Le 18 Février

Publié le 18 Février 2015

Évangile de Jésus Christ selon saint Matthieu

(Mt 6, 1-6.16-18)

En ce temps- là,
Jésus disait à ses disciples :
« Ce que vous faites pour devenir des justes,
évitez de l’accomplir devant les hommes
pour vous faire remarquer.
Sinon, il n’y a pas de récompense pour vous
auprès de votre Père qui est aux cieux.

Ainsi, quand tu fais l’aumône,
ne fais pas sonner la trompette devant toi,
comme les hypocrites qui se donnent en spectacle
dans les synagogues et dans les rues,
pour obtenir la gloire qui vient des hommes.
Amen, je vous le déclare : ceux- là ont reçu leur récompense.
Mais toi, quand tu fais l’aumône,
que ta main gauche ignore ce que fait ta main droite,
afin que ton aumône reste dans le secret ;
ton Père qui voit dans le secret
te le rendra.

Et quand vous priez,
ne soyez pas comme les hypocrites :
ils aiment à se tenir debout
dans les synagogues et aux carrefours
pour bien se montrer aux hommes
quand ils prient.
Amen, je vous le déclare : ceux- là ont reçu leur récompense.
Mais toi, quand tu pries,
retire-toi dans ta pièce la plus retirée,
ferme la porte,
et prie ton Père qui est présent dans le secret ;
ton Père qui voit dans le secret
te le rendra.

Et quand vous jeûnez,
ne prenez pas un air abattu,
comme les hypocrites :
ils prennent une mine défaite
pour bien montrer aux hommes qu’ils jeûnent.
Amen, je vous le déclare : ceux- là ont reçu leur récompense.
Mais toi, quand tu jeûnes,
parfume- toi la tête et lave- toi le visage ;
ainsi, ton jeûne ne sera pas connu des hommes,
mais seulement de ton Père qui est présent au plus secret ;
ton Père qui voit au plus secret
te le rendra. »

Le message

Aujourd’hui nous entrons dit ‘Carême’. Pour nous les chrétiens, ce temps, est un moment de grâce et de joie. Nous allons marcher avec le Seigneur dans le désert, seul avec Lui. Ces jours-là nous allons l’écouter.

Aujourd’hui le Seigneur nous propose trois choses importantes : la charité, la prière et la mortification. La charité doit naître de notre relation avec Dieu. Puisque la prière est un dialogue avec Dieu, dans la prière nous allons écouter tout ce qu’Il nous dira. La mortification sera une des conséquences de notre écoute, qui nous demandera de nous engager à la mission du Seigneur.

Nous ne pouvons pas séparer la charité, la prière et la mortification.

In English

Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

1 "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 16 "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

The Lenten message

(not on today’s gospel, but integrated)

Ash Wednesday

In Europe we feast the Tuesday before the Ash Wednesday and even we the priests, doing our retreat did feat today. For forty days we are going to prepare for the Easter and we are going to be with the Lord. Forty days without feast? This may not be the right approach. It is just the opposite. It is coming back to home. Coming closer to God. An encounter time with a merciful and loving God. Thus the Lenten season is not the season to suffer, it is a moment offered to every Christian to renew his or her relationship with God and be reconciled with Him. This reconciliation starts with our reconciliation with our brothers and sisters. How can we be reconciled with God, without being reconciled with His children, our brothers and sisters? Saint John will ask us, how can we love an unknown God without loving our brothers and sisters? Are we not liars, if we refuse to get reconciled with our brothers and sisters and claim to love God? As saint Agustin says, it is knowing God to love Him and to love Him, we should know Him. How to know and love God, or love and know God without reconciliation?

The reconciliation starts from within ourselves. The more we accept ourselves as we are and be able to love and reconcile within ourselves, the more we will be able to love and accept others. Thus these days we are called to enter alone into ourselves, a desert where no one has ever plunged. For some it may be a happy experience and for others it may be a frightening. Whatever be the experience, this is imperative to have a God experience, because God resides in us and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, says Saint Paul.

The forty days of Jesus in the desert was the preparation for His mission. Any desert experience should have a mission. How to have this mission, from whom we receive it and how to prepare ourselves during these forty days? For someone it may be a self-discovery. For others, it may be a mission discovery. Each will have different aims and means. Let us not imitate others. We are not called to imitate others, rather imitate Jesus, who will lead us towards Jesus. Knowing God and loving Him, is a common mission and the way we love God is a particular mission.

All of us have received a mission from God, right from the beginning of our baptism. It is the Christian vocation to live together and discover the marvellous work of God in ourselves particularly and in the world largely. We can say that we have two different missions. One is very personal where we enter a personal dialogue with God in an intimate way and the other is community oriented where we discover the love God has for this people and how many of us are invited to assist this community. These missions are so inter mingled that one mission independently can’t exist without the other. We need the community to love God and the community is in need of us to experience the divine love.

In today’s gospel, Jesus gives us three important aspects of the Lenten season: The charity, the prayer and the mortifications. They are so intermingled that we cannot separate them. The charity is the expression of our divine love and the energy is received from God through the prayers and what we give is not from our abundance, but from our mortification and penances. All we do and say should have its origin from our relationship with God.

By doing repeatedly charity (charity doesn’t mean material giving, rather giving oneself as a good Samaritan), our life will be totally transformed into a charitable life that one day we will become charitable without being aware of this radical change brought by God in us. Thus we will become a virtuous person.

This transformation will be brought not by a human hand, but by the human cooperation to the divine plan. Prayer will play an important role in our participation of divine mission. Since prayer is our dialogue with God, asking Him, what He desires from us today, right now, our response to God and actions become a direct cooperation of God’s plan, a mission confined to us personally by God, for the well-being of His children.

The mortification and penance will help us to remain very close to God and will reminds us of our Christian vocation. Our personal growth through these mortifications and penances is not only for the personal good, but also for the well-being of the community, for whom God has chosen us and send us.

On this Lenten season I wish all of my readers to enjoy this wonderful opportunity that God gives us to be close to Him. This desert experience which we start today, is not in the empty land, but with a rich desert, which gives life to may invisible beings living there. Like John who saw an empty tomb and believed, I wish you too enter in this desert land and to discover the immense presence of God in our life. I wish you all a happy and fruitful and graceful Lenten season.

Rédigé par JOHNBOSCO

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