Conversing or listening?

February 28, 2021 3:00 am

“Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.” (MK 9: 5)

“They were conversing with Jesus.” It looks like it will be our lifestyle in Heaven—conversing with Jesus, like Elijah and Moses.? Also, Our Lord is speaking with His Father, speaking, not praying. Today God asks not to converse with His Son but to listen to Him. Maybe time for conversation will come later?

“From the shining cloud, the Father’s voice is heard: This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” (Verse before the Gospel)

Be perfect. 

February 27, 2021 3:00 am

“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (MT 5: 48)

Our Lord expects us to be perfect, but He sees perfection in loving, not doing things perfectly. God’s perfection is in being in a relationship with others, not being better in doing things, having a better job, living in a bigger house, or having a higher position. This kind of perfection brings us closer to heaven and our brothers and sisters—they are more secure with us because our only concern is to love, to respect, to be gentle, and to be givers of selves. 

“Behold now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (Verse before the Gospel)

Your brother has anything against you.

February 26, 2021 3:00 am

“Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” (MT 5: 22-23)

This is not good news for those, who’s the first solution for everything is to pray (man is the way of the church). We do not have two different worlds: one for God, where we are finally understood, loved, and comforted, and the other one, where our relatives are wrong, life is cruel, and we feel totally alone (I am not talking about horrible situations like violence, alcoholism, or betrayal). In our normal lives, the first step is “go first and be reconciled with your brother (spouse…) and then come and offer your gift.” When we are married, we are invited to include our spouses in our relationship with God. 

“Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.” (Verse before the Gospel)

How much more 

February 25, 2021 3:00 am

“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.” (MK 7: 11)

I like this phrase so much: “how much more.” And this “more” grows with me, with my experiences, with my age, with my prayers and understanding. And I can’t see the end of this “more.” The more I see/feel/understand, the more “good things” happen in my life.  

“A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation.” (Verse before the Gospel)

She came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon… 

February 24, 2021 3:00 am

“At the judgment, the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation, and she will condemn them because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.” (LK 11: 31)

You know me, and you know how much I don’t like any “Lenten sacrifices” based on NOT. Like NOT-eating (i.e., chocolate or something generally sweet), NOT-watching (TV or Netflix), NOT-using (FB), and all like these. I do not see anything good in NOT-doing. I prefer something more positive, something of DOING, such as:
I will be sweeter to my spouse and children (and not eating sweets will be my reminder)
I will be more interested in the lives of my spouse and children (and to have more time for them, I will quit TV. Sometimes we are more interested in what happens in the serial we are watching than in what is happening in the lives of our children or spouse).
I will post every day a nice message to my spouse giving my compliments and words of respect for his/her amazing love I experience every day. 

“Even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart for I am gracious and merciful.” (Verse before the Gospel)

In praying

February 23, 2021 3:00 am

“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’” (MT 6: 7-8)

Is the prayer about doing or about being? “Babble like the pagans,” or be with Father, “who knows what you need before you ask him.” Our Lord calls us to be with His Father, stay with Him, listen to Him, and not do things as another task to complete.

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Verse before the Gospel)

My heavenly Father

February 22, 2021 3:00 am

“Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.’” (ML 16: 16-17)

The Heavenly Father, Whose love Our Lord was presenting and proclaiming, always is involved. We divided God’s plan into three segments: creation, redemption, and sanctification, seeing Persons of the Holy Trinity active in different areas (God the Father—creation, Our Lord—redemption, and Holy Spirit—sanctification), but God, Who is One, is present in every activity. When we receive some responsibilities in the Church, God is always helping, leading, and protecting.

“You are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my Church; the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Verse before the Gospel)

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert.

February 21, 2021 3:00 am

“The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.” (MK 1: 12-13)

The ancient fathers, called Desert Fathers, didn’t escape from the cities to have more quiet lives, but to meet Satan, who lives in deserted places, fight with him and keep him busy and not allowed him to come to the sites occupied by people. They were imitating Our Lord’s mission and following the example of Jesus’ life of poverty, service, and self-denial. It is also natural that spouses and parents can protect their relatives from temptation experiencing some difficulties, not because of themselves, but to protect their loved ones.

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Verse before the Gospel)

Saw a tax collector.

February 20, 2021 3:00 am

“Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, ‘Follow me.’” (LK 5: 27)

We see people based on our history, conscience, and mood. We see a lot of pregnant women when we are pregnant, sad people when we are sad, happy when we are happy. We are normally looking for some similarities. Our Lord was looking for those in need because He is love and loves, always looking for the free, creative, and joyful gift of self.

“I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.” (Verse before the Gospel)

The bridegroom is taken away from them.

February 19, 2021 3:00 am

“The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” (MK 9: 15)

Our Programs are famous for very detailed, very practical, and simple (doesn’t mean easy) strategies: to protect your spouse, your relationship, your parenthood. Do not expect progress when not practicing rituals or growing love to your spouse without not practicing ownership (sometimes we need even extreme ownership). The same idea is here: “when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” Be flexible, find the right strategy for your Lent, improve your relationship with God and your spouse, children, and friends.

“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord will be with you.” (Verse before the Gospel)