ConAltriOcchi blog – 以不同的眼光看世界-博客

"C'è un solo modo di vedere le cose finché qualcuno non ci mostra come guardare con altri occhi" – "There is only one way to see things, until someone shows us how to look at them with different eyes" (Picasso) – "人观察事物的方式只有一种,除非有人让我们学会怎样以不同的眼光看世界" (毕加索)


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A light on our weakness

Thoughts on the II Sunday of Lent 

The First Reading on the second Sunday of Lent  from the Book of Genesis talks about the vocation of Abraham, called upon to set out trusting solely in the Word of God.  We, too, like Abraham are called upon to leave our land. We are at an historic time when crossing the land from the old to the new world has become vital.  Our Western land, our Europe of the cathedrals, is under siege by millions of people seeking dignity and safety. It is not rhetoric to affirm that a new world is being formed.  A Church that still wanted to stay closed up in Noah’s Ark during the deluge, i.e. an Eurocentric Church strong only in its own certainties and traditions, would simply be out of step with the times.  Even worse it would be shut off from the pain of the world.  This pain of the world is illuminated by the light of Jesus which today in Chapter 17 of the Gospel according to Matthew  unveils, for an instant, His Glory.

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Following in Jesus’ footsteps, all Christians are called upon to share the faith in that common territory, among all the latitudes, among all believers and non-believers, that is suffering.  «Jesus alone» in the Transfiguration, which ends with the anticipation of Easter, is only a man among other men.  But it is in that “weak” Jesus, tempted just like us by everything, lives the Glory of God. In Jesus alone and abandoned by everybody, God reveals His Glory and tells men and women that weakness is the home of God.

This is why we must pursue our Lenten journey with trust and confidence in God; life’s hardships do not diminish our Easter momentum because the Lord lights them with His glory and asks us to always know how to recognize His saving presence both in and outside us.

“It is good”, says Peter to Jesus.  Let us start anew from goodness;  even if life is not always easy, it can always be happy if we live it with Jesus, if we know how to understand ourselves and others better with a compassionate eye.

The many things we have to do, preoccupations, the  “noises of the world” often prevent us from listening to the tiny whispering sound by which God makes his presence known. (1 Kings 19,12).

To live a good and aware Christian life requires us to listen to the voice of God within and among us.  God moves our lives, he takes care of us. Nobody is excluded, nobody is left out.

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A fragile but already eternal reality

A spiritual reflection after the tragic earthquake in central Italy.

Fr. Francesco Pesce

An unending list of names. The Bishop of Rieti began the Funeral Mass for the earthquake victims from Amatrice and Accumoli by reading the names of the dead, one by one.  Names, stories, faces, families whose lives have been shattered.  It made me remember the episode on the Sea of Tiberias, in Galilee, described in Chapter 21 of the Gospel according to St. John. In that passage, at the end of the Gospel account, after the crucifixion of Jesus, no-one spoke and no-one knew what to do or to say. The atmosphere was oppressive. Jesus was already dead and hope was dying. Peter took the initiative to rid himself and the others of discomfort  and said “I go a-fishing” (Jn. 21,3) and in this way their former life seemed to be returning but “ that night they caught nothing” (Jn. 21,3).

So many nights in the Bible, in life, during our own times; so much fragility in our lives, in our families.  This is a natural weakness the nature of which is corrupted by the mystery of evil and sin. Jesus asks us to cast the net again, to continue to live and hope. The net of our life is destined to be filled because it is cast upon the Word of the Resurrected Christ, even though the Apostles had not recognized Him, even if sometimes, when faced with tragedies, we struggle because life isn’t a principle to be defended but a great adventure to go through with the aid of Grace. We believe that there will always be a new dawn where we can cry out “it is the Lord ” (Jn. 21,7) –John’s cry of love, or as in the Song of Solomon “my beloved” (Song 2,8). An Easter cry, of love which conquers the shadow of death. While I was watching the Funeral Service on the television, I was struck by the fact that nearly everybody took Communion, not something common these days, even during important celebrations.  There was an almost urgent and compelling desire for the Bread of Heaven, the real one, which we all need, “Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger and he who believeth in me shall never thirst” (Jn. 6,34-35). In fact, we celebrate the Eucharist “Awaiting His return”, because we believe that a love that dies, a love that is destroyed finds the gift of the God of life.

Today we are celebrating together throughout Italy the body and the flesh. The word flesh in the Bible, indicates all that is corruptible, fragile, mortal. The entire Christian faith is a rapport between carnality and spirituality. The expression “flesh and blood” is a typically Hebrew expression to denote  “fragile life” When Jesus is “flesh and blood” he becomes weak, limited and therefore accessible because he takes on our weakness through which he gives us His eternal life. Today in Amatrice and Accumoli we have yet again celebrated a fragile reality, but an already eternal one.. We have celebrated the “bread and wine”, simple food from the table of the poor, signs of the solemn poverty of men and God. “Give us this day our daily bread” is still the cry reaching us from the towns and villages devastated by the earthquake, these places where Saint Francis and Saint Benedict trod.  It is a cry already listened to by Him who conquered death through love. “Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.”(Ez. 37,9-10)