domenica 30 aprile 2017

«Oportuit»



Speaking of Eastertide Sundays, the Norms on the Liturgical Year say: “The Sundays of this time of year are considered to be Sundays of Easter and are called, after Easter Sunday itself, the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Sundays of Easter” (n. 23). The Sundays we are celebrating are no more—like in the old liturgy—“Sundays after Easter,” but “Sundays of Easter.” Which means: it is still Easter—and it will be so until Pentecost. That is apparent from today’s liturgy of the word. All three of the readings are a proclamation of the paschal mystery, just as if it were Easter Sunday. Mind you, we celebrate the paschal mystery in its entirety, that is to say, both the passion and the resurrection of Christ. Often, when we speak of Easter, we only think of the resurrection, as if Jesus’ sufferings and death were just an unpleasant chance event to be soon forgotten. Today’s readings show that the apostles’ preaching was different.

domenica 23 aprile 2017

«Non videntes, credentes autem»



As we were saying during the Paschal Triduum, on Eastertide the Church does not read the Old Testament. So, the first reading, during this liturgical season, is usually taken from the Acts of the Apostles, which is the book of the New Testament that narrates the infancy of the Church. The Risen Lord continues to be present in the world through his Church. Today we have read the first of three summaries that outline the chief characteristics of the Jerusalem community. Luke, the author of Acts, enumerates four of these features: the first Christians were faithful to the teaching of the apostles; they lived together and put all things in common; they used to break the bread together (which means that they celebrated the Eucharist); and they went regularly to the temple for prayer. But I would like to emphasize a detail in this passage: the first Christians are described as “those who believed;” they are believers by definition: what distinguishes Christians from others is faith.

martedì 18 aprile 2017

Dottrina vs Discernimento



L’intervista rilasciata da Padre Arturo Sosa, Preposito generale della Compagnia di Gesú, al vaticanista Giuseppe Rusconi (pubblicata su Rossoporpora) ha fatto parlare di sé soprattutto per l’infelice battuta sull’assenza di registratori al tempo di Gesú. Connesse con quell’affermazione, però, Padre Sosa faceva alcune considerazioni sul discernimento, che sono state trascurate dai piú, ma sulle quali mi sembra opportuno soffermarsi, tenuto conto delle conseguenze che esse possono avere nella vita della Chiesa. I termini “discernere” e “discernimento” ricorrono nell’intervista 24 volte. Mi limiterò a riportare qui il passo dove si tratta del rapporto fra dottrina e discernimento:

domenica 9 aprile 2017

«Ave, Rex Judaeorum!»


Coptic Icon by Stephane Rene

There is an obvious contrast between the first and the second part of today’s liturgy. By the procession of palms, we have commemorated the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem; at the Mass, we are celebrating the sorrowful passion of the Lord. We have abruptly passed from the “Hosanna” of the jubilant crowds welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem to the “Let him be crucified” of the people gathered in front of the praetorium. This unexpected U-turn is often used to emphasize the mental instability of the masses, ready to change their mind suddenly, according to the circumstances. More probably, they were not the same people. Or, at least, we hope so.

domenica 2 aprile 2017

«Ego sum resurrectio et vita»



On this Sunday, the third scrutiny of catechumens is celebrated, accompanied by the catechesis on Baptism from the gospel of John. The passage read today for this catechesis is the raising of Lazarus. In the gospel of John, Jesus performs seven miracles, called “signs.” This one is the last before the resurrection of Jesus himself. We could consider the raising of Lazarus as the climax of the previous signs. Jesus presents himself as “the resurrection and the life” (Ego sum resurrectio et vita). He is the one who conquers death and gives life: “Whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

lunedì 27 marzo 2017

Un progetto sbagliato



Un paio di settimane fa Aldo Maria Valli ha pubblicato sul suo blog un bel post, in cui, attraverso l’allegoria del sogno, esprime la nostalgia per una normalità che nella Chiesa odierna sembrerebbe divenuta cosí rara da essere costretti a sognarla. Si tratta di venti punti sui quali è difficile non trovarsi d’accordo: sono cose talmente ovvie (o, almeno, tali erano fino a pochi anni fa), che non ci dovrebbe essere bisogno di “sognarle”. Che i parroci debbano stare vicini alle coppie che decidono di sposarsi in chiesa; che le parole del vangelo siano chiare (e sicure) e vadano interpretate nel loro evidente significato; che la liturgia abbia la sua sacralità, e quindi tutti, dal Papa fino all’ultimo chierichetto, debbano assumere un atteggiamento consono; che le pontificie accademie debbano farsi promotrici dei piú autentici valori morali, ecc. ecc., sono cose scontate per ogni buon cattolico. Talmente scontate che non dovremmo star qui a parlarne. E invece, nel momento storico che ci troviamo a vivere, sono diventate oggetto di nostalgia, visto che la “normalità” è diventata un’altra, e coincide con l’opposto di tutte quelle ovvietà (che pertanto finiscono per essere considerate eccezioni, stravaganze, singolarità). Grazie, perciò, a Valli per averci ricordato che molto di ciò che oggi viene spacciato per normale, normale non lo è affatto.

domenica 26 marzo 2017

«Et abii, et lavi, et vidi, et credidi Deo»



We have covered a half of our Lenten journey. This fourth Sunday marks a kind of stop, as if we had to take refreshment. From the first word of the Entrance Antiphon, it is called Laetare, which means “Rejoice.” We are invited to be glad. The liturgical color is rose, precisely to emphasize this sense of joy.