Publié le 26 Mars 2022

We are entering the 4th Sunday of Lent and I would like to remind us of our journey from Ash Wednesday to today. We walked together with the Lord in the desert and from the desert to the transfiguration where God the Father asked us to listen to his son. Last Sunday, Jesus asked us to be converted. He comes to us again, to tell us what kind of conversion he expects from us.

For this, we are given two sons of the same father, faithful to his love. On this day, it is good to remind ourselves of the sons of Adam, Abel and Cain, both of whom will behave in different ways. Abel looks to the Lord and believes that everything belongs to God. It is therefore normal that he gives the best to God as an offering, there he found his joy and consolation. A look towards heaven will direct all his actions on earth. God, who looks at the heart, and all that is done in secret, will accept Abel's offering, as a pure and worthy offering. Cain, on the other hand, looks at his brother, far from God and totally disconnected from God, with a gaze fixed on the visible and palpable elements, without wanting to recognise all that dwelt in his brother's heart. Totally disconnected from the Father's will, closing in on himself, will give an impure offering, half-filled, with a hardened heart. This offering will be rejected.

I invite you now to look at these two sons and their father in today's Gospel. The two sons, it seems to us, are acting in a normal and acceptable way, according to the justice and right that the world of the time has already established. In applying this justice and right, the son rightly claims his property and goes off to celebrate, unfortunately alone, ignoring the immense love of his father and putting him in great pain.  In truth, this one doesn't have the right to claim for. However, in love the Father given him. And the elder son, who has witnessed his father's suffering, will repeat the same suffering that his younger brother has offered his father. It is a pity that the one who gives generously, the one who forgives without limit, the one who welcomes with an open heart, is a victim of a society that has no respect for itself and for others.

Life today is well summarised in this story. Joy and anger coexist, and everyone is invited to take them out of their backpacks. The little son, as today's Gospel tells us, "Then he went into himself", symbolically invites us to recognise all that dwells deep in our hearts, in our history.  There we will recognise that our Father remains faithful, welcoming and open. "How many of my father's workers have bread in abundance, and I am starving here", a great discrepancy between what is happening in his Father's house and what is happening outside. "I will get  up to go to my Father and the elder  refused to enter. If the Father went out to welcome his little one, who was dead, then he will do the same for the other one, he will go out of the party, to meet him. As he let the little one go, he will let the elder one to remain outside and give him the time he needs to come back. A fair father.

It seems as if the story has ended well, because the son who had died has come back to life. Unfortunately the story has just started again, it is not over. It is our story that starts again today. We are that elder son who is still outside. We are all miserable, living in our Father's house, totally disconnected from the Father's love.

This Sunday invites us to taste and see how good the Lord is. Let us be touched by this love of God, by his patience with us, and his confidence in the return of his son, whom we are. "He who looks to him will shine, with no shadow or trouble on his face," the psalm of the day tells us. Let us savour this love of God who welcomes the two sons as they are, while expressing his joy and sorrow. Let us make a good choice, so that our father may be happy and we may participate in the feast he offers us, Amen.

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Publié le 25 Mars 2022

Gospel text

(Lk 18:9-14): 

 

Jesus then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —greedy, dishonest, adulterous— or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

The Application

 

Who is right before God? This explanation comes directly from the Lord. The one who recognises God's mercy and the one who is open to receive it. Jesus does not judge this Pharisee, who nevertheless does a lot of good for himself and for others. Yet he is not ready to accept God's mercy, nor the grace that God generously gives him. In truth, we must imitate the good deeds of this Pharisee and avoid his arrogance which leads him to sin. Jesus invites us to imitate the behaviour of a publican, open and welcoming, surrendering before the divine mercy. If we want to be judged as righteous before God, let us learn to be humble, so that God may lift us up. It is in this self-emptying that we allow God to fill us with His grace.

 

Action of the day: Accept the divine mercy.

“I tell you, the latter went home justified”

 

Fr. Gavan JENNINGS

(Dublín, Ireland)

 

Today, Christ presents us with two men who, to a casual observer, might appear almost identical for they are in the same place doing the same thing, as both “went up to the Temple to pray” (Lk 18:10). But beyond appearances, at the deepest level of their personal consciences, both men differ radically: one, the Pharisee, has an easy conscience while the other, the tax collector, is racked by feelings of guilt.

Nowadays we tend to see guilt feelings as close to a psychological aberration: ‘beating oneself up over something’. Nevertheless the ‘guilt-racked’ tax-collector leaves the Temple in the better state for, “the latter went home justified, not the former” (Lk 18:14). “This feeling of guilt”, wrote Benedict XVI when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger ("Conscience and truth"), “disturbs the false calm of conscience and could be called conscience's complaint against my self-satisfied existence. It is as necessary for man as the physical pain which signifies disturbances of normal bodily functioning.”

Jesus doesn’t lead us to believe that the Pharisee is not telling the truth when he says that he is not “greedy, dishonest, adulterous” (Lk 18:11) and that he fasts and gives money to the Temple, nor that the tax-collector is delusional in thinking himself a sinner. This is not the question. Rather it is that “the Pharisee no longer knows that he too has guilt. He has a completely clear conscience. But this silence of conscience makes him impenetrable to God and men, while the cry of conscience which plagues the tax collector makes him capable of truth and love.
Jesus can move sinners” (Benedict XVI).

 

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Publié le 25 Mars 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Lc 18,9-14): 

 

Jésus dit une parabole pour certains hommes qui étaient convaincus d'être justes et qui méprisaient tous les autres: «Deux hommes montèrent au Temple pour prier. L'un était pharisien, et l'autre, publicain. Le pharisien se tenait là et priait en lui-même: ‘Mon Dieu, je te rends grâce parce que je ne suis pas comme les autres hommes: voleurs, injustes, adultères, ou encore comme ce publicain. Je jeûne deux fois par semaine et je verse le dixième de tout ce que je gagne’. Le publicain, lui, se tenait à distance et n'osait même pas lever les yeux vers le ciel; mais il se frappait la poitrine, en disant: ‘Mon Dieu, prends pitié du pécheur que je suis!’. Quand ce dernier rentra chez lui, c'est lui, je vous le déclare, qui était devenu juste, et non pas l'autre. Qui s'élève sera abaissé; qui s'abaisse sera élevé».

 

L’Application

 

Qui est juste devant Dieu ? C'est une explication qui vient directement du Seigneur. Celui qui reconnaît la miséricorde de Dieu et celui qui est ouvert pour la recevoir. Jésus ne juge pas ce pharisien, qui fait pourtant beaucoup de bien pour lui et pour les autres. Mais il n'est pas prêt à accepter la miséricorde de Dieu, ni la grâce que Dieu lui donne généreusement. En vérité, nous devons imiter les bonnes actions de ce pharisien et aussi adopter le comportement d'un publicain, ouvert et accueillant. Si nous voulons être jugés justes devant Dieu, apprenons à nous humilier devant Dieu, afin que Dieu puisse nous élever.

«C'est lui, je vous le déclare, qui était devenu juste»

 

Fr. Gavan JENNINGS

(Dublín, Irlande)

 

Aujourd'hui, le Christ nous présente deux hommes qui, pour un observateur "ordinaire" pourraient sembler presque identiques, car ils se trouvent au même endroit et font la même chose: tous les deux sont «montés au temple pour prier» (Lc 18,10). Mais au-delà des apparences, au plus profond de leur conscience personnelle, les deux hommes diffèrent radicalement: l'un, le pharisien, a la conscience tranquille, alors que l'autre, le publicain —collecteur d'impôts— est inquiet car il ressent de la culpabilité.

Aujourd'hui, nous avons tendance à considérer les sentiments de culpabilité —le remords— comme quelque chose qui se rapproche d'une aberration psychologique. Cependant, le sentiment de culpabilité permet au publicain de ressortir du Temple réconforté, car «lorsque cet homme est redescendu à sa maison il était devenu juste alors que l'autre non» (Lc 18,14). «Ce sentiment de culpabilité» a écrit Benoît XVI quand il était encore le Cardinal Ratzinger ("Conscience et vérité") «trouble la fausse tranquillité de la conscience et on peut l'appeler "protestation de la conscience" contre mon existence faite d'auto-satisfaction. Il est aussi nécessaire pour l'homme que la douleur physique, qui signifie une altération du fonctionnement normal du corps».

Jésus ne nous incite pas à penser que le pharisien ne dit pas la vérité quand il affirme qu'il n'est pas un rapace, qu'il n'est ni injuste ni adultère et qu'il jeûne et donne de l'argent au Temple (cf. Lc 18,11); ni que le collecteur d'impôts délire en se considérant comme un pécheur. Ce n'est pas la question. C'est plutôt que «le pharisien ne se rend plus compte que lui aussi est coupable. Sa conscience est complètement nette. Mais le "silence de la conscience" le rend impénétrable vis-à-vis de Dieu et des hommes, alors que le "cri de la conscience" qui inquiète le publicain le rend capable de sentiments de vérité et d'amour. Jésus peut troubler les pécheurs!» (Benoît XVI).

 

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Publié le 24 Mars 2022

Gospel text

(Lk 1:26-38): 

 

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

 

The Application

 

“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." In this time of trouble, this word will not trouble us, for we need it.  This grace that God gave to Mary also came with its consequences, and Mary wanted to take it on. How many of us are prepared to take on the consequences of our commitments?

 

"Do not be afraid" is an assurance, for God will take you and do everything for you, so that everything goes well for you. Yet not everything will be revealed to Mary. She will discover them bit by bit, from Joseph, Simeon and Anna, etc. There will certainly be the other surprises that Mary will welcome with joy and she will put them in her heart to contemplate them. For a young girl to carry all this is already beyond her years.

 

 

Mary did not ask for a sign, yet God gives her a sign in her cousin Elizabeth. In these signs God already reveals all that this child will accomplish. He will take the throne of David, without his powers or authority. Who would want all this without recognition, without authority, etc.? Mary will accept it in her humility.

 

The Holy Spirit, who has descended in Mary, begins to work now, even Mary is not aware. God is always active in the world, through the impulses of the Holy Spirit. He is always active, even in us. It is up to us to decide to let Him work in us.

 

"Here is the Servant of the Lord" is a total submission to the divine will. Let us pray on this day of the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that politicians and civil servants will listen to this call for peace and reconciliation and work unceasingly for the good of the whole world. Amen.

 

Action of the day: Be filled with grace.

“Hail, full of grace!”

 

Fr. Johannes VILAR

(Köln, Germany)

 

Today, in the “Hail, full of grace!” (Lk 1:28) we hear for the first time the name of the Mother of God: Mary (Archangel Gabriel’s second phrase). She has the fullness of grace and the gifts. It is said like this: "keharitoméne", “full of grace” (Angel’s greeting).

15 years old and alone, Mary has to answer in a way that will change the full history of mankind. Saint Bernard pleaded: “The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.” God is awaiting an uninhibited response, and the "full of grace", representing all of us needing Redemption, responds: "génoitó", become! As of today, Mary is freely linked to the Work of her Son; today her Mediation begins. As of today, she is the Mother of those who are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28).

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI brought a special message for young people: “Reawaken the courage to make definitive decisions: they are really the only ones that allow us to grow, to move ahead and to reach something great in life. They are the only decisions that do not destroy our freedom but offer to point us in the right direction. Risk making this leap, so to speak, towards the definitive and so embrace life fully: this is something I would be happy to communicate to them.” Mary: here is an example!

And Saint Joseph is also included in God’s plans: he has to accept taking Mary as his wife and name her son (cf. Mt 1:20s): Jesua, “the Lord saves.” And He does it. Another example!

The Annunciation also reveals the Trinity: The Father sends the Son, incarnated by the Holy Spirit. And the Church sings: “And the Word becomes flesh today and makes his dwelling among us.” His redeeming work —Christmas, Good Friday, Easter— is present in this seed. He is Immanuel, “God with us” (cf. Is 7:15). Rejoice Humanity!

The festivities of Saint Joseph and the Annunciation prepare us excellently to celebrate the Paschal Mystery.

 

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Publié le 24 Mars 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Lc 1,26-38): 

 

Au sixième mois, l'ange Gabriel fut envoyé par Dieu dans une ville de Galilée, appelée Nazareth, auprès d'une vierge fiancée à un homme de la maison de David, nommé Joseph. Le nom de la vierge était Marie. L'ange entra chez elle, et dit: «Je te salue, toi à qui une grâce a été faite; le Seigneur est avec toi». Troublée par cette parole, Marie se demandait ce que pouvait signifier une telle salutation. L'ange lui dit: «Ne crains point, Marie; car tu as trouvé grâce devant Dieu. Et voici, tu deviendras enceinte, et tu enfanteras un fils, et tu lui donneras le nom de Jésus. Il sera grand et sera appelé Fils du Très Haut, et le Seigneur Dieu lui donnera le trône de David, son père. Il règnera sur la maison de Jacob éternellement, et son règne n'aura point de fin».

Marie dit à l'ange: «Comment cela se fera-t-il, puisque je ne connais point d'homme?». L'ange lui répondit: «Le Saint Esprit viendra sur toi, et la puissance du Très Haut te couvrira de son ombre. C'est pourquoi le saint enfant qui naîtra de toi sera appelé Fils de Dieu. Voici, Élisabeth, ta parente, a conçu, elle aussi, un fils en sa vieillesse, et celle qui était appelée stérile est dans son sixième mois. Car rien n'est impossible à Dieu». Marie dit: «Je suis la servante du Seigneur; qu'il me soit fait selon ta parole!». Et l'ange la quitta.

 

L’Application

 

"Je vous salue, pleine de grâce ! Le Seigneur est avec toi." Dans ce temps de détresse, cette parole ne nous troublera pas, car nous en avons besoin.  Cette grâce que Dieu a donnée à Marie était aussi accompagnée de ses conséquences, et Marie a voulu les assumer. Combien d'entre nous sont prêts à assumer les conséquences de leurs engagements ?

" N'aie pas peur " est une assurance, car Dieu te prendra et fera tout pour toi, pour que tout se passe bien pour toi. Pourtant, tout ne sera pas révélé à Marie. Elle les découvrira petit à petit, auprès de Joseph, Siméon et Anne, etc. Il y aura certainement d'autres surprises que Marie accueillera avec joie et qu'elle mettra dans son cœur pour les contempler. Pour une jeune fille, porter tout cela est déjà au-delà de son âge.

Marie n'a pas demandé de signe, pourtant Dieu lui en donne un en sa cousine Elisabeth. Dans ces signes, Dieu révèle déjà tout ce que cet enfant va accomplir. Il prendra le trône de David, sans ses pouvoirs ni son autorité. Qui voudrait de tout cela sans reconnaissance, sans autorité, etc. Marie l'acceptera dans son humilité.

L'Esprit Saint, qui est descendu en Marie, commence à agir maintenant, même Marie n'en a pas conscience. Dieu est toujours actif dans le monde, à travers les impulsions de l'Esprit Saint. Il est toujours actif, même en nous. C'est à nous de décider de le laisser agir en nous.

" Voici la servante du Seigneur " est une soumission totale à la volonté divine. Prions en ce jour de la consécration de la Russie et de l'Ukraine au Cœur Immaculé de Marie, pour que les hommes politiques et les fonctionnaires écoutent cet appel à la paix et à la réconciliation et travaillent sans relâche pour le bien du monde entier. Amen.

 

«Je te salue, toi à qui une grâce a été faite»

 

Abbé Johannes VILAR

(Köln, Allemagne)

 

Aujourd'hui dans le «Je te salue, toi à qui une grâce a été faite» (Lc 1,28) nous entendons pour la première fois le nom de la Mère de Dieu: Marie (deuxième phrase de l'archange Gabriel). Elle a la plénitude de la grâce et des dons. Cela s'appelle ainsi: "keharitomén", «pleine de grâce» (salut de l'Ange).

Peut-être qu'à 15 ans et seule, Marie doit donner une réponse qui changera l'histoire entière de l'humanité. Saint Bernard suppliait: «On t'offre le prix de notre Rédemption. Nous serons délivrés immédiatement, si tu dis oui. La terre entière est à tes pieds en attendant ta réponse. Donne ta parole et engendre la Parole Éternelle». Dieu attend une réponse libre, et «La pleine de grâce», qui représente tous ceux qui ont besoin de la Rédemption, répond: "génoitó", ainsi soit-il! A partir de ce jour Marie est restée librement unie à l'Œuvre de son Fils, aujourd'hui sa Médiation commence. A compter d'aujourd'hui elle est la Mère de ceux qui sont un dans le Christ (Gal 3,28).

Benoît XVI disait dans une interview: «[Je voudrais] éveiller le courage de prendre des décisions définitives: ce sont les seules qui permettent de grandir et d'aller de l'avant, qui permettent les grandes choses dans la vie; elles ne détruisent pas la liberté, mais elles rendent possible une orientation correcte. Prendre ce risque —le saut vers les choses décisives— et ainsi accepter pleinement la vie, c'est cela que je voudrais transmettre». Marie: en voilà un exemple!

Saint Joseph non plus ne reste pas en retrait des plans de Dieu: il doit accepter de recevoir son épouse et donner un nom à l'enfant (cfr. Mt 1,20s): Jesua, "le Seigneur sauve". Et il le fait. Voilà un autre exemple!

L'Annonciation révèle aussi la Trinité. Le Père envoie le Fils, incarné par l'œuvre de l'Esprit Saint. El l'Église chante: «Aujourd'hui la Parole Éternelle se transforme en chair pour nous». Son œuvre rédemptrice —Noël, Vendredi Saint, Pâques— est présente dans cette graine. Il est Emmanuel, «Dieu avec nous» (Is 7,15). Réjouis-toi humanité!

Les fêtes de Saint Joseph et l'Annonciation nous préparent de manière admirable à la célébration des Mystères Pascals.

 

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Publié le 23 Mars 2022

Gospel text

(Lk 11:14-23): 

 

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.

But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

 

The Application

 

As I read today's readings, I learn three important elements for application. Firstly, I discover that God does not work individually, but in a Trinitarian way, all three persons are at work. As a Christian, we must learn not only to do good, but to do it with our brothers and sisters. Community living is in truth, a witnessing life. 

I would never put God to the test, asking Him for signs to believe, as a conditional. If God gives me a sign, I will be happy. Yet I always ask Him for a sign, but not to believe. If I ask for it, what I need is to discover his will and that by error or manipulation, I do not transform my will, as his. It is important for me, that I see in everything a visible sing of God's presence. The presence of God in me, helps me to identify His works in our midst. 

The third is to believe that God is with us, in us and through us. With God we can do anything, says St. Teresa of Avila. It is important in our thinking, in our words and in our actions that we always remain with the Lord. As Christians, we are called to take a stand for the Lord and against evil. Il we do so, then we will be His people and He will be our God. Through our faithfulness, God will do miracles in our life. 

 

Action of the day: Be with the Lord.

“If it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you”

 

Fr. Josep GASSÓ i Lécera

(Ripollet, Barcelona, Spain)

 

Today, in the proclamation of the Word of God, the figure of the devil appears once more: “He was driving out a demon” (Lk 11:14). Each time the texts speak of the devil, we feel, maybe, slightly uncomfortable. However, it is true evil exists, and it is so deeply rooted we cannot fully remove it. It is also true evil has a very broad scope: it keeps on “digging” and we simply cannot stop it. Yet, Jesus has come to fight these evil forces, to fight the devil; He is the only one who can drive him out.

Jesus has been slandered and accused: the devil is able to achieve everything. While the people were amazed at what Jesus Christ had done, “Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” (Lk 11:15).

Jesus' response shows the absurdity of the argument from those contradicting him. Besides, this answer means for us a call to unity, to the strength meant by that unity. Disunity is an evil and destructive yeast instead. One of the evil signs is, precisely, division and making us unable to understand each other. Unfortunately, the present world is marked by this type of evil spirit, which prevents our understanding, and recognition of one another.

It will be good for us to ponder over which should be our participation in the task of “driving out the devil”, or keeping him off. Let's wonder: do I contribute with what is needed so that our Lord expels evil from me? “For from the heart come evil thoughts” (Mt 15:19). It is very important the response we can all give, that is, our necessary cooperation at a personal level.

Let's hope the Virgin Mary intercedes before Jesus, her beloved Son, so that He expels any type of evil from the world (wars, terrorism, mistreatment, violence) and from our heart, too. Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of Peace, pray for us!

 

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Publié le 23 Mars 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Lc 11,14-23): 

 

Jésus expulsait un démon qui rendait un homme muet. Lorsque le démon fut sorti, le muet se mit à parler, et la foule fut dans l'admiration. Mais certains se mirent à dire: «C'est par Béelzéboul, le chef des démons, qu'il expulse les démons». D'autres, pour le mettre à l'épreuve, lui réclamaient un signe venant du ciel. Jésus, connaissant leurs intentions, leur dit: «Tout royaume divisé devient un désert, ses maisons s'écroulent les unes sur les autres. Si Satan, lui aussi, est divisé, comment son royaume tiendra-t-il? Vous dites que c'est par Béelzéboul que j'expulse les démons. Et si c'est par Béelzéboul que moi, je les expulse, vos disciples, par qui les expulsent-ils? C'est pourquoi ils seront eux-mêmes vos juges. Mais si c'est par le doigt de Dieu que j'expulse les démons, c'est donc que le règne de Dieu est survenu pour vous. Quand l'homme fort et bien armé garde son palais, tout ce qui lui appartient est en sécurité. Mais si un plus fort intervient et triomphe de lui, il lui enlève l'équipement de combat qui lui donnait confiance, et il distribue tout ce qu'il lui a pris. Celui qui n'est pas avec moi est contre moi; celui qui ne rassemble pas avec moi disperse».

 

L’Application

 

En lisant les lectures d'aujourd'hui, j'apprends trois éléments importants pour l'application. Premièrement, je découvre que Dieu n'agit pas individuellement, mais de manière trinitaire, les trois personnes sont à l'œuvre. En tant que chrétien, nous devons apprendre non seulement à faire le bien, mais aussi à le faire avec nos frères et sœurs.

Je ne mettrais jamais Dieu à l'épreuve, en lui demandant des signes pour croire, au conditionnel. Si Dieu me donne un signe, je serai heureux. Pourtant, je Lui demande toujours un signe, mais pas pour croire. Si je le demande, ce dont j'ai besoin, c'est de découvrir sa volonté et que par erreur ou manipulation, je ne transforme pas ma volonté, comme la sienne.

La troisième est de croire que Dieu est avec nous, en nous et par nous. Avec Dieu, nous pouvons tout faire, dit sainte Thérèse d'Avila. Il est important que dans notre pensée, dans nos paroles et dans nos actions, nous restions toujours avec le Seigneur. En tant que chrétiens, nous sommes appelés à prendre position pour le Seigneur et contre le mal. Si nous le faisons, nous serons alors son peuple et il sera notre Dieu. 

 

«Mais si c'est par le doigt de Dieu que j'expulse les démons, c'est donc que le règne de Dieu est survenu pour vous»

 

Abbé Josep GASSÓ i Lécera

(Ripollet, Barcelona, Espagne)

 

Aujourd'hui dans la proclamation de la parole de Dieu, la présence du démon se manifeste à nouveau: «Jésus expulsait un démon qui rendait un homme muet» (Lc 11,14). Chaque fois que les textes nous parlent du démon, nous nous sentons, peut être, un peu mal à l'aise. En tout cas, il est vrai que le mal existe, et qu'il a des racines si profondes que nous ne pouvons pas les éliminer totalement. Il est aussi vrai que le mal se répand: il “travaille” tout le temps et nous ne pouvons guère le dominer. Mais Jésus est venu pour combattre les forces du mal, le démon. Lui seul peut le rejeter.

On a calomnié et accusé Jésus: le démon peut tout faire. Alors que la foule était dans l'admiration de ce que Jésus-Christ venait d'accomplir, «certains se mirent à dire: ‘C'est par Béelzéboul, le chef des démons, qu'il expulse les démons’» (Lc 11,15).

La réponse de Jésus montre l'absurdité de l'argument de ses contradicteurs. Au passage, cette réponse est un appel pour nous à l'unité, à la force de l'union. La désunion, en revanche, est un ferment maléfique et destructeur. D'ailleurs, l'un des signes du mal est la division et l'incompréhension entre nous. Malheureusement, le monde actuel se distingue par ce type d'esprit mauvais qui empêche la compréhension et la reconnaissance des uns pour les autres.

Il est bon que nous méditions quelle est notre participation à cette «expulsion des démons» ou à ce refus du mal. Demandons-nous: fais-je le nécessaire pour faire que le Seigneur écarte le mal du dedans de moi? Est-ce que je coopère suffisamment à cette “expulsion”? Car «c'est du coeur que proviennent les pensées mauvaises» (Mt 15,19). La réponse de chacun, c'est-à- dire, notre collaboration personnelle, est très importante.

Que Marie intercède auprès de Jésus, son Fils aimé, pour qu'il expulse de notre coeur et du monde tous les maux (guerres, terrorisme, mauvais traitements, toutes les formes de violence). Marie, Mère de l'Église et Reine de la Paix, prie pour nous!

 

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Publié le 22 Mars 2022

Gospel text

(Mt 5,17-19): 

 

Jesus said to his disciples, «Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to remove but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or stroke of the Law will change until all is fulfilled. So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them and teaches others to do the same will be great in the kingdom of heaven».

 

The Application

 

Jesus is inviting us to be faithful to the commandment of love and be compassionate in our approach. Even though we don’t understand all the nitty-Gerties of the contemporary life, we need to believe and learn to look beyond. Jesus is explaining to

His contemporaries, that their approach to the Law and the prophets, though not necessarily wrong, but their narrow way of looking and interpreting the Holy Scriptures, don’t help them to grow.

Jesus does understand that it takes time to understand better everything that happens around us. A difference or a change upsets us and very often man rejects it. Jesus comes to help us to understand his words and deeds, as the fulfilment of the prophets and the law.

 

We Christians today are invited to put the word of Jesus into practice and to always remember the beautiful story of the people of Israel, our salvation history where God has accomplished so many wonders. May our lives be a life of grace and gratitude. Let us bless the Lord.

 

Action of the day: Remain open to the newness.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

 

Fr. Vicenç GUINOT i Gómez

(Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain)

 

Today the different religions are highly respected. They all express man's quest of transcendence, of the great beyond, of the everlasting realities. And yet, in Christianity, plunging its roots in Judaism, this phenomenon is the other way round: it is God Who is in quest of man.

As Saint John Paul II reminded us, God wants to get closer to man. God wants to address him his words, to show him his face for He is seeking closeness with him. This becomes a reality with the people of Israel, people chosen by God to receive his words. This is Moses' own experience when he says: “For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?” (Deut 4:7). And, even then, the psalmist says «He proclaims his word to Jacob, his statutes and laws to Israel (Ps 147:19-20).

Therefore, Jesus, with his presence, abides by God's wish to get closer to man. This is why He says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17). He comes to enrich us, to enlighten us, so that men come to know God's true face and may enter in closeness with him.

In this way, to ignore God's suggestions, no matter how insignificant, involves a very paltry knowledge of God that, in turn, involves being considered as small in the Kingdom of Heaven. Saint Theophilus of Antioch said: “For God is seen by those who are enabled to see Him when they have the eyes of their soul opened: for all have eyes; but in some they are overspread, and do not see the light of the sun.”

In our prayer we are aiming to faithfully follow the indications of our Lord. Thus, we shall have a greater closeness with him and, therefore, we shall be considered big in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

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Publié le 22 Mars 2022

Texte de l'Évangile

(Mt 5,17-19): 

 

«Ne pensez pas que je suis venu abolir la Loi ou les Prophètes: je ne suis pas venu abolir, mais accomplir. Amen, je vous le dis: Avant que le ciel et la terre disparaissent, pas une lettre, pas un seul petit trait ne disparaîtra de la Loi jusqu'à ce que tout se réalise. Donc, celui qui rejettera un seul de ces plus petits commandements, et qui enseignera aux hommes à faire ainsi, sera déclaré le plus petit dans le Royaume des cieux. Mais celui qui les observera et les enseignera sera déclaré grand dans le Royaume des cieux».

 

L’Application

 

Il faut du temps pour mieux comprendre tout ce qui se passe autour de nous. Une différence ou un changement nous bouleverse et très souvent l'homme le rejette. Jésus vient nous aider à comprendre ses paroles et ses actes, comme l'accomplissement des prophètes et de la loi.

Nous, chrétiens d'aujourd'hui, sommes invités à mettre en pratique la parole de Jésus et à nous souvenir toujours de la belle histoire du peuple d'Israël, notre histoire de salut où Dieu a accompli tant de merveilles. Que notre vie soit une vie de grâce et de gratitude. Bénissons le Seigneur.

«Ne pensez pas que je suis venu abolir la Loi ou les Prophètes, mais accomplir»

Abbé Vicenç GUINOT i Gómez

(Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Espagne)

 

Aujourd'hui l'on respecte beaucoup les différentes religions. Toutes expriment la recherche de la transcendance par l'homme, la recherche de l'Au-delà, des réalités éternelles. Par contre, dans le christianisme, qui plonge ses racines dans le judaïsme, ce phénomène est l'inverse du cas précédant: c'est Dieu qui cherche l'homme.

Comme Jean Paul II nous le rappelait, Dieu veut s'approcher de l'homme, Dieu veut lui adresser la parole, lui montrer son visage parce qu'Il cherche son intimité avec lui. Ceci devient une réalité avec le peuple d'Israël, le peuple choisi par Dieu pour recevoir sa parole. C'est bien l'expérience que fait Moïse lorsqu'il dit: «Quelle est en effet la grande nation dont les dieux soient aussi proches que le Seigneur notre Dieu est proche de nous chaque fois que nous l'invoquons?» (Dt 4,7). Et le psalmiste chante que Dieu «révèle sa parole à Jacob, ses volontés et ses lois à Israël. Pas un peuple qu'il ait ainsi traité; nul autre n'a connu ses volontés» (Ps 147,19-20)

Jésus, par sa présence, accomplit la volonté de Dieu de s'approcher de l'homme. C'est pour cela qu'Il dit «ne pensez pas que je suis venu abolir la Loi ou les Prophètes: je ne suis pas venu abolir, mais accomplir» (Mt 5,17). Il vient pour les enrichir, pour les éclairer, afin que tous les hommes puissent connaître le véritable visage de Dieu et entrer dans Son intimité.

En ce sens, mépriser les indications de Dieu, aussi insignifiantes soient-elles, suppose une très faible connaissance de Dieu et, par la suite, d'être certainement déclaré très petit dans le Royaume des Cieux. Car, comme le disait saint Théophile d'Antioche, «Dieu est vu par ceux qui peuvent le voir; ils n'ont besoin que d'ouvrir les yeux de l'esprit (...), mais certains les ont brouillés».

Dans notre prière, cherchons à suivre avec une grande fidélité toutes les indications du Seigneur. C'est ainsi que nous parviendrons à une grande intimité avec Lui et que nous serons en conséquence déclarés grands dans le Royaume des Cieux.

 

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Publié le 21 Mars 2022

Gospel text

(Mt 18,21-35): 

 

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.

That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

 

Application

 

We Christians, reading this gospel, will say, we must forgive. Certainly, forgiveness and love are the visible identities that differentiate us from others. However, for the application of today's gospel, I would invite you to establish a very good relationship with the Lord, to recognise his will and to put it into practice.

 

It is good to receive grace, especially the forgiveness of our sins. If we reduce our relationship with God as a dispenser of the grace he gives us, we are taking a poll with God, vulgarising our relationship for the good that God can give us.

 

Lent helps us to re-establish a real relationship, a constructive, affective, life-giving relationship. To live this Lenten season better, we need to make an evaluation of our relationship with God, especially the quality of our relationship.

 

Action of the day: Know and love God.

“Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.”

 

Fr. Enric PRAT i Jordana

(Sort, Lleida, Spain)

 

Today, Matthew's Gospel invites us to ponder over the mystery of forgiveness by proposing a parallel between God's ways and our own human behavior when it comes to forgiving others.

Man even dares measuring and keeping control of the magnanimity of his forgiving nature: “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (Mt 18:21). Peter felt seven times was a bit too much, perhaps the very maximum we can stand. In fact, Peter comes out of it quite splendidly if compared to the official of the parable who, when he met one of his companions who owed him a hundred pieces of silver, “grabbed him by the neck and almost strangled him, shouting, ‘Pay back what you owe.’” (Mt 18:28), refusing to listen to his pleading and promises of payment.

In actual fact, man either refuses to forgive or miserly measures out his forgiveness. Who would actually say that we have just received from God an infinitely reiterated and limitless forgiveness…? The parable says: “Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.” (Mt 18:27). And this, despite the fact his debt was very big.

But the parable we are commenting on emphasizes God's ways when it comes to granting forgiveness. After calling the debtor's attention to the gravity of his situation, he suddenly took pity on him before his humble and sorrowful pleading: “(...) the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master…” (Mt 18:26-27). This episode reflects what each one of us knows by our own experience and with deep gratitude: that God forgives the repentant and converted one without any limit. The negative and sad ending of the parable, however, honors justice and evidences the truth of Jesus' words in Luke’s Gospel: “For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

 

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