Publié le 23 Janvier 2022

We have all three readings announcing Good News. The first reading announces the feast of tents, where the people are called to an assembly where the Law will be read and interpreted. The people of Israel are invited to be purified and to be faithful to this Law, faithful to the author of this Law, God. There was a pleasure in listening to it, and in putting it into practice.  On this Word of God Sunday, let us put this Word at the centre of our lives, including in our homes. It is a pity that some Christians do not have the Bible at home and very few read the Bible daily.

The second reading announces to us the newness of this people, the Church of the Lord, as a dwelling place of God, a Catholic, holy and universal Church, with its diversity.  It’s no more one single community or race, it’s an assembly of people, people of µGod, from different origins, thinking or orientations. Yet, we are one body, the Body of Christ.  This Church has received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, varied according to service and ministry, yet directed towards the fulfilment of one mission, the mission of Jesus, entrusted by his Father. Paul tells us that this Church of the Lord is nourished by the Word of God which is announced or proclaimed by its faithful, led by the faith it received in baptism. St. Paul says that we are a covenant people, a people filled with the Holy Spirit. This people is configured to Christ.  Live by God and for God.

That is why we fix our gaze on Jesus. In today's Gospel, Jesus announces to us his mission, which is also our mission, to announce the Good News. In Jesus we discover our mission, our baptismal vocation. This Gospel affirms three realities that are found in Jesus and that we can realise in our daily lives.

The realities of today's Gospel

1.            The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.

Jesus does not work alone. He sent his disciples on mission, never alone, but in pairs. We must know how to work together. Our faith is essentially communitarian in nature. The mission that Jesus gave us is a Trinitarian mission. Even if we only see one person of the Trinity visibly active, they are always together.  The gospel of the day says, pushed by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is at the synagogue.

2.            The Fulfilment of the Prophets and the Law

It is today that this prophesy is fulfilled. The mission is like a relay. One started it, I continue it and the other will pursue it. The mission continues and the saving project is a project for eternity. We accomplish all that we have been given. I did not come to destroy the prophets and the Law, but to fulfil them. Our presence in this church is already a plan of God. We need to be here every Sunday, not only to nourish our faith, but also to fulfil God's will. God would like you to be here, together, to worship Him in a worthy and pleasing way. We are here for God, because God has called us. Our presence is a response to the divine call.

3.            Consecrated and sent on mission

If we are here, it is because we are consecrated, and be sent by God, into this world that is thirsting for justice and peace. It is the Father who sent Jesus among us. It is the Father who sent me to you. It is the Father who will send you to the world today. Go in the peace of Christ, we hear at the end of the Mass. We should never forget the consecration and the mission that we have received on the day of baptism.

4.            Mission: proclamation and liberation.

In the end, what is the mission? How do we translate it into our daily lives? Certainly, we are doing God's will, as we have heard from the beginning of this Gospel. Luke teaches Theophile, the seeker of God, the beloved of God. We announce and proclaim the message we have received to the people whom God loves. I will no longer call you servants, you are my friends, for I have told you everything. As a father passes on his values to his children, so I have passed on to you all that the Father has entrusted to me. Jesus announce the liberation.  Let us free ourselves from the slavery of this world and free others, so that they may find the promised joy. We are here in this world as light to remove anything that darkness dominates and to announce to the world, the year of Jubily, year of promise and liberation, year of joy and hope.

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Publié le 21 Janvier 2022

Gospel text

(Mk 3:20-21): 

 

Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

 

The Application

 

In love everything is possible, and you lose everything, including your head. It is in this love, as we saw in the first reading, that David will mourn for the one who wanted to make him disappear. So many missionaries give themselves generously to the mission, and they even give their lives for the Lord in this love. Do you have the joy of suffering in love, in love for the Lord? Very often in the family, parents live it, in silence, very discreetly, so that their children do not discover their suffering and their children do not suffer. In truth, God lives it, even today, for you and for me.

 

Action of the day: Love and act.

“He is out of his mind”

 

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench

(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

 

Today, we see how Jesus' own relatives react “He is out of his mind” (Mk 3:21). Once again, the old proverb “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house” (Mt 13:57), is seen to be true. It is unnecessary to say this complaint does not “taint” the Blessed Virgin Mary, because from the beginning to the last moment —when she was at the foot of the Cross— she always kept her immovable faith and trust towards her Son.

But, what about us? Think about how many, amongst our neighbors or those closer to us, can we say light up our lives... We do not have to go very far: let us consider the Holy Father St. John Paul II: how many people followed him and, at the same time, how many did not hesitate to accuse him of being “stubborn and out-of-date”, jealous of his “power”? Is it possible that after two thousand years Jesus is still on the cross for our salvation while we onlookers keep saying to Him: “come down from the Cross so we may see and believe”? (cf. Mk 15:32)

Let us look at it another way! If we valiantly identify ourselves with Christ, our presence will not be neutral for those interacting with us for reasons of kinship, work, etc. Moreover, our presence will be a pain in the neck for some people, because we shall be like a reminder for their conscience. We can be certain: “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (Jn 15:20). With their mockery they will try to conceal their fears; with their disqualifications they will perform a poor defense of their “laziness”.

How many times we Catholics are being accused of “exaggerating”? We have to reply we are not, for it is impossible to exaggerate in matters of love. Instead, it is quite true we are “radical”, because love is just so “absorbent”: “it has to be either all or nothing”; “or love kills the self or the self kills love.”

This is why St. John Paul II spoke of “evangelic radicalism” and of “not being afraid”: “In the cause of the Kingdom there is no time for looking back, even less for settling into laziness”.

 

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Publié le 21 Janvier 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Mc 3,20-21): 

 

Jésus entre dans une maison, où de nouveau la foule se rassemble, si bien qu'il n'était pas possible de manger. Sa famille, l'apprenant, vint pour se saisir de lui, car ils affirmaient: «Il a perdu la tête».

 

L’Application

 

En amour, tout est possible, et on perd tout, y compris la tête. C'est dans cet amour, comme nous l'avons vu dans la première lecture, que David fera le deuil de celui qui voulait le faire disparaître. Tant de missionnaires se donnent généreusement à la mission, et ils donnent même leur vie pour le Seigneur dans cet amour. Avez-vous la joie de souffrir par amour ? Très souvent, dans la famille, les parents la vivent, en silence, très discrètement, pour que leurs enfants ne découvrent pas leur souffrance et que leurs enfants ne souffrent pas. En vérité, Dieu la vit, aujourd'hui encore, pour toi et pour moi.

«Il a perdu la tête»

 

Abbé Antoni CAROL i Hostench

(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Espagne)

 

Aujourd'hui, nous voyons que les propres parents de Jésus osent lui dire qu'Il a «perdu la tête» (Mc 3,21). Une fois de plus, le proverbe «Un prophète n'est sans honneur que dans sa patrie et dans sa maison» (Mt 13,57) («Nul n'est prophète en son pays») s'avère vrai. Il est évident que ces commentaires n'éclaboussent pas la très Sainte Marie, car depuis le premier et jusqu'au dernier moment, au pied de la croix, elle a gardé solidement et fermement sa foi et sa confiance en son Fils.

Et nous alors? Faisons un examen! Combien de personnes qui vivent à nos cotés, de notre entourage, sont une lumière dans nos vies,… et nous? Il ne faut pas aller très loin pour trouver: pensons au pape Jean-Paul II, combien de gens l'on suivi?, et... en même temps combien l'ont considéré comme un "têtu démodé", jaloux par son "pouvoir"? Serait-il possible que Jésus, deux mille ans après, continue à être cloué sur la croix pour notre salut, et que nous, en bas, nous continuions toujours à crier «descends maintenant de la croix, afin que nous voyions et que nous croyions» (cf. Mc 15,32)?

Ou au contraire. Si nous nous efforçons de nous configurer au Christ, notre présence ne sera pas inutile vis-à-vis de ceux qui sont à nos côtés soit par lien de parenté soit à cause du travail, etc. De plus, elle sera peut-être gênante pour certains car nous serons un rappel de leur conscience. C'est garanti! «S'ils m'ont persécuté, ils vous persécuteront» (Jn 15,20). Par leurs moqueries ils cacheront leur peur, par leur désintéressement ils défendront mal leur oisiveté.

Combien de fois les gens nous accusent, nous les catholiques, d'exagérer? Nous devons leur répondre que nous n'exagérons pas du tout, car quand il est question d'amour, il est impossible d'exagérer. Mais il est vrai que nous sommes des "radicaux" car l'amour est comme ça: «ou tout ou rien», «ou l'amour tue le moi ou le moi tue l'amour».

C'est pour cela que le Saint Père nous a parlé du "radicalisme évangélique" et nous a dit "n'ayez pas peur": «Dans la cause du Royaume, il n'y a pas de temps pour regarder en arrière, et encore moins pour s'abandonner à la paresse» (Saint Jean-Paul II).

 

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Publié le 20 Janvier 2022

Gospel text

(Mk 3:13-19): 

 

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve [whom he also named apostles] that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons:[he appointed the twelve:] Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

 

The Application

 

I would like to invite you to pray for all the missionaries of the world, especially for the consecrated ones. The Lord needs missionaries to continue the mission of the Father; the glory of God and the salvation of the world. Let us pray for the vocation.

 

Vocation is a gift, yet God desires that man welcomes it with an open and humble heart. In truth all the baptised are missionaries of the Light of Christ, called to be the bearers of the light of the Risen Christ, by our witnessing life. It is here that we learn to respect each and every one, appreciate the difference and feel the necessity of the exigence that God desires from every Christian. It is easy to accord this respect to a good priest or a holy religious. When we find them weak, there we stumble and fail.

 

In the first reading, David teaches us the basis of this respect that we must give to all the ministers of the Lord. They are anointed and through this consecration the Holy Spirit dwells upon them. We can apply this to all human beings, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

 

Action of the Day: Be aware of your call and remain faithful.

 

“Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted”

 

Fr. Jordi POU i Sabater

(Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Spain)

 

Today, the Gospel considers the theology of Christian vocation: “The Lord called those he wanted to be with him and send them to be apostles” (cf. Mk 3:13-14). First, He calls them: For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy (cf. Eph 1:4). God loves us, shaping us in Christ, encouraging us to develop the characteristics necessary for us to become his children. These qualities are best understood when we consider them from a vocational perspective; vocation is the “role” in life that God's plan of redemption has allotted us so that we can fulfill our part in his work of redemption. Only by discovering your God-given vocation —the true reasons for your life— and by fulfilling it on his terms, will you come to know yourself as God knows you.

And what does God require of those He calls? He asks us to live close to him as we serve him, and in return, He promises to stay close to us. Yet, God speaks to each one of us individually and specifically. “One day perhaps an ordinary Christian, just like you, opened your eyes to horizons both deep and new, yet as old as the Gospel. He suggested to you the prospect of following Christ earnestly, seriously, of becoming an apostle of apostles. Perhaps you lost your balance then and didn't recover it. Your complacency wasn't quite replaced by true peace until you freely said “yes” to God, because you wanted to, which is the most supernatural of reasons. And in its wake came a strong, constant joy, which disappears only when you abandon him” (Saint Josemaria).

It is a blessing, but it is a blessing that can only be fully realized when we become holy through our willingness to serve, through prayer, and through the blessed sacraments. “All the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity; by this holiness as such a more human manner of living is promoted in this earthly society” (Second Vatican Council).

This is how we learn of our apostolic mission of taking Christ to others. First, having him ourselves so that we can share him. Today, and every day, we must meditate upon the true nature of our call to vocation, answering his call with an increased love, born of our increased understanding of what He calls us to do and to be.

 

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Publié le 20 Janvier 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Mc 3,13-19): 

 

Jésus gravit la montagne, et il appela ceux qu'il voulait. Ils vinrent auprès de lui, et il en institua douze pour qu'ils soient avec lui, et pour les envoyer prêcher avec le pouvoir de chasser les esprits mauvais. Donc, il institua les Douze: Pierre (c'est le nom qu'il donna à Simon), Jacques, fils de Zébédée, et Jean, le frère de Jacques (il leur donna le nom de "Boanerguès", c'est-à-dire: "Fils du tonnerre"), André, Philippe, Barthélemy, Matthieu, Thomas, Jacques fils d'Alphée, Thaddée, Simon le Zélote, et Judas Iscariote, celui-là même qui le livra.

 

L’Application

 

Je voudrais vous inviter à prier pour tous les missionnaires du monde, en particulier pour les consacrés. Le Seigneur a besoin de missionnaires pour poursuivre la mission du Père : la gloire de Dieu et le salut du monde. Prions pour la vocation. 

La vocation est un don, mais Dieu désire que l'homme l'accueille avec un cœur ouvert et humble. En vérité, tous les baptisés sont des missionnaires de la Lumière du Christ, appelés à être les porteurs de la lumière du Christ ressuscité, par leur de témoignage.

Dans la première lecture, David nous enseigne le fondement de ce respect que nous devons accorder à tous les ministères du Seigneur. Ils sont oints et, par cette consécration, l'Esprit Saint demeure sur eux. Nous pouvons appliquer cela à tous les êtres humains, demeure de l'Esprit Saint.

«Jésus gravit la montagne, et il appela ceux qu'il voulait»

 

Abbé Jordi POU i Sabater

(Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Espagne)

 

Aujourd'hui, l'Evangile résume la théologie de la vocation chrétienne: le Seigneur choisit ceux qu'Il veut pour qu'ils restent avec Lui et pour en faire des apôtres (cf. Mc 3,13-14). En premier lieu, Il les choisit: avant la création du monde, il nous a destinés à devenir saints (cf. Ef 1,4). Il nous aime à travers le Christ, et il nous modèle par son intermédiaire en nous donnant des vertus pour être ses enfants. C'est seulement en ayant en vue la vocation que l'on comprend nos vertus; la vocation est le "rôle" qu'il nous a donné dans la rédemption. C'est en découvrant l'intime "pourquoi" de mon existence que je me sens pleinement "moi", quand je vis ma vocation.

Et pourquoi nous a-t-il appelés? Pour que nous soyons avec Lui. Cet appel implique une réponse: «Un jour —je ne veux pas généraliser, ouvre ton cœur au Seigneur et raconte-lui ton histoire—, peut-être qu'un ami, un chrétien ordinaire comme toi, t'as fait découvrir un panorama profond et nouveau, même s'il est aussi vieux que l'Evangile. Il t'a suggéré que tu pouvais t'appliquer sérieusement à suivre le Christ, à devenir un apôtre des apôtres. A ce moment-là, tu as peut-être perdu la tranquillité et tu ne l'as retrouvée, convertie en paix, qu'après avoir répondu à Dieu librement, parce que tu en as eu envie —ce qui est la raison la plus surnaturelle—. Et la joie est venue, forte et constante, une joie qui disparaît seulement quand tu t'écartes de Lui» (Saint Joseph Marie).

C'est un don mais c'est aussi une tâche: la sainteté par l'intermédiaire de la prière et des sacrements et, de plus, c'est une lutte personnelle. «Tous les fidèles quels que soient leur état et leurs conditions de vie sont appelés à la plénitude de la vie chrétienne et à la perfection de la charité, de la sainteté qui, même dans la société terrestre, encourage un mode de vie plus humain» (Concile Vatican II).

Ainsi, nous pouvons sentir la mission apostolique: amener le Christ aux autres; l'avoir avec nous et l'amener. Aujourd'hui, nous pouvons prêter davantage attention à l'appel, et perfectionner notre réponse d'amour.

 

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Publié le 19 Janvier 2022

Gospel text

(Mk 3:7-12): 

 

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.

 

The Application

 

Withdrawing, is not necessary ne seen as something negative. It can save us from many dangers and can create many more opportunities. We need to learn from Jesus to withdraw, the right moment and towards the right place. Very often we interpret the divine silence, synonym to His absence. In truth, it is in these dark moments of life, we get a wonderful opportunity for a divine encounter. When such occasions present before us, that we need to express our faith and remain faithful to God.

 

Jesus withdraws and the crowd follows him. An ordinary day, yet a divine manifestation through miracles, including the presence of Jesus, a recognition of the people. Jesus does not withdraw to distance himself from the people, but quite the opposite, simply to give them a closeness accessible to all, including the evil spirits. Jesus would like to convert and save all. This closeness created by God voluntarily gives us the hope to convert and to come closer to the Lord.

 

In truth, it is not His unavailability that keeps us away from His grace, but we simply voluntarily keep ourselves away from His presence and grace. Jesus promised us that He would be with us until the end of the world and He remains faithful to that promise. True to his promise, he makes himself available. We, on our part, must run to Him, as children run to their parents.

 

Action of the day: Run towards God, with the hope.

“A large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon”

 

Fr. Melcior QUEROL i Solà

(Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain)

 

Today, with the baptisms by John in the Jordan still recent, we should all remember the kind of conversion brought about as a result of our baptism. We have all been baptized into one Lord, into one only faith, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1Co 12:13). This is the aim of unity: to form a single body, to be a single unity in Christ, so that the world may believe.

In today's Gospel we see “A large crowd from Galilee followed him" and "a great number of people” coming from other places surrounded the Lord (cf. Mk 3:7-8). And He paid heed to all, procuring, without exception, their good. We have to keep this in mind during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Let us realize how, throughout the centuries, we Christians have divided ourselves into Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and a long list of other Christian confessions. This evidences a historic sin against one of the essential points of our Church: its unity.

But, let us face today's ecclesial reality: Our bishoprics, our parishes, our Christian groups and associations. Are we truly "One"? Will this type of unity really be a motive for conversion for those who are away from the Church? “That they also may be in us, that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21), pleaded Jesus to the Father. Our challenge is that the others may see a group of believers united to one another, gathered by the Holy Spirit, under the Church of Christ: “All the believers were one in heart and mind.” (cf. Acts 4:32-34).

Let us remember that, the unity of the Assembly must be manifested as a fruit of the Eucharist —as well as the union of each one with Jesus— since we feed on the same Bread to be one body. Therefore, what the sacraments stand for, and the graces they contain, demand we work towards communion with all people. Our conversion is to the Unity of the Trinity (which is a gift from Heaven), and our sanctifying task cannot avert the gestures of communion, understanding, welcome and forgiveness towards others.

 

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Publié le 19 Janvier 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Mc 3,7-12): 

 

Jésus se retira avec ses disciples au bord du lac; et beaucoup de gens, venus de la Galilée, le suivirent; et aussi beaucoup de gens de Judée, de Jérusalem, d'Idumée, de Transjordanie, et de la région de Tyr et de Sidon avaient appris tout ce qu'il faisait, et ils vinrent à lui. Il dit à ses disciples de tenir une barque à sa disposition pour qu'il ne soit pas écrasé par la foule. Car il avait fait beaucoup de guérisons, si bien que tous ceux qui souffraient de quelque mal se précipitaient sur lui pour le toucher. Et lorsque les esprits mauvais le voyaient, ils se prosternaient devant lui et criaient: «Tu es le Fils de Dieu!». Mais il leur défendait vivement de le faire connaître.

 

L’Application

 

Jésus se retire et la foule le suit. Une journée ordinaire, et pourtant une manifestation divine par des miracles, dont la présence de Jésus, une reconnaissance du peuple. Jésus ne se retire pas pour s'éloigner du peuple, mais bien au contraire, simplement pour lui donner une proximité accessible à tous, y compris aux esprits mauvais. Jésus voudrait convertir et sauver tout le monde. Cette proximité créée par Dieu nous donne volontairement l'espoir de nous convertir et de nous rapprocher du Seigneur.

En vérité, ce n'est pas son indisponibilité qui nous éloigne de sa grâce, mais nous nous tenons simplement volontairement à l'écart de sa présence et de sa grâce. Jésus nous a promis qu'il serait avec nous jusqu'à la fin du monde et il reste fidèle à cette promesse. Fidèle à sa promesse, il se rend disponible. De notre côté, nous devons courir vers Lui, comme les enfants courent vers leurs parents.

«Beaucoup de gens de Judée, de Jérusalem, d'Idumée, de Transjordanie, et de la région de Tyr et de Sidon»

 

Abbé Melcior QUEROL i Solà

(Ribes de Freser, Girona, Espagne)

 

Aujourd'hui, le baptême encore tout récent de Jean dans les eaux du Jourdain devrait nous rappeler la force de conversion de notre propre baptême. Nous avons tous été baptisés en un seul Seigneur, une seule foi, «un seul Esprit pour former un seul corps» (1Co 12,13). Voici l'idéal d'unité: ne former qu'un seul corps, être dans le Christ une seule chose, pour que le monde croie.

Dans l'Évangile du jour nous voyons «beaucoup de gens, venus de la Galilée» et beaucoup d'autres gens encore (cf. Mc 3,7-8) qui s'approchent du Seigneur. Et Lui les accueille tous; à tous, sans exception, il fait du bien. Nous devons avoir cela très présent à l'esprit durant la semaine pour l'unité des chrétiens.

Prenons conscience de ce que, tout au long des siècles, les chrétiens se sont divisés en catholiques, orthodoxes, anglicans, luthériens et toute une kyrielle de confessions chrétiennes. Péché historique contre l'une des notes essentielles de l'Église: son unité.

Mais atterrissons dans notre réalité ecclésiale d'aujourd'hui. Celle de notre diocèse, celle de notre paroisse. Celle de notre groupe de chrétiens. Sommes-nous réellement une seule chose? Notre relation d'unité est-elle un motif de conversion pour ceux qui sont éloignés de l'Église? «Que tous soient un, pour que le monde croie» (Jn 17,21), demande Jésus au Père. C'est çà le défi. Que les païens voient comment se fréquentent des croyants qui, réunis par l'Esprit Saint dans l'Église du Christ, ont un seul coeur et une seule âme (cf. Ac 4,32-34).

Rappelons que comme fruit de l'Eucharistie, en même temps que l'union de chacun avec Jésus, doit se manifester l'unité de l'Assemblée puisque nous nous nourrissons du même Pain pour être un seul corps. Ce que les sacrements signifient, la grâce qu'ils contiennent, exigent par conséquent des gestes de communion envers les autres. Nous nous convertissons à l'unité trinitaire (don qui vient d'en-haut) et notre sanctification ne peut éviter les gestes de communion, de compréhension, d'accueil et de pardon envers les autres.

 

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Publié le 18 Janvier 2022

Gospel text

(Mk 3:1-6): 

 

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

 

The Application

 

This man is a danger to religion, to the prophecies of the prophets, and also to the law of Moses. Like Goliath, these people with their power want to do away with this danger, Jesus. Yet He did nothing but good, and they agreed with Him, because they were no longer able to oppose Him. When man relies on his own power, ignoring the divine will, he hides, like Adam, behind rules and traditions.  

 

The day man learns to stand before God as a righteous man, and his presence will be de facto divine glory. The Sabbath was established so that man could give glory to God and what good is that glory when one ignores God and His will? Before this divine will, for David, Goliath was so small, like a little dog. And we need to look everything with faith and God will give us the necessary grace to face our adversaries.

 

Action of the day: Learn to imitate the way Jesus look at people.

“Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”

 

Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García

(Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)

 

Today, Jesus tells us we must always do good: There is no such thing as a time to do good and a time to overlook our love for others. The love we receive through God brings us to the supreme Law that Jesus left us in the new commandment: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34). Jesus neither repeals nor criticizes Moses' Law, inasmuch as He is the first to comply with its precepts and go to the synagogue on the Sabbath; rather, what Jesus criticizes is the narrow-minded version of the Law espoused by its masters and the Pharisees, an interpretation leaving little room for mercy.

Jesus Christ has come to proclaim the Gospel of salvation, but his antagonists, far from being convinced, seek to find all kind of pretexts against him: “There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him” (Mk 3:1-2). At the same time as we witness the power of grace, we also witness the hardheartedness of those boastful men, who believe they have the truth on their side. Were those Pharisees joyful upon realizing that poor man's withered hand had been cured? Certainly not; quite the opposite, they were even more blinded, to the point of rushing to make a deal with Herod's supporters —their natural foes— looking for a way to destroy Jesus. Curious alliance!

With his action, Jesus also removes the chains with which the masters of the Law and the Pharisees had constrained the Sabbath, while conferring it its true meaning: the day of communion between God and man, the day of liberation from slavery, the day of salvation from evil forces. Saint Augustine tells us: “He who has peace in the conscience, is peaceful, and this very peace is his heart's Sabbath.” With Jesus Christ, the Sabbath already foreshadows the gift of Sunday.

 

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Publié le 18 Janvier 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Mc 3,1-6): 

 

Une autre fois, Jésus entra dans une synagogue; il y avait là un homme dont la main était paralysée. On observait Jésus pour voir s'il le guérirait le jour du sabbat; on pourrait ainsi l'accuser. Il dit à l'homme qui avait la main paralysée: «Viens te mettre là devant tout le monde». Et s'adressant aux autres: «Est-il permis, le jour du sabbat, de faire le bien, ou de faire le mal? de sauver une vie, ou de tuer?». Mais ils se taisaient. Alors, promenant sur eux un regard de colère, navré de l'endurcissement de leurs coeurs, il dit à l'homme: «Étends la main». Il l'étendit, et sa main redevint normale. Une fois sortis, les pharisiens se réunirent avec les partisans d'Hérode contre Jésus, pour voir comment le faire périr.

 

L’Application

 

Cet homme est un danger pour la religion, pour les prophéties des prophètes, et aussi pour la loi de Moïse. Comme Goliath, ces gens avec leur pouvoir veulent faire disparaître ce danger, Jésus. Pourtant, il n'a fait que du bien, et ils sont d'accord avec lui, parce qu'ils ne sont plus capables de s'opposer à lui. Lorsque l'homme s'appuie sur son propre pouvoir, ignorant la volonté divine, il se cache, comme Adam, derrière des règles et des traditions.  

Le jour où l'homme apprendra à se tenir devant Dieu comme un homme juste, sa présence sera de facto la gloire divine. Le sabbat a été établi pour que l'homme puisse rendre gloire à Dieu et à quoi sert cette gloire quand on ignore Dieu et sa volonté ? Avant cette volonté divine, pour David, Goliath était si petit, comme un petit chien. Et nous devons tout regarder avec foi et Dieu nous donnera la grâce nécessaire pour affronter nos adversaires. 

 

«Est-il permis, le jour du sabbat, de faire le bien, ou de faire le mal? de sauver une vie, ou de tuer?»

 

Abbé Joaquim MESEGUER García

(Rubí, Barcelona, Espagne)

 

Aujourd'hui, Jésus nous enseigne qu'il faut faire le bien en tout temps: il n'y a pas un temps pour faire le bien et un autre pour négliger l'amour du prochain. L'amour qui vient de Dieu nous conduit à la Loi suprême, que Jésus nous a laissée dans le commandement nouveau: «Aimez-vous les uns les autres comme je vous ai aimé» (Jn 13,34). Jésus ne déroge pas à la Loi de Moïse, Il ne la critique pas, puisque Lui-même accomplit ses préceptes et se rend à la synagogue le sabbat; ce que Jésus critique, c'est l'interprétation étroite de la Loi qu'en ont fait les docteurs et les pharisiens, une interprétation qui laisse peu de place à la miséricorde.

Jésus-Christ est venu proclamer l'Évangile du salut, mais ses adversaires, loin de se laisser convaincre, cherchent des prétextes contre Lui: «Il y avait là un homme dont la main était paralysée. On observait Jésus pour voir s'il le guérirait le jour du sabbat; on pourrait ainsi l'accuser» (Mc 3,1-2). Nous pouvons voir l'action de la grâce et, simultanément, constater la dureté de coeur d'hommes orgueilleux qui croient détenir la vérité. Les pharisiens furent-ils contents de voir ce pauvre homme récupérer la santé? Non, tout au contraire, ils s'aveuglèrent encore davantage, au point d'aller pactiser avec les hérodiens -leurs ennemis naturels- pour voir comment perdre Jésus. Curieuse alliance!

Par son action, Jésus libère aussi le sabbat des entraves posées par les docteurs de la Loi et les pharisiens, et lui restitue son sens véritable: jour de communion entre Dieu et l'homme, jour de libération de l'esclavage, jour de la délivrance des forces du mal. Saint Augustin nous dit: «Celui qui a la conscience en paix est tranquille, et cette tranquillité est le sabbat du coeur». En Jésus-Christ, le sabbat s'ouvre déjà au don du dimanche.

 

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Gospel text

(Mk 2:23-28): 

 

As he was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

 

The Application

 

How can we apply this gospel in our daily lives? First, I invite you to examine your personal decisions. What is the basis of our decisions, the law or the divine will? The way people look at you or the way of God? Society or man? For Jesus, the will of his Father was the foundation of his Word and his actions. If man learns to honour this divine will, for himself and also for others, he will be happy and joyful, because God will accompany him until the end of his life. In difficult moments of life, Samuel learned to trust God and God did accompany him and protected him from the king. The same God will certainly accompany us and protect us.

 

Action of the day: Let God’s will be the force of your day.

 

 

Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers:

 

The Lord of the Sabbath,

by John Chrysostom, 547-407 A.D.

 

"Doubtless he speaks of himself when he mentions the 'Lord of the sabbath' (Mark 2:28, Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5). Mark relates a complementary saying about our common human nature, that "the sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the sabbath" (Mark 2:27). Why then should someone who gathered sticks on the sabbath be censured? The law that was established earlier could not be scorned without jeopardizing the law to be given later.
"The sabbath did confer many benefits, great blessings in the earlier dispensation. It made people more gentle toward those close to them. It guided them toward being more sympathetic. It located them temporally within God's creation and providence, as Ezekiel knew (Ezekiel 20:19-20). The sabbath trained Israel by degrees to abstain from evil and disposed them to listen to the things of the Spirit.
"They would have stretched the law out of shape if, when he was giving the law of the sabbath, Jesus had said, 'You can work on the sabbath, but just do good works, do nothing evil.' This would have brought out the worst in them. So he restrained them from doing any works at all on the sabbath. And even this stricter prohibition did not keep them in line. But he himself, in the very act of giving the law of the sabbath, gave them a veiled sign of things to come. For by saying, 'You must do no work, except what shall be done for your life' (Exodus 12:16), he indicated that the intent of the law was to have them refrain from evil works only, not all works. Even in the temple, much went on during the sabbath, and with great diligence and double toil. Thus even by this very shadowy saying Jesus was secretly opening the truth to them. Did Christ then attempt to repeal a law so beneficial as the sabbath law? Far from it. Rather, he greatly magnified the sabbath. For with Christ came the time for everyone to be trained by a higher requirement."
(excerpt from THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 39.3)

 

 

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