22 December 2019
The Gospel passage today, reveals to us the greatness of St Joseph’s heart and soul. He
was following a good plan for his life, but God was reserving another plan for him, a greater mission. Joseph was a man who always listened to the voice of God, he was deeply
sensitive to his secret will, he was a man attentive to the messages that came to him from the depths of his heart and from on high. He did not persist in following his own plan for his life, he did not allow bitterness to poison his soul; rather, he was ready to make himself available to the news that, in a such a bewildering way, was being presented to him. And thus, he was a good man. He did not hate, and he did not allow bitterness to poison his soul. Yet how many times does hatred, or even dislike and bitterness poison our souls!
And this is harmful. Never allow it: he is an example of this. And Joseph thereby became even freer and greater. By accepting himself according to God’s design, Joseph fully finds himself, beyond himself. His freedom to renounce even what is his, the possession of his very life, and his full interior availability to the will of God challenge us and show us the way . Let us make ourselves ready to celebrate Christmas by contemplating Mary and Joseph: Mary, the woman full of grace who had the courage to entrust herself totally to the Word of God; Joseph, the faithful and just man who chose to believe the Lord rather than listen to the voices of doubt and human pride. With them, let us walk together toward Bethlehem.
2 November 2019
Jesus never gets tired of forgiving. He invites us to be like Zacchaeus : “To cling onto the desire to be forgiven.” God remembers; He does not forget any of those He created and He is the Father, always loving and watchful waiting to see revived in his children’s heart the desire to return home. We look at Zacchaeus in the tree today: he knows deep in his heart that Jesus never gets tired of forgiving; let us also call Jesus by name like he did! Deep in your heart , listen to his voice that tells us:” Today I must stay at your house” that is your life . And welcome Him with joy : He may change us, he can transform our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, He can liberate us from selfishness and make our lives a gift of love. Jesus can do it; let us look to Jesus.
27th October 2019
It is not enough to ask ourselves how much we pray; we must also ask ourselves how we pray. Duration of prayer isn’t the only question, but also how our heart is. Prayer should be a putting ourselves before God as we are and admitted that in order to pray, we have to rediscover the way to our heart, to recover the value of intimacy and silence, because it is there that God meets us and speaks to us. The Pharisee prays to God, but in truth he looks at himself. He prays to himself! In contrast, the Publican prayed a very brief prayer. He acts humbly, certain only of being a sinner in need of mercy. Sometime arrogance compromises every good action, empties prayer, distances one from God and from others. If God favours humility, it is not to humiliate us: rather humility is the necessary condition to be raised by Him, so as to experience the mercy that comes to fill our emptiness.
13th October 2019
In Jesus’s time people suffering from leprosy were total outcasts, being made to live away from society and ringing bells and calling out “unclean” for fear of infecting others. One of the ten men in today’s Gospel was doubly outcast in that he was also a Samaritan, a despised and hated group of people. Yet it was only this man who came back praising God and thanking Jesus for healing him; only this man who returned to God. It has been said, all ten were cured, but only one of them was healed. In today’s world there are many groups who are considered to be outcasts: drug addicts, HIV and
AIDS sufferers, asylum seekers, refugees, immigrants and travellers to name but a few.
Jesus calls us to love all people no matter what their circumstances.
This coming week is prisoner’s week. In many ways these people are outcasts from society, even after they have served their sentences. We are called to pray for them, to support them in prison and upon release to help them to rebuild their lives back in society.
6th October 2019
Yes, Lord, our faith is small, our faith is weak, fragile, but we offer it to you just as it is, so that you will make it grow. It seems to me that it would be good for all of us to repeat this together: “Lord, increase our faith!” Shall we do it? How many people among us have this strong, humble faith and do so much good! Think, for example, of certain mums and dads who face very hard situations; or certain sick people, even gravely sick people, who convey serenity to those who visit them. These people, precisely because of their faith, do not boast about what they do, rather, as Jesus asks in the Gospel, they say: “We are useless servants. We have done what we were supposed to do” (Luke 17:10). In this month of October, which is especially dedicated to the missions, we think of many missionaries, men and women, who have overcome all sorts of obstacles to spread the Gospel. They have truly given their life; as St. Paul says to Timothy: “Do not be ashamed to bear witness to our Lord, nor to me, in prison for him; but with the power of God, suffer with me for the Gospel” (2 Timothy 1:8).