VIAGGIO SPIRITUALE: di Tommaso Nuovo
Gospel to day: february 2018
Monday 19 February 2018
First week of Lent
Mt 25: 31-46
31 When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All peoples will be gathered before him. He will separate one from the other, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and will place the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right: "Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world, 35 because I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty. and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 naked and you dressed me, sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to see me ". 37 Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 When did we see you as a foreigner and have welcomed you, or naked and dressed you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and we came to visit you? " 40 And the king will answer them, "Truly I say to you, all you have done to one of these little brothers of mine, you have done it to me." 41 Then he will also say to those on the left: "Go away from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, 42 because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not dress me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me ". 44 They too will then answer: "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and we did not serve you?". 45 Then he will answer them, "Truly I say to you, whatever you did not do to one of these least ones, you did not do it to me." 46 And they will go away: these to eternal punishment, the righteous instead to eternal life ".
COMMENT OF TOMMASO NUOVO
Think of the "end of life"
At the beginning of Lent we look at the end. We look not so much at the end of Lent, but "at the end of life": the judgment that awaits everyone, even those who do not believe, at the end of the days, when the Son of Man comes in his glory.
This scene is offered to us because we take into account, in the collection of grace that we can do in Lent, the works of mercy with here we will be judged in the "end of life", anticipating the judgment on us, enriching before God. we judge ourselves, but at least we know where our action must lead us: to recognize Christ and to help him in the poor.
To make sure that the result of the "end of life" is not negative, infernal, we take advantage of this time, doing works of mercy and charity. Certainly it is easy to say, but we must also see how every day we have the opportunity to meet people in need, God gives us many opportunities to practice charity.
Our almsgiving certainly does not solve the problem of poverty. Many times it joins the human poverty and the inability of civil society to give answers to the needs that a person presents, to many categories of people: families, young people, unemployed, including migrants: refugees, economic or illegal immigrants. gender. Not to mention the question of the pervasive presence, almost like the conquest of Islam, which takes advantage of the religious void created by the atheistic ideologies of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to replace and take cultural, religious and civil possession of countries and cities.
In this Gospel there are precise indications of Jesus Christ, universal judge, to be applied on a personal and social level. But the ultimate criterion is the presence of Christ, real in persons of Christian faith and baptized and mysterious in those who present essential human needs of whatever race people, language or religion belongs to. Therefore, let us behave accordingly, thinking more of the judgment that awaits us than the problems that beset us, the result almost always of wretched political actions and wars of power.
Let's face this first problem of the judgment of the "end of life" with the help of the Spirit and let the Lord inspire the right choices to defend the faith and Christian civilization that our European peoples have lost. Good day.
Sunday 18 February 2018
First Sunday of Lent
Mk 1: 12-15
12 And immediately the Spirit drove him into the wilderness 13, and in the wilderness he remained forty days, tempted by Satan. He was with wild beasts and angels served him.
14 After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and said, "Time is accomplished and the kingdom of God is near; convert and believe in the Gospel ".
Comment by Tommaso Nuovo
Lent time of temptation and grace
We entered the Lenten season accompanied by Jesus is always in the company of Satan. But the world in which we are immersed is refractory to accept Lent in its rhythms and in its times that are not those dictated by God. Therefore the best thing is to let us enter the time of Lent, as an inner time, a time of spirit.
Lent, although placed in a precise time between Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday is the image of the whole life of the Christian and of every man, who lives in temptation and in trial. This is a law to which we are all subjected. if we want to progress in the good, we must go through temptation, as St. Augustine says: In fact, our life in this pilgrimage can not be exempt from trials and our progress is accomplished through temptation. No one can know himself, if he is not tempted, nor can he be crowned without having won, nor can he win without a fight; but combat supposes an enemy, a trial. (San Agostino Cammento ai Salmi, Psalm 60)
Lent is not only the time in which we experience trial and temptation, it is a time of grace, in which we can gather the fruits of the life of faith, passed through the struggle to make virtue and grace prevail over vice and sin. We must not allow Satan to gather at this time. In fact there is the possibility that Lent is the time of the harvest of Satan, where he collects our sins and our failures, because we have not worked on ourselves.
The temptation we experience stronger in Lent, must find in us the answers of faith, those that Satan found on the mouth of Jesus. With a difference: what Jesus said also lived.
To gather so much grace one must have worked with grace. But to prevent Lent from becoming the harvest of Satan, we learn to know ourselves, confessing our sins and our weakness; let us pray with strength to the Lord to give us the grace and faith necessary to respond to Satan. Let us do works of penitence and mercy, which give us so much grace that our life is directed towards conversion. We collect our victory from Christ, not our defeat from Satan. Let us not grow tired of struggling, because the prize is assured and shines on the cross of Christ. Have a nice Sunday.
after the ashes
Lk 5: 27-32
27 After this he went out and saw a publican named Levi, seated at the tax counter, and said to him, "Follow me!" 28 And he, leaving everything behind, got up and followed him.
29 Then Levi prepared a large feast for him in his house. There was a large crowd of publicans and other people, who were with them at the table. 30 The Pharisees and their scribes murmured and said to his disciples: "Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners?" 31 Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick; 32 I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to be converted ".
Comment by Tommaso Nuovo
... he saw a publican named Levi
What does Levi's call with Lent mean? The intent of the liturgy is to place ourselves in the experience of the call of the evangelist Matthew, to ensure that Lent is also a personal call to salvation, to follow Jesus and the result is a change of life, like that of Levi who Matthew becomes.
Even in Lent, as then, the initiative is of Jesus. We say to do Lent, but then we go on with our usual life. This is why those who move are Jesus himself.
Jesus sees a publican, Jesus sees me. If I think I'm better than others, I'm wrong. Jesus looks at me with the same eyes with which he looked at Levi. Try to imagine how God is looking at you, try to feel his eyes on you. Even if the Gospel does not say it, the eyes of Levi met with the gaze of Jesus. Levi will have asked himself who is this who looks at me, what does he want?
Perhaps Levi knew Jesus by hearsay or for having seen him pass. While Jesus knew Levi well and his whole life, how well he knows me and my whole life: past, present and future. In a moment Levi, after Jesus has looked at him, has reviewed all his history, up to that moment, in the service of money and power, attached to it, lived in selfishness and in the wildness of the senses. Levi saw his story and he felt inside that it was not good. It was necessary to make a change. The turning point, the change, does not come from us, but from God. Here then Jesus, who does not need many words to change the story of Levi: "and told him follow me". And what is Levi's answer: "And he, leaving everything, got up and followed him". Instead, despite the many words about God, which I have heard, I am still still: perhaps sitting, unable to move a step towards God. In a moment Levi's life has changed. Not only has his life changed, but Levi has also changed his name, has a new identity. In fact, Levi, which means "he who is affectionate", fond of money, becomes Matthew, which means "man of God". Here is the change, here is the turning point and all this happens in a moment.
Maybe it takes more time for you and me. I do not know how much Jesus will still wait for our change. Time does not wait for us, time has become short. Perhaps it is not necessary to change the name, but to change life is really necessary. We immediately take advantage of this Lent. Good day.
Friday 16 February 2018
After the ashes
Mt 9, 14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said to him, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast many times, while your disciples do not fast?" 15 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests be in mourning until the groom is with them? But days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Comment by Tommaso Nuovo
Fasting, but how much?
Fasting is more beneficial to the spirit than to the body. Although the Virgin Mary in many of her appearances has recommended it, it is a penitential practice that does not find great acceptance. The truth is that today we are all food-dependent and therefore even if we commit ourselves to practice fasting from food we are immediately tempted to yield, even for a single candy, a single sandwich.
The Catholic Church prescribes fasting only on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, for people aged eighteen to sixty. Fasting means renunciation of a meal. The Church offers the possibility of changing fasting in works of charity and mercy. This is not the maximum prescribed, but the minimum. Then fasting is practiced throughout the year as an ever present penitential exercise. What sense does it have to fast and then return to eating as before or more than before? We must not make fun of God, but be serious if we want to do something to help us grow in spirit.
Today's Gospel gives us precious indications. John's disciples go to Jesus to question him about the fact that his disciples do not fast. In this case, even if the disciples of John fast do not resemble their teacher. John did not discuss with Jesus, but he indicated him as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Then the disciples of John certainly did not imitate their master with meals based on locusts and wild honey.
The disciples of Jesus instead, while not fasting, living with the teacher, had the same standard of life. Jesus did not care so much about feeding their body, but about giving himself as food for the soul. Being with Jesus meant often having an empty stomach, but a full heart. The communion of life with Jesus is defined by him as a "wedding banquet". Disciples will fast when the groom is taken away. The days of the passion and death of Jesus will fall on them like a punch in the stomach.
The invitation to fast becomes for us today even more timely the more it is an attempt to remove Jesus from the life of a people or a nation. Fasting becomes a penitential act of expiation of the sins of the people and it is necessary to extinguish the hunger of the world, which always holds us hostage with its appetites. We also practice it with a bit of suffering, it will help us to see how much appetite we are all a bit dependent on. We do not limit fasting to Lent alone and to advent; through it we will expose many sins and disorders. Good Lent.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
"of the ashes", beginning of Lent
Mt 6: 1-6
1 Be careful not to practice your righteousness before men to be admired by them, otherwise there is no reward for you with your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you give alms, do not play the trumpet before you, as hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, to be praised by the people. In truth I tell you: they have already received their reward. 3 Instead, while you give alms, do not know what your right hand is doing to your left, 4 so that your alms may remain in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
5 And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites who, in the synagogues and in the corners of the squares, like to pray standing upright, to be seen by the people. Truly, I say to you, they have already received their reward.6 But when you pray, go into your room, close 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 become melancholy like the hypocrites, who take on a defeated air to show others that they fast. Truly I say to you, they have already received their reward.17 But when you fast, profuse your head and face your face, 18 so that people may not see you fast, but only your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
Comment by Tommaso Nuovo
Let's put Lent in us.
Today begins the Holy Lent. The so-called "civil" world, with its various presidents, who bends over backwards to wish a good Ramadam to Muslims, says nothing to Catholic Christians.
But we know that there is a gulf between the Ramadam that applies only to the Muslims and the Lent that not only applies to Christians, but is a time of salvation and conversion to the God of Jesus Christ, which is offered to all men, including Muslims, because Jesus Christ first lived this time for us, with a forty-day retreat in the desert. In those forty days Jesus has made his own experience of the Devil's temptation to evil to which every human being is subject, teaching us to overcome with the weapons of penance (prayer, almsgiving and fasting) and with the Word of God .
Other than San Valentino, which occurs today. Who celebrates Valentine's Day is the devil who finds a way to make the couple forget, especially Christian, that today begins Lent with a fast.
Every Lent is an offering of salvation from God, a stretch of the hand, a support for us so that we do not sink into our evil, into sin.
Lent is in truth the very image of God's behavior at all times: "I do not enjoy the death of the wicked, but that the wicked one turns from his wickedness and lives (see Ez 33,11), which invites to conversion through repentance and penance.
Lent is addressed to believers first of all and their conversion announces to all men the possibility of changing, of renewing.
We must not get used to evil, to breathe the black news as if it were clean air. The evil requires being rejected first in us and then outside of us, becoming aware that the space that first occupies is our heart. Satan, seek me, each of us to make us his sons and heirs, to inherit all the evil we are capable of.
Only conversion to Jesus Christ and the Gospel interrupts this transfer of evil into me. Reason is not enough to stem and control evil, because as it justifies the good, so it is able to justify evil, putting it on the same level and offering it to the will: I can want good, I can want evil. Only the encounter with Jesus Christ guides me, but not for good always. The bond with Jesus must become stable, subjected to his will in obedience to his laws, this calls for mortification and penance. Penance and suffering go hand in hand at this time. If you think you are doing penance and you are not suffering, you are not doing anything, but only pretending to be deceiving yourself.
Let's enter Lent, but above all let the Lent enter us and produce our renewal.
How many Lent we still have available to convert? What if this was my last Lent? Think about it. Good Lent.
Saturday 10 February 2018
Fifth week of ordinary time
1 In those days, because there was a great crowd again and they had nothing to eat, he called the disciples to himself and said to them: 2 "I feel compassion for the crowd; they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them fasting to their houses, they will come less along the way; and some of them have come from afar. " 4 His disciples answered him, "How can you feed them with bread here in a desert?" 5 He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said: "Seven". 6 He ordered the crowd to sit on the ground. He took the seven loaves, gave thanks, broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute them; and they distributed them to the crowd. 7 They also had a few small fish; he recited the blessing on them and he also distributed those. 8 They eagerly ate and took away the advanced pieces: seven bags. 9 They were about four thousand. And he dismissed them. 10 Then he went up on the boat with his disciples and immediately went to the parts of Dalmanuta.
Comment by Tommaso Nuovo
Jesus and hunger ... of God
Jesus did many miracles, among which there is also the multiplication of the seven loaves and fish, as the evangelist St. Mark describes it. Jesus made this gesture because he felt compassion for the crowd, who had been following him for three days. But Jesus did not solve the problem of hunger in a total way, but rather left the task of providing the food necessary for living, but teaching to overcome selfishness, dividing bread into fraternity of life.
Jesus, on the other hand, has solved another serious problem for man: the problem of God's hunger, or rather of the absence of God's hunger, because if on the one hand man feeds himself with the food of the body, on the other he must increase the hunger of God with the food of the soul. The food of the soul is the Word of God, it is God himself: "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Why did the crowd follow Jesus? Certainly for many reasons, but the strongest was that listening to him grew the hunger of God, the need for God.
Is not this the main task of pastors today? To grow with the preaching of the hunger of God. The Gospel to offer corresponds to those seven loaves that the disciples had with them. Little stuff for a multitude of people, but if broken in the name of Christ, through his hands, it multiplies indefinitely, by a hunger that is never satiated, because it is the hunger of God. Here is the skill of the shepherd d ' souls nourish themselves with the Word of God, made the full of the soul gives it to those who are hungry and thirsty for God. The bread that the shepherd offers must however be fragrant and tasty, not old and musty, because whoever eats it still has more hungry. The bread of the word must perfume of holiness, of truth, of eternal life and must be offered as if it came out today from the mouth and hands of Christ. This is why the priest must work the bread inside himself and never contradict what he preaches. He is called by God to multiply it not to mortify it. Only in this way is the miracle offered to us today. Good day.
Friday 9 February 2018
Fifth week of ordinary time
Mk 7: 31-37
31 Again, having left the region of Tire, passing through Sidon, he came towards the Sea of Galilee in the territory of Decàpoli. 32 They brought him a deaf-mute and begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside, away from the crowd, put his fingers in his ears and with his saliva touched his tongue; 34 Then looking up at the sky, he sighed and said, "Effatà," that is, "Open up!" 35 And immediately his ears were opened, he broke the knot of his tongue and spoke correctly. 36 And he commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he forbade it, the more they proclaimed it, 37 and, full of amazement, said: "All things have been good: let the deaf hear and let the dumb speak!"
Comment by Tommaso Nuovo
The deaf-mute of the Gospel
Whenever an anonymous person is presented to us in the Gospel we must pay close attention. No name is recorded, no age, no provenance, it is understood that he is a man or a woman only for the use of the male or female gender. Then nothing is known about him and her.
How many characters, men and women of the Gospel are presented in this state of anonymity, which has the characteristic not so much of the custody of privacy, but of also opening to us the same healing experience, however, understood more as healing
of the soul that of the body.
So thanks to this anonymity we can replace ourselves to today's deaf-mute, but to every person who has been touched by Jesus or his word. We can also be part of those characters of the Gospel who have had a negative role in the story of Jesus.
This is because everything in the Gospel has the characteristic of being a "universal", that is, applicable to every person, in every place and in every time. At the end of the day man is always the same and God does not change the way to approach and help man. Like evil, sin, sickness and death are universal.
Is it difficult to recognize oneself as deaf and dumb, if we think we can hear and speak well? Why then do we not listen and do not remember what God tells us? Why do not we speak we do not testify to our faith? Because we are deaf and dumb inside in the soul and we need to be touched by the grace of God.
If we recognize this spiritual handicap, then thanks to the Gospel, to the proclamation of the faith, we will be brought before Jesus and He will take us apart, the two of us alone to open our ears and rock the tongue, with one word pronounced. If you hear the word "effatà", said by Jesus for you, the work of salvation of Christ the Lord will begin in you. If you do not feel addressed to you it means that you are still deaf and dumb, even if you are deluding yourself to hear and speak.
Let us contemplate this scene in prayer, we are the deaf mute and let ourselves be led by the Gospel before Jesus. Good day.