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.”