The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

IV Sunday of Lent - A

Light of the World

A strange blindness which grips contemporary societies, it's not a disease of eyes, but of the soul. The man then sees what he wants to see and the way he wants to see it. This disease distorts reality and causes the blind man to live in a world of delusion and mirages, ​​not in the real world. The effects of this type of disease are twofold – we not only don't notice our neighbor living next to us, but God also disappears from our sight. Even more, this fragmentary perception is often only a projection of our desires and expectations, and we don’t have a contact with the real objects of reality. This is why Christ offers us a healing, restoration of sight, so we can see the world as God created it and how God sees it (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus would like to heal us, because our perspective is neither true nor profound, and the appearances are wrong. What we take for persistent and important; it's only transitory and secondary. God has different perspective and He sees otherwise. He selects what is weak and what is despised by man, that no one boast before Him (1 Corinthians 1:25-29). This divine optics, the perception of the world illuminated by the splendor of God's truth, seems sometimes to be unacceptable for us, and yet the light that Christ brings to the world, is the true light that enlightens every man (John 1:9 ), if only man does not want to stubbornly persist in darkness (John 8:12 , 12:35 ) he can be healed and see.

Maybe today, in our modern times, enlightened by so many apparent lights and glittering decorations, we need to see and not be seduced and dazzled by these false lights of the theatre, that go off after the spectacle is over? Maybe we should not search for increasingly sophisticated glasses and contact lenses, but look out for the supernatural light to recognize what in our lives really matters? (Ezekiel 12:2 )

Do not tell me that you see, when perhaps a long time ago you lost your sight of what is the most important in your life, when you see only what you want, and most often only the end of your nose.

Friday, March 14, 2014

II Sunday of Lent - A

1 reading: Gen 12,1-4
Resp Psalm: Psalm 33
2 Reading: 2 Timothy 1:8-10
Gospel: Mt 17,1-9

The Transfiguration on Mount Tabor

You can look and not see, you can listen and do not hear, you can hear and see, and yet be blind and deaf internally on what you see and hear. And this is probably the case of so many contemporary indifferent Christians. It was indeed also the case of the Apostles; Peter, John and James , who were deaf and blind, after witnessing extraordinary events, after seeing and hearing … They did not understand at the moment and did not understand for a long time after. "It's good, that we are here ... "- says Peter in awe. "Let's stay here, because we feel so good here." How many Christians today are looking in the faith just only for such and enthusiasm, feelings, emotions and elation? But when moments of trial of their faith come, when they need to pass the exam from the "daily morality", they quickly forget about the emotions and elation and are ready to run away, to leave, like Peter at the time of the passion and crucifixion.

You can look and not see, you can listen and do not hear, you can be blind and deaf internally ... and this is why we need to understand what God the Father wants to tell us in the words: "This is my Son, my chosen One, listen to Him." Christ has certainly something to say and it's definitely something deeper and more substantial than just superficial sensation and euphoria. He wants to talk us about love, but about "demanding" love and not about sentimental and emotional feelings, He desires to talk about forgiveness and salvation, but not about naïve and foolish "all inclusive", "nice" Gospel. He wants to be a friend and brother, but respectful of human freedom. He wants to tell us about heaven and lead us there, but not in a childish and syrupy way. He wants to lead us from the Mount Tabor – the Mount of Transfiguration to the Calvary. Because only that way leads to the Mount of Ascension, to salvation and eternal happiness. Am I ready for this? Peter was delighted at the Mount of Transfiguration, but absent on Calvary ... He had, however his Calvary, and he passed it also,  before he meet finally his Master ... The Mount of Transfiguration is just a phase, like Calvary is also only a stage and it is worth remembering in the moments of ecstasy, but also in times of trial and testing .

Friday, March 07, 2014

I Sunday of Lent - A


Deut 26,4-10
Rom 10,8-13
Lk 4,1-13

Triple hunger

The time of Lent is not a period of mindless austerity, "sportive competitions in asceticism", a time of "sour faces" and period invented by the Church for "oppression of human joys and pleasures of life." Lent is rather a time of reflection on our daily lives, about the presence of evil in our everyday life, on the sources, causes and means of combat it. Therefore, already the first reading today -from the Book of Genesis- is trying to answer these questions. Moral evil is "each and every disobedience" to God, an expression of human pride and greed. The man, who received ALL from God, wanted more, he wanted to become God, and he wanted to decide about what is good and what is bad. And so it is today. The same is present in each of our sins: this is the pride, the lust and the greed.

In a similar manner, the Gospel is trying to show us what is evil and sin. In each of our sins is present this triple famine:

-           the famine of bread - hunger of the body, that is greed and lust,

-           the hunger for glory or pride

-           and the hunger for power – prideful decision what is good and what is bad.

And the answers of Christ are:   the three evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience.

During the Lent we don’t have mindlessly mortify ourselves. We don’t have hypocritically to sprinkle ashes ... we have to answer the question: "How it is in my life? Do I not chase too much wealth, comfort, easiness? Am I not looking just and only for my glory? Am I not only hunting and searching power and domination over others? Do I not like to set and determine all and everything in my way?"

And above all, it is a period during which we have to realize that only with the help of Christ we can overcome the evil present in our lives. Mortification and imposition of ashes on the head are only a means to ensure that such reflection leads to conversion, to change and justice. Otherwise, they are just meaningless gestures.

Can I make an effort to identify my mistakes? Is this diagnosis followed by my action and change?

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ash Wednesday

First reading:      Jl 2, 12-18; 
Psalm resp.:        Psalm 51 (50), 3-4. 5-6a. 12-13. 14 and 17 (R. cf 3a); 
Second Reading: 2 Cor 5: 20 - 6, 3; 
verse:                   Jl 2, 13; 
Gospel:                Mt 6: 1-6. 16-18

Repentance and conversion

Ash Wednesday is the perfect time to remind ourselves of what we usually do not want or do not like to remember.  However, this should not be understood as a discipline, or threatening, but rather as something to remind us of what the most important in our lives. So in today's readings, as well as in the whole liturgy, there are two elements: the element of conversion and penance. The whole of Lent is a period particularly devoted to these two topics. And in the liturgy of Ash Wednesday it is expressed not only in liturgical readings, but also when the priest pronounces the formula applying ashes on our heads (Joshua 7:6 , 2 Sam 13:19 ; Est 4:1 , Isaiah 58:5 ) : "Repent and believe in the Gospel" (Matthew 1:15) or "Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return" ( cf. Gen 3:19 , Ps 103.14 ) . These words remind us of the necessity of continuing and thorough reconsideration of our lives and deepening of our faith, and of fragility and finitude of our earthly life. Perhaps this is why today, the Church reminds us the truth about the shortness of our mortal life, so to more joyfully announce the end of Lent when the Resurrection of Christ gives us the opportunity for something much bigger, the grandiosity of eternal life (Romans 6:5, John 6:47 )?

But, before we get to the joy of Easter morning, we need to repent and truly believe the Lord of Life and Death, Jesus Christ, Who has the power of rebirth of our mortal bodies to eternal life. So neither Ash Wednesday, nor Lent is the time of mourning and pessimism. Rather, it is sometimes very real and substantive reflection on ourselves and sometimes it reminds me of what I usually do not want to remember.

Speaking today about the need for repentance and conversion is not very much in fashion, because modern times suffer from spiritual myopia and mundane fascination. We won't see the eternal horizons, glorifying quick success and superficial happiness. Hence the more you have to remember about this dimensions, so that we are absorb by temporality ... Because temporality in itself is not evil, but only if it is wisely transformed into eternity. And this is what the Church proposes to us at the beginning of Lent, how wisely -through repentance and conversion- transform whatever passes into eternity.

Bowing your head to the imposition of ashes just think that this is the Christ, Who is the Lord of time and eternity Who is calling you to something bigger, to immortality.