Be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves

July 10, 2020 4:00 am

“Jesus said to his Apostles: ‘Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.’” (MT 10: 16)

When we are “in the midst of wolves” we need to “be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” There are totally different strategies and require totally different training. When Our Lord sees the need for prayer or being humble, He expresses it, when we need to be “shrewd” and “simple” He also communicate​s it; how often we have for everything just one strategy: prayer or complaint. I see the importance of prayer, but “in the midst of wolves” we need something different.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to all truth and remind you of all I told you.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Wish it peace

July 9, 2020 4:00 am

“As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you.” (MT 10: 12-13)

How literal could​ the Gospel ​be: “As you enter a house, wish it peace.” And peace can “come upon it” or “return to you.” How powerful words we have in our arsenal. What we say to our spouses and to our children and friends has a lot of consequences.

“The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples

July 8, 2020 4:00 am

“Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.” (MT 10: 1)

All the authority and priests abilities come from Our Lord when we are close to Him: “Jesus summoned his Twelve.” This is why we protect our time for us. The same happens with spouses; when they protect time together, when they ​have a ritual to each other to have a very special time together, we see their authority and new abilities to help, to cure, and give advice.

“The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)

they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd

July 7, 2020 5:36 am

“At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’” (MT 9: 36-38)

“His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned” and He said to his disciples: “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” This is the real source of priesthood—“His heart was moved with pity” and seeing “troubled and abandoned.” We need to pray for priests of hearts able to moved with pity and able to see all the abandoned and troubled. Maybe from our own family.

“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Jesus rose and followed him

July 6, 2020 4:31 am

“While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.’ Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.” (MT 9: 18-19)

This passage says, “Jesus was speaking” when an official came and asked Our Lord. And He “rose and followed him and so did his disciples.” Our Lord answered immediately, not asking: wait please, I need to finish my talk or something like it. We can react the same way when our spouses are asking us for some help.

“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)

All you who labor and are burdened

July 5, 2020 4:00 am

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (MT 11: 28-30)

Our Lord knows our difficulties, our complicated worlds, our stresses, and conflicts. He knows perfectly how often we carry yokes; He knows because He loves us. He wants us to come to Him and to bring to Him whatever is difficult, and wants to “give us rest.” The same happens between loving spouses: they protect each other and they comfort each other.

“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)

The bridegroom is taken away from them

July 4, 2020 4:00 am

“The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.’” (MT 9: 14-15)

We have our good and bad moments, we have our ups and downs. This is life. We also have moments when we are feeling alone, misunderstood, or even rejected. Our Lord recommends for moments like these— a fast. Normally probably we will eat more, especially something sweet, because we are not happy, but a fast helps us to reflect, to ask wise questions: why it happened, what I did wrong, where is my mistake. A fast helps us to listen and to reflect.

“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” (Gospel Acclamation)

Thomas answered and said to him

July 3, 2020 4:00 am

“Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’” (JN 20: 28-29)

We know the famous Jesus’ sentence where we were recognized as blessed because we are the ones, “who have not seen and have believed.” We are so disappointed with our weaknesses and our failures, but from Our Lord’s perspective, even our weaknesses have some purpose, and God’s love can make sense also when we are not proud of ourselves.

“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!”

Authority on earth to forgive sins

July 2, 2020 4:00 am

“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he then said to the paralytic, ‘Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.’ He rose and went home.” (MT 9: 5-7)

Because of the virus how many of us couldn’t go to confession and meet God’s reconciliation. But even we can’t meet a priest, we can make the examination of conscience, we can ask God for forgiveness and make our lives better. When we make this regularly, we will be perfectly ready to meet God’s reconciliation. Only Our Lord “has authority on earth to forgive sins”; priest are doing this on His authority.

“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (Gospel Acclamation)

They begged him to leave their district

July 1, 2020 4:00 am

“Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.” (MT 8: 34)

Quite strange, how can anybody wants Jesus “to leave their district”? We ask and ask Him to stay with us, to protect us, to lead us, and just to love us. When material needs are a priority, when career or fun is more important than our beloved one, Jesus is “persona non grata.” In many countries, we experienced a tendency to eliminate Our Lord’s presence from public areas: from schools, official buildings, and daily life. The more the world rejects Him, the more we want to invite Him to our homes and relationships.

“The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (Gospel Acclamation)

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