“Looking around at them all, he then said to him ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.” (LK 6: 10-11)
The Church Fathers interpreted the cured right hand as a sign of God, forgiving the first gesture of humans’ opposition to Him when Eve and Adam took an apple with his right hand. Now God is curing and forgiving our disobedience and helping us to start a new life based on love and respect.
“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.” (MK 7: 35)
Our “speech impediment” is connected with our ability to listen. When we open our ears to listen to others, accept what we heard, we can speak plainly. This is why somebody says: we have two ears to listen and only one mouth to speak.
“Jesus proclaimed the Gospel of the kingdom and cured every disease among the people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Some Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?’” (LK 6: 2)
We, human beings, like to protect and to know that everything goes properly and justly. We can even protect God when somebody doesn’t do or, worst—do something wrong: “unlawful on the sabbath.” When we focus on controlling and seeing what’s wrong with others, we miss the beauty of life when we can love and see how much love is around us.
“I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same, but yours eat and drink.” (LK 5: 33)
Sometimes we think that fasting is a goal, but it is only a means to an end. Fasting, giving alms, and prayer are helping us to be in a better relationship with Our Lord as a means to an end. But more important is to love, respect, and be gentle, a free, creative, and joyful gift of self. We can be so proud of ourselves, how we are good in fasting and offering prayers, and the same moment in danger, because our ego grows, not our love.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.’ When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.” (LK 5: 10-11)
“Left everything” sounds negative when we focus on the past; when we think about the future: where we are going, what we can achieve, leaving everything sounds like necessary to grow and to start a new life.
“Come after me, says the Lord, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God because for this purpose I have been sent.” (LK 4: 43)
More and more cities and towns are inviting us to bring Programs to them. Instead of having Programs in our favorite places, where we know everything, we are invited to follow Our Lord and “proclaim the good news” for couples “to the other towns.” We are so grateful to our Teams that our Programs are going to so many places.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority.” (LK 4: 31-32)
Our Lord’s authority comes from being “the Holy One of God.” He came to bring hope, to remind us of our destination, our dignity, and what purpose we have in our lives. We are loved, created with love, and to be love. Whatever we do in our lives should lead us to this very identity.
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst, and God has visited his people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day.” (LK 4: 16)
We remember the saying: “serva regula, regula te servabit”—keep, save the rule, and the rule will keep, save you. It is good to have customs, some rules, and rituals. When we obey the rules, they will protect moments of our worse days, difficult moments, and times when everything looks impossible. Our rituals will protect our relationship from the heard time.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’” (MT 25: 20)
Our lives are about bringing value to others. We are serving and sharing with others our talents. The more we received, the more we serve. God used this way to keep us connected, supporting each other and making a community of persons, preparing us to live in heaven.
“I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.” (MT 25: 1-2)
Foolish and wise—an option or nature? If nature, how we can expect good strategies if option—there is a reason to expect better lives. Our Lord respects who we are and never expects things over our measure. Bringing fruits comes from our identity.
“Be vigilant at all times and pray, that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Gospel Acclamation)