Dimanche 15 janvier 2017

Tuesday of Lent 2e mardi de Carême

« Anyone who raise himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up. »

Is. 1, 10-20 Ps. 49 Mt. 23, 1-12

Tuesday 2nd week of Lent  « You have only one Father, and He is in Heaven. » Is.1, 10..20 Ps.49 Mt.3,1-12 « Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said :’The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses.You must therefore do and observe what they tell you ; but do not be guided by what they do since they do not practice what the preach. » There is a tense atmosphere between Jesus , the scribes and the Pharisees. Jesus does away with the traps we might call the traps of people who are in authority. Being very attached to the law of Moses makes them well thought of. Jesus has eaten several times at the table of these distinguished people.  It is always possible to be converted, for all people. Jesus is in Jerusalem, there are many conflicts, he knows he is going towards his Passion and that soon his disciples will be left alone.  He combats the attitudes which hypocrite religious people have who speak but do not act for they ravage the little ones the poor ones, unable to understand. Jesus’ disciples have to be faithful to the message they install, one which they are to transmit. If we are to open up to God’s Kingdom this implies having new relationships amongst believers. From the outside I can appear someone fair and reasonable but on the inside feelings of discord and darkness are invading my heart. Here we find a religious attitude which can lead to confusion, one that Jesus unmasks. We ought to be ready to be found in a state of fidelity at all times, if we wish to enter into the Newness that Jesus brings. The Word of Jesus fortifies us, we need to take up courage and be fortified so as to place the whole of our being in the Light of God. « They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on peoples’ shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them ? Not they ! Everything they do is to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted respectfully in the market places and having people call them rabbi. » Jesus combats the state of mind of the Pharisees, attachment to the law for law’s sake. Under a mask of justice is hidden hypocrisy.  It is the letter that kills the spirit, generating despise for little ones and for the poor who are ignorant about the law. Jesus gets them to see how their life isn’t in accordance with their words. They say and don’t do what they say, forgetting how God sees what is in the heart of each person. Here we receive a serious warning, we are clearly put on our guards. This message is for all whose mission it is to announce the Gospel.  Our pride can lead us to judge others as sinners and ignorant. When we act like this, we are very far from the One who came to seek and save those who are lost. « You must call no one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor must you allow yourselves to be called teachers, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. »  The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up. We need to imitate the child pressed against his mother.  He knows he owes everything to his Father.  The best remedy is to be of service to or sisters and brothers in gentleness and in humility. In this way we remove ourselves from the risk of taking God’s power to dominate our brothers with. We turn towards Jesus , our marvellous Guide.  He gave Himself on the Cross for the salvation of the world. In washing his disciples’ feet on the night of the last supper, he taches us to love Him and to be of service to others.In offering Himself up to us in the Eucharist he loves us right to the end. He puts into practice his great commandment : ’Let the greatest among you be a servant We are called to a true conversion. We want to get rid of any feeling of superiority so as to attach ourselves to the law of Love with a tender and generous heart. What makes up the value of a life is the Love we have for God and for our neighbour. We ask for the grace to learn from Jesus and to be attentive to our neighbour.

TUESDAY of 2nd WEEK of LENT

« Then addressing the crowds and the disciples, Jesus said, ’ The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses.You must therefore do and observe what they tell you ; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they preach. »

We are in Jerusalem, in an atmosphere heavy and conflictual between Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus knows that he is walking towards his Passion and that his disciples will soon be by themselves. Jesus enters into a combat against religious hypocritical attitudes that speak but do nothing, doing ravages for the little ones and poor ones who understand nothing at all. A new life style needs to be established amongst his disciples in order for them to be faithful, to the newness that Jesus is instituting and that they are to transmit after Him. To open up to the Kingdom of Heaven means that one has to have new relationships amongst believers. From the outside I may appear just and reasonable but from the inside feelings of discord and darkness may invade my heart. There is here a religious attitude that may cause confusion, one which Jesus unmasks. If we want to enter into what is new in what Christ brings, we ought to always dispose ourselves to be always faithful. Jesus’ Word comes to unmask ’the religious character’ that is hidden in us, spoiling our relationship with God. Our human nature is guilty for many reasons and we live in fear for we are psychologically weak. Jesus’ Word makes us vigorous for we need to be strengthened so as to place all our being in God’s Light.

« They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on peoples’ shoulders, but will they lift a finger to move them ? Not they ! Everything they do is to attract attention, like wearing broader headbands and longer tassels, like wanting to take the place of honour at banquets and the front seats in the synagogues, being greeted respectfully in the market squares and having people call them Rabbi. »

The phylactery, outer manifestation of inner attitudes, translate what at the beginning was a desirable spiritual reality , one which later became deceitful. We have two ears, two eyes, but just one mouth to speak of God’s Glory in our lives. The gap that can come about between the interior attitude of our heart and the outer attitude of our life is a scandal that makes the weak fall ! The relationship between visible, the attitude with brothers, the invisible the relationship with our God, is a precious harmony, for I can look religious and have people believe I have a spiritual life ! We cannot at the same time bless God in whom we believe and curse our brothers whom we see ! The same mouth cannot at the same time secrete honey and poison. It is the way we are charitable towards our brothers that speaks of our relationship with God.

« You, however, must not allow yourselves to be called Rabbi, since you have only one Master, and you are all brothers.You must call no-one on earth your father, since you have only one Father, and he is in heaven. or must you allow yourselves to be called Teacher, for you have only one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Anyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and anyone who humbles himself will be raised up. »

You are all brothers ! The new relationship that Jesus proposes is one of fraternity that is born from each one’s freedom and must be constituted and used all the time. Thus the future of our freedom is is to bring to others where each one is equal, in relationship with the Father, following Jesus,who gives us a salutary Word, a remedy between what we do and what we say. If I do what I say and I adjust my life on God’s Word, I am blessed ! ’You will remember God’s law, you will carry it in your heart and on your face.’ A face that shines forth is the sign of deep adhesion to God’s mystery. A child can say ’Daddy’ to his earthly daddy for in this way shows that our Heavenly Father is the source of all paternity. In His Infinite Tenderness, Jesus Christ wants us to be in an attitude of filiation and of fraternity. Heaven opens up and so does our face brighten.

Let us ask for the grace to follow Jesus and to be attentive to our neighbour.