skin or a leopard his spots? And can you do good, you who are accustomed to do evil?” (Jer 13:23) Yes—one can answer him—every prodigy is possible where the Spirit of God erupts.

 

To internalize the message, we repeat:

“The Spirit of the Lord fills the earth and renews the face of the earth.”

 

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