Reflections
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Reflection of March the 27th

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

Reflection of March the 26th

 They entered and did not find the body of the Lord

 (Lk 24)

 

My children speak of "feeling as if they didn't have a body." They say it is something they heard in school, during an educational event about the use of new media.

Laura, a sophomore in high school, told me that her personality is also expressed in the digital world, i.e., she is not only a physical body, but also everything about her body that she chooses to represent through social networks.

"It's as if I had an electronic extension of my senses," she explained. I do not know what exactly they have said to her in school, but it worries me a little bit.

I need a body, to feel a close presence, I have to touch, to see, and to smell in order to establish a relationship.

When there is no contact with other bodies I feel emptiness, I feel that there is a space of uncertainty, which before it would allude to fear, but today it suggests expectation.

In my emptiness I felt often disappointed because I did not find God, but maybe I looked for a God that was already dead. I await the day when I will meet him......with a Body.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 25th

 He bowed his head and gave up his spirit

 (Jn 18)

 

"I am attending a course of rebirthing," a friend told me, adding immediately because of my quizzical look, "it is a path to growth using breathing techniques."

I was immediately curious to know more. I learned that the founder of this technique, Leonard Orr, was trying to dissolve emotional and energy blockages through breathing.

In fact, for Christians, breathing is used in two different points of the history of salvation: First, on the creation of Adam, when God breathes in the mud statue the breath of life; second, on the cross, when an exhausted Christ exhales his last breath.

"To deliver the spirit" is an unusual expression used to indicate death. Deliver to whom?

Is this the life that comes out of the body or the Spirit with capital "S"?

I have learned a new perspective: The breath of the first day of life is a gift that others have given to me, and I would like my last breath to be a gift to those who will come after me.

I feel as a significant fragment, part of a work that comes before me and goes on after me.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 24th

 Do you understand what I have done for you?

 (Jn 13)

 

When I was in my twenties, I was struck by Wings of Desire, the film by German director Wim Wenders. The two angels Damiel and Cassiel observe the inhabitants of the city, but they cannot interact with them.

Damiel decides to give up his immortality in order to participate and experience the world and not simply observe it.

It seems that the choice is clear: either here or there, two totally different worlds. But Joseph, in his sleep, dreams of the angel of the Lord, who tells him what to do.

Jesus is the Word that has connected the world of men with the world of God. Jesus is the Word of God that, if it enters the heart, awakens from deep inside the secret dream of the relationship, which is the same as God's dream. There is an extraordinary encounter in the heart between the dream of God and a man's dream.

Hence Joseph did as the angel of the Lord told him to do, because one acts according to what he has inside. Joseph himself becomes an angel, a guardian and a witness of God's dream.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 23th

 How much will you give me so I deliver it?

 (Mt 26)

 

An expert on education, heard during a conference proposed by my oldest son's school, explained that trust is like a safe mat on which to place your feet.
"If every morning, upon awakening, we suspected that a family member could put poison in our coffee we would not live together anymore," he told us clearly.

Beautiful words inside me that differ with the difficulties experienced at work in the last year.

At work people use terms with a certain weight: relocation, reorganization of staff, cuts.

Some days it seems like if we were living in one of those movies where everyone is waiting to see who will be the murderer's next victim.

Some colleagues, especially those who you know for a longer period and trust, show certain unexpected behaviors. You do not accept that they will act according to the logic "mors tua, vita mea" (your death, my life). And yet, that is exactly what happens.

Unfortunately, it does not take much to forget our ethical principles and values. Of course, the justifications and the reasons to keep our jobs are many and not trivial. However, I will never accept that the end justifies the means.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 22th

 Where I am going you cannot come

 (Jn 13)

 

What is combinatorial literature?

I went to fish out this concept from the teaching fragments that I still have in what I remember from high school.

An elderly Italian Language and Literature teacher told us about it, commenting to us about how A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems by Queneau was a structured book with paper strips that could be combined with each other. He also told us about The Invisible Cities by Calvino, a novel written with the combinatorial technique.

In this last text I remember reading how Marco Polo described to Kublai Kahn the cities of his empire, entities that existed only in his imagination and took shape through his words.

There are places where those around us cannot follow us. Maybe because of choices in life, our deepest pains, loneliness, receiving forgiveness or forgiving.

We feel alone in certain corners of our soul, where it seems that no one can really reach us or where we isolate ourselves voluntarily because we need to confront ourselves with the hope that from the cracks of our clay pot, sooner or later, light will filter through.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 21th

 And here they prepared a dinner for him

 (Jn 12)

 

Even a dinner becomes something social. There are different formulas. There is the social restaurant, for example. It requires you to book a dinner through an electronic application and you understand that you will be asked to sit at a table together with other people unknown to you, which could lead to new friendships.

Another one is the home restaurant, a formula that allows you, also through an electronic application, to gather in your house a set number of guests to share a meal with them.

The Italian term "companion" is derived from cum-panis, one who shares his bread.

And Jesus the Master also needed company; when he went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover the custom was to stay with friends, not far from the city.

For the three siblings Martha, Mary and Lazarus, trust in the Master and the life that flows back after death, take place through friendship.

A powerful vehicle that is consolidated in the sharing of the same bread.

A domestic ritual, that dinner, in which the three siblings will discover that they can still meet their friend even after the cross.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 20th

When the hour came,
Jesus took his place at table with the apostles.
He said to them,
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,
for, I tell you, I shall not eat it again
until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said,
“Take this and share it among yourselves;
for I tell you that from this time on
I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine
until the kingdom of God comes.”
Then he took the bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which will be given for you;
do this in memory of me.”
And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood,
which will be shed for you.


“And yet behold, the hand of the one who is to betray me

is with me on the table;
for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined;
but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed.”
And they began to debate among themselves
who among them would do such a deed.


Then an argument broke out among them

about which of them should be regarded as the greatest.
He said to them,
“The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them
and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors’;
but among you it shall not be so.
Rather, let the greatest among you be as the youngest,
and the leader as the servant.
For who is greater:
the one seated at table or the one who serves?
Is it not the one seated at table?
I am among you as the one who serves.
It is you who have stood by me in my trials;
and I confer a kingdom on you,
just as my Father has conferred one on me,
that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom;
and you will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


“Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded

to sift all of you like wheat,
but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail;
and once you have turned back,
you must strengthen your brothers.”
He said to him,
“Lord, I am prepared to go to prison and to die with you.”
But he replied,
“I tell you, Peter, before the cock crows this day,
you will deny three times that you know me.”


He said to them,

“When I sent you forth without a money bag or a sack or sandals,
were you in need of anything?”
“No, nothing, “ they replied.
He said to them,
“But now one who has a money bag should take it,
and likewise a sack,
and one who does not have a sword
should sell his cloak and buy one.
For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me,
namely, He was counted among the wicked;
and indeed what is written about me is coming to fulfillment.”
Then they said,
“Lord, look, there are two swords here.”
But he replied, “It is enough!”


Then going out, he went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives,

and the disciples followed him.
When he arrived at the place he said to them,
“Pray that you may not undergo the test.”
After withdrawing about a stone’s throw from them and kneeling,
he prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing,
take this cup away from me;
still, not my will but yours be done.”
And to strengthen him an angel from heaven appeared to him.
He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently
that his sweat became like drops of blood
falling on the ground.
When he rose from prayer and returned to his disciples,
he found them sleeping from grief.
He said to them, “Why are you sleeping?
Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.”


While he was still speaking, a crowd approached

and in front was one of the Twelve, a man named Judas.
He went up to Jesus to kiss him.
Jesus said to him,
“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
His disciples realized what was about to happen, and they asked,
“Lord, shall we strike with a sword?”
And one of them struck the high priest’s servant
and cut off his right ear.
But Jesus said in reply,
“Stop, no more of this!”
Then he touched the servant’s ear and healed him.
And Jesus said to the chief priests and temple guards
and elders who had come for him,
“Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?
Day after day I was with you in the temple area,
and you did not seize me;
but this is your hour, the time for the power of darkness.”


After arresting him they led him away

and took him into the house of the high priest;
Peter was following at a distance.
They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it,
and Peter sat down with them.
When a maid saw him seated in the light,
she looked intently at him and said,
“This man too was with him.”
But he denied it saying,
“Woman, I do not know him.”
A short while later someone else saw him and said,
“You too are one of them”;
but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.”
About an hour later, still another insisted,
“Assuredly, this man too was with him,
for he also is a Galilean.”
But Peter said,
“My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.”
Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed,
and the Lord turned and looked at Peter;
and Peter remembered the word of the Lord,
how he had said to him,
“Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”
He went out and began to weep bitterly.
The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing and beating him.
They blindfolded him and questioned him, saying,
“Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?”
And they reviled him in saying many other things against him.


When day came the council of elders of the people met,

both chief priests and scribes,
and they brought him before their Sanhedrin.
They said, “If you are the Christ, tell us, “
but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe,
and if I question, you will not respond.
But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated
at the right hand of the power of God.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied to them, “You say that I am.”
Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony?
We have heard it from his own mouth.”


Then the whole assembly of them arose and brought him before Pilate.

They brought charges against him, saying,
“We found this man misleading our people;
he opposes the payment of taxes to Caesar
and maintains that he is the Christ, a king.”
Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
He said to him in reply, “You say so.”
Pilate then addressed the chief priests and the crowds,
“I find this man not guilty.”
But they were adamant and said,
“He is inciting the people with his teaching throughout all Judea,
from Galilee where he began even to here.”


On hearing this Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean;

and upon learning that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction,
he sent him to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was very glad to see Jesus;
he had been wanting to see him for a long time,
for he had heard about him
and had been hoping to see him perform some sign.
He questioned him at length,
but he gave him no answer.
The chief priests and scribes, meanwhile,
stood by accusing him harshly.
Herod and his soldiers treated him contemptuously and mocked him,
and after clothing him in resplendent garb,
he sent him back to Pilate.
Herod and Pilate became friends that very day,
even though they had been enemies formerly.
Pilate then summoned the chief priests, the rulers, and the people
and said to them, “You brought this man to me
and accused him of inciting the people to revolt.
I have conducted my investigation in your presence
and have not found this man guilty
of the charges you have brought against him,
nor did Herod, for he sent him back to us.
So no capital crime has been committed by him.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”


But all together they shouted out,

“Away with this man!
Release Barabbas to us.”
— Now Barabbas had been imprisoned for a rebellion
that had taken place in the city and for murder. —
Again Pilate addressed them, still wishing to release Jesus,
but they continued their shouting,
“Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Pilate addressed them a third time,
“What evil has this man done?
I found him guilty of no capital crime.
Therefore I shall have him flogged and then release him.”
With loud shouts, however,
they persisted in calling for his crucifixion,
and their voices prevailed.
The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.
So he released the man who had been imprisoned
for rebellion and murder, for whom they asked,
and he handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they wished.


As they led him away

they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian,
who was coming in from the country;
and after laying the cross on him,
they made him carry it behind Jesus.
A large crowd of people followed Jesus,
including many women who mourned and lamented him.
Jesus turned to them and said,
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;
weep instead for yourselves and for your children
for indeed, the days are coming when people will say,
‘Blessed are the barren,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed.’
At that time people will say to the mountains,
‘Fall upon us!’
and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’
for if these things are done when the wood is green
what will happen when it is dry?”
Now two others, both criminals,
were led away with him to be executed.


When they came to the place called the Skull,

they crucified him and the criminals there,
one on his right, the other on his left.
Then Jesus said,
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
They divided his garments by casting lots.
The people stood by and watched;
the rulers, meanwhile, sneered at him and said,
“He saved others, let him save himself
if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.”
Even the soldiers jeered at him.
As they approached to offer him wine they called out,
“If you are King of the Jews, save yourself.”
Above him there was an inscription that read,
“This is the King of the Jews.”


Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying,

“Are you not the Christ?
Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply,
“Have you no fear of God,
for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly,
for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes,
but this man has done nothing criminal.”
Then he said,
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him,
“Amen, I say to you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.”


It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land

until three in the afternoon
because of an eclipse of the sun.
Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle.
Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”;
and when he had said this he breathed his last.


Here all kneel and pause for a short time
.


The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said,

“This man was innocent beyond doubt.”
When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened,
they returned home beating their breasts;
but all his acquaintances stood at a distance,
including the women who had followed him from Galilee
and saw these events.
Now there was a virtuous and righteous man named Joseph who,
though he was a member of the council,
had not consented to their plan of action.
He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea
and was awaiting the kingdom of God.
He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
After he had taken the body down,
he wrapped it in a linen cloth
and laid him in a rock-hewn tomb
in which no one had yet been buried.
It was the day of preparation,
and the sabbath was about to begin.
The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind,
and when they had seen the tomb
and the way in which his body was laid in it,
they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils.
Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment.

Reflection of March the 19th

 Joseph did as the angel told him to do

 (Mt 1)

 

When I was in my twenties, I was struck by Wings of Desire, the film by German director Wim Wenders. The two angels Damiel and Cassiel observe the inhabitants of the city, but they cannot interact with them.

Damiel decides to give up his immortality in order to participate and experience the world and not simply observe it.

It seems that the choice is clear: either here or there, two totally different worlds. But Joseph, in his sleep, dreams of the angel of the Lord, who tells him what to do.

Jesus is the Word that has connected the world of men with the world of God. Jesus is the Word of God that, if it enters the heart, awakens from deep inside the secret dream of the relationship, which is the same as God's dream. There is an extraordinary encounter in the heart between the dream of God and a man's dream.

Hence Joseph did as the angel of the Lord told him to do, because one acts according to what he has inside. Joseph himself becomes an angel, a guardian and a witness of God's dream.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reflection of March the 18th

 If I don't do the works of my Father, then do not believe me

 (Jn 10)

 

In the community the works always divide.

Different interpretations on their design and implementation, including economic issues, often cause breakups.

We have many initiatives in our communities in which we do not recognize ourselves.

A temple like that of Jerusalem and its fixed and rigid tradition appear to be the "work" of God, and instead cause division.

Human, flexible and harmonious, imperfect and fragile, humble and free works done using our intelligence and heart are "works" that unite.

They bring us to the center of ourselves and of the present moment. They are small routines, small gestures, balsams and perfumes, oils and wines on our wounds.

"At its center I'll always risk my life doing small acts. I will enter every day in this unknown world made of common objects. I'll pull out the strength of my pure feelings, of my desire to be at the center."

Not memorable works, but invisible acts; they become good memories and are fixed forever in the soul. These invisible acts are credible, they are the works of the Father. With ancient words, but perhaps still fascinating, we could call them works of mercy. The works of a father whose son is at the center.

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