“You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” (JN 7: 28-29)
Our Lord is the only one Person who knows God the Father: “I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” The reason God the Father sent Our Lord was to tell us about the Father’s love for us, redeem our sins and lead us to heaven. He gives us directions every day, He leads us and feeds us with His Word, so we will not fall on the road.
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out,’This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” (EX 32: 8)
Our God, educators and parents have the same problem: “they have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out of them.” Instead of changing ourselves and our strategies or paradigms, we try to change others: “making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it…”; this is our new God. The same thing happens after our Programs. At the beginning we are so happy with the homework; we practice the new strategies until—he/she makes me upset or angry, and we see no more reasons to change ourselves and prefer to change him/her. What to do? Start again with gentleness.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me. ’Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (IS 49: 14-15)
Sometimes we need to listen, again and again, to these words: “I will never forget you,” to let them reach the bottom of our hearts because we feel like “the Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Sometimes it could take more time, especially, when it happens to us that: “a mother forget[s] her infant, is without tenderness for the child of her womb.” God’s word reminds us: “Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” And because it is God’s word, we can trust Him.
“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (EZ 47: 12)
Our homework from the Programs are marriage and family oriented. We help people to grow in their relationships bringing them closer with every step and every new strategy: “every month they shall bear fresh fruit.” It is possible “by the flow from the sanctuary.” When couples are united, when they hearts are places where the free, creative and joyful gift of self is practiced, and when they are looking for the common good, their hearts become like sanctuaries—places for love, for sharing, for healing and for supporting.
“A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The royal official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You may go; your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.” (JN 4: 49-50)
I admire “the royal official” so much; I admire his love, his courage and his faith. He didn’t received what he asked for—“Sir, come down,” but, instead of persisting, He stayed obedient to God’s word: “the man believed … and left.” It happens, that when we ask for something—unconsciously—we connect our request with the way we would like to receive the answer. “Sir, come down” wasn’t important; “your son will live”—that was the real answer for the official’s request.
“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the LORD will be with you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart.” (1 SM 16: 7)
Only God knows us perfectly. He created us with love, saved us by means of His Son, and perfects us by the Holy Spirit. “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart.” When we feel misunderstood, alone or rejected, we can always come to Him and put our trust in Him. He knows how to help, He knows who we are, and He knows how to lead us to our destiny.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.” (LK 1: 38)
The beginning of our salvation started with Mary’s total and unconditional acceptance of God’s will—“may it be done to me according to your word.” Our Lady, who accepted the angel’s message, became the Mother of “the Word of God,” who “became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” She started with recognition and acceptance of her identity: “I am the handmaid of the Lord.” From this point we can also fulfill God’s plans for us.
“The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us; and we saw his glory.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I will heal their defection, says the LORD, I will love them freely; for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like the lily; He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots.” (HOS 14: 5-7)
We were created in God’s image and likeness. A free, creative and joyful gift of selves is a part of our heritage. This is His and our nature; this is a way we can grow and create long lasting relationships. Because God, who “loves us freely,” is always concerned with us, His beloved children, so His “wrath is turned away from us,” and He seeks to help us grow, starting with taking care of our betrayal: He “will heal our defection.”
“Repent, says the Lord; the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction. Faithfulness has disappeared; the word itself is banished from their speech.” (JER 7: 28)
The most important factor of our growth is consistency. When we listen to His word daily, without excuses, slowly, but consistently, our relationship with Our Lord grows. His word penetrates our thoughts; from our thoughts it goes to our emotions and later reaches our actions, and we become His listeners and His followers. When “faithfulness has disappeared,” Our Lord is no more present in our words, and “the word itself is banished from our speech.”
“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, for I am gracious and merciful.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” (DT 4: 9)
When we look at generations of our families’ genealogies, we can see the heritage of our fathers and grandfathers, who spread to us their love for God (or something opposite), and also see that we are now responsible for transmitting to the next generations—“to your children and to your children’s children”—our love for God. The more “our own eyes have seen,” the more we are close to Our Lord, the more our lives are based on His “words of everlasting life,” the more natural it will be for our children to follow His words.
“Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)