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July 16, 2018

FAITH PERFORMS ACTION OF GRACE

The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is a proclamation made not only with words but also with actions. “Miracles seal the triumph of the Spirit over Satan and because of this Jesus invested by the Spirit, enters into combat with Satan in the desert.  Christ is the strong man, who with a hard battle, recovers from the spirit of evil what he usurped.  Jesus inaugurates the messianic kingdom destroying the undertaking of his enemy. The miracles, therefore, enter into the perspective of the inauguration of the messianic kingdom.  For its content, the miracle is an anticipation of the eschatological…

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Wealth which alienates from the Kingdom

Poverty and wealth are as old as the world.  But are and have always been source of problems.  The interpretations and solutions are many.  Some link poverty and riches to “fortune” and to chance.  Some see in poverty the sigh of incapacity and moral disorder and in riches the sign and reward of intelligence and virtue.  For others it is exactly the opposite.  An honest person never gets rich because to become rich one does not have scruples of conscience.  Riches coincide with exploitation of man by man: the rich is a thief, disposed to everything in order to defend…

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RICHES FOR BUILDING UP FRATERNITY

The world is commonly divided between the poor and the rich.  The dispute, the fight of the classes seems based on the principle that there is no possibility of agreement except with the elimination of one of the two.  The proclamation of the Kingdom of God, of His love which saves, is done in a world divided between the rich and the poor.  It is a proclamation which in upsetting the soul of man, also upsets a certain type of social order.   A FALSE RELIGION CONCEALS INJUSTICE There is a false religion which the prophets continuously condemned.  The religion…

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THE EXPERIENCE OF PARDON RENEWS THE SOUL

The love of God towards men is so gratuitous that we cannot claim to have it directly.  It is absolute so much that we can never say that we will miss it.  Human love on the contrary is so limited and closed by our egoism.  It rarely pushes beyond strict justice or outside of moralizing severity that we easily imagine a vindicator – God and a religion based on fear.  Who among us still recognizes that the “grace” which he asks from God means “tenderness” of God and “mercy” for the sinner?  Only an attentive reading of the Word of…

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THE CHOICE OF FAITH: A RADICAL CHOICE

The act of faith in Jesus is realized and becomes concrete by taking over the reality of man in all its dimensions, from the corporal to the social and historical.  The assent to His person which is lived in a new community, has radical exigencies and brings ruptures and the sacrifice of realities and values such that their renunciation is either an act of desperation or resignation vis-à-vis the sense of existence or the opening up of earthly order to the reality of God which comes from above as grace.   RENUNCIATION AS ACT OF FAITH The renunciation of the…

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THE CHOICE OF THE LAST POSITION

The death of Christ presents us a “new” God, a God whose wisdom appears unforeseeable and unimaginable, so distant from human wisdom to be there where nobody would think to find it.  The beginning of wisdom, the one who scrutinizes the thoughts of God tells us, starts by the recognition that the source of truth is not in what spontaneously experiences or desires.  God draws glory from the weak and not from the powerful.  He covers with doubt and mystery anyone who presumes beyond his possibilities. Only God knows in the secret of every heart and can reveal to it…

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A Narrow Gate In Order To Enter The Kingdom

When someone truly loves us and calls us by name, we discover ourselves and we are no longer alone.  Victory over solitude generates joy: therefore, to live is a feast.  The Kingdom of God is communion, because of this its advent inaugurates a time of joy.  It is a feast without decline because it is definitive.  It is a feast to which all men are invited.   KINGDOM OF GOD, A FEAST TO WHICH ALL ARE INVITED The truth of communion wants us gathered together around a table, in the cheerfulness of a meal, in the abundance of a banquet. …

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THE WORD OF CHRIST, SIGN OF DIVISION

The kingdom of God is the realization of communion among men and with God. Already the prophets announced it and described it as a time of peace, of well-being, of unheard of joy; a time of universal and cosmic fraternity. Every barrier would be eliminated. There will be constituted one people for one God. Jesus realizes this project of God in humanity expressed by the prophets. He comes to “gather the dispersed sons”. His last prayer is the prayer for unity: “Father that they may be one, as we are one”.  How do we reconcile this expression with the words…

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VOLUNTARY POVERTY, SIGN OF THE KINGDOM

Man in his moral reflection has always seen in wealth and possessions the danger of alienation.  In the history of thought and Religion there is an appeal for detachment from material things in view of the liberation and realization of the human persons.  Evangelical poverty is on this level.  It does not deny it rather it transcends it.  It is not moralistic or centered on man but on the person of Jesus.  Evangelical poverty is a consequence of faith in Jesus and in the coming of the Kingdom of God.  Jesus wanted to be poor and preached poverty not only…

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Money: A False Security

One of the fundamental needs of man is security.  He passionately and necessarily searches for a foundation that is stable on which to establish his existence.  An action as old as man is that of the person who chooses wealth or money as the corner stone in his life. WHEN MONEY BECOMES GOD Money is all, they say.  Money is power, money is the power.  Without money nothing can be done.  Money gives man the sense of security, of the possibility to do all things.  This sets off the mechanism of accumulation: money is never too much and this becomes…

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SO PRAYS THE DISCIPLE OF JESUS

Prayer, in its most universal definition and shared by every religion, is dialogue with God.  However, man in dialogue with God can be a risk. Man in prayer can pervert himself and God.  He can reduce God to one of his goods of consumption, to a facile remedy for all his insufficiencies and indolence.  And he can reduce himself to a being who unloads his responsibilities to another.   ONLY FAITH SAVES THE TRUTH OF PRAYER In Israel, which lives in a regime of faith, the truth of the relationship of man with God is saved, the truth of prayer. …

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Christian Home, Hospitable Home

In all ancient civilizations, especially among nomadic people, hospitality is sacred, it is a religious act.   THE GUEST: A MYSTERIOUS PRESENCE Israel on the other hand does not make a religious reading of hospitality, but a reading of faith.  The stranger is a living memorial, a reminder that they were strangers and slaves in Egypt, that they were pilgrims in the desert and are transiting on earth. In the account of Abraham (1R) the stranger is the “other” which goes back to that “Other” per excellence which is God.  The God of faith and the “Stranger”, the “Absolutely Other”…

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The One Who Loves Others Reveals God

By nature man experiences “within” existence the fragility of life.  He seeks to find security outside of himself in God.  Man therefore, seeks to reach God, to be like Him, to divinize himself through rites and the cult.   MAN SEEKS TO BECOME GOD For Israel God is the totally OTHER, unreachable by man.  The cult does not divinize.  The unique ways of achieving salvation is by fidelity to the covenant.  God will gratuitously save those who expect all from Him and who faithfully observe His Law (1R).  But is such absolute fidelity possible to man, such response charged with…

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THE DISCIPLES; MESSENGERS OF SALVATION

Christ calls in order to send.  To be a disciple of Jesus is not a privilege per se but a service for the kingdom of God.  Jesus sends His disciples to “announce” that the kingdom of God is close at hand.   THE MISSION: AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF HOPE Man aspires towards peace, but he makes wars.  He wants to be loved and to love, but often he is not loved and does not love.  Man wants justice, equality, but perpetrates injustice and heats unjust and oppressive structures. In the profundity of his being man is in search of the living…

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THE CHRISTIAN IS ONE WHO HAS CHOSEN CHRIST AND FOLLOWS HIM

In all religions the great spiritual masters had disciples who were assiduous in their teaching and preoccupied with preserving their words.  We find the phenomenon also in the Bible (1R), though this configured in a particular way because the people lived in a regime of covenant and faith.  Covenant is not founded on traditions of master and disciples but on itself.  Certainly, the chosen people needed guides to orient them in the interpretation of faith in events.  This necessity was, however, provisional and the prophets expected a future in which God Himself the hearts of people without the mediation of…

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Death as the Road To Life

Christ has one personal identity to save and to reveal, and one mission to fulfill. Now to reveal His identity and to fulfill His mission, to save the truth of His life, He is disposed to all, even to loose His physical life. The “unconditional” and absolute decision to be Himself and fulfill His Mission at “any” cost is the supreme act of faithfulness (obedience) to God.   An Identity To Reveal And A Mission To Fulfill The loss of one’s life (death) is the “sign”, the verification and  absolute “test” of fidelity to one’s identity and mission received from…

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THE GRATUITOUS LOVE OF GOD OVERCOMES SIN

One of the fundamental themes of St. Luke’s gospel is the self manifestation of Jesus as One who saves sinners.  In this sense He already proclaims Himself God because in the consciousness of the Jews only God can forgive sins.   SIN IS THE DEATH OF MAN Sin is the rejection of communion with God and the breaking up of people convoked by God.  Offence to God is therefore a true and radical alienation of man from God.  Sin is the death of man.  Man is close to himself to the extent he is close to others.  He truly arrives…

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MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST

BREAD AND WINE FOR THE LIFE OF MEN Banquet is a fact so profoundly human that it reflects in all religious and among all peoples a familiar and social significance, a significance of human solidarity and of cult.  It even has the capacity of symbolizing communion with the dead and with God.  Such significance and capacity already stressed in the old covenant acquire an immense increase in the new, in “Coena Domini”.   OFFERING OF BREAD AND WINE, SPONTANEOUS ACT OF CULT TO CREATOR One of the most typical figures of the Bible is the pagan priest – King Melchizedek…

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GOD IS LOVE: THE MYSTERY OF “THREEFOLD” GOD

The Christian doctrine says that God is one in three Persons.  This is the greatest and for our reasons the darkest mystery of faith.  The “sign of the Cross” already from baptism brings the believer under the shadow of the “threefold” God.  The Christian faith is principally opening oneself to receiving what comes from that God “who, in His essence, is love and surrender”.  “In His essence” He is an exhaustible relational process of reciprocal self-surrender between Father, Son and Spirit.  This implies a unity of love which binds infinitely bringing giving and receiving into accord effecting their overflow infinitely…

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