venerdì 29 giugno 2018

«Una corona sociavit»



NB: With this homily, your homilist takes a break. God bless!

As we have already done on other important festivals of the liturgical year, in order to deepen the meaning of the celebration, we can refer to the preface of the Mass. At the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer we will say, “By your providence the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul bring us joy: Peter, foremost in confessing the faith, Paul, its outstanding preacher, Peter, who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel, Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call. And so, each in a different way gathered together the one family of Christ; and revered together throughout the world, they share one Martyr’s crown.”

sabato 23 giugno 2018

«Ioannes cecinit affuturum et adesse monstravit»



The Second Vatican Council says about Sunday, “The Lord’s day is the original feast day … Other celebrations, unless they be truly of greatest importance, shall not have precedence over the Sunday, which is the foundation and kernel of the whole liturgical year” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 106). As you have seen, on Sundays we never celebrate Saints; today is an exception, because it is a celebration of greatest importance. Is Saint John the Baptist more important than others Saints? Yes, it was Jesus himself to say so, “Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11). He is, among the Saints, the only one of whom we celebrate the birth. Usually, we celebrate the Saints on their dies natalis, that is, on the day of their death, which is also the day of their “birth” into eternal life. We cannot celebrate their earthly birth, because, when they were born, they still had the original sin. On the contrary, we celebrate the nativity of Jesus and Mary, because, when they were born, they were in the state of grace, as the former was the Son of God and the latter had been conceived without sin. Why do we also celebrate the nativity of John the Baptist? He neither was the Son of God nor had been conceived sinless. But he had been sanctified before being born. We believe that, when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visited Elizabeth, expecting John, this one was sanctified by the presence of the Savior. We find a hint to this event in the first reading, “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” And then the angel said so to Zechariah, “He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” (Lk 1:15).

sabato 16 giugno 2018

«Vobis datum est mysterium regni Dei»



Mark is the shortest of the gospels. Among the four gospels, Mark is perhaps the one that reports fewer words of Jesus: there are no long discourses in it. We also find just few parables: I have counted only six in the whole gospel; five of them in chapter four. Today’s liturgy presents two of these. Both of them are very short comparisons: their shortness emphasizes their enigmatic character. Mark, at the end of today’s passage, informs us that “with many such parables [Jesus] spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.” This note of the evangelist is interesting, because, on one hand, it seems that Jesus tells parables to make himself understood by people; but, on the other hand, it seems that there are two different kinds of teaching, one more obscure for the crowds, and one plainer, reserved for the disciples. 

sabato 9 giugno 2018

«Reus aeterni delicti»



Jesus’ ministry was very successful: if you remember, when he began to preach in the synagogue of Capernaum, the people were astonished, for he taught as one having authority and not as the scribes. Moreover, he did not limit himself to speaking, but he also drove out demons and healed the sick. So, people flocked to him from everywhere. Today’s gospel tells us that, while he was at home with his disciples, “the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.” 

venerdì 8 giugno 2018

Precisazioni



Siccome sono stato sollecitato da piú parti a esprimermi sulla notizia, riportata ieri dalla Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, di un incontro col climatologo Michael Mann, che sarebbe stato organizzato dalla Diocesi di Torino e dai Padri Barnabiti, mi sembra opportuno fare alcune precisazioni.

sabato 2 giugno 2018

«Sabbatum propter hominem ... non homo propter sabbatum»



We resume on this Sunday—the ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time—the reading of the gospel of Mark we had suspended on February before the beginning of Lent. The last passage we read was the healing of a leper. Jesus had just started his public ministry in Galilee, announcing the coming of the kingdom of God and inviting people to repentance. He had called his first disciples and performed his first miracles. But a conflict with the Pharisees had also broken out. In today’s gospel we see a couple of controversies about the sabbath.

giovedì 31 maggio 2018

Pretiosissimus Sanguis



We continue calling this solemnity Corpus Christi, as it was in the ancient liturgy. But at that time, besides today’s celebration, there was, on July 1, the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. With the liturgical reform, this latter celebration was abolished and the title of Corpus Christi was changed to “the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ,” since the Eucharist is precisely the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.