In the face of the mystery of the Risen Christ we cannot renounce living and reduce ourselves to survive

The angle dell'omiletica of the Fathers of The Island of Patmos

BEFORE THE MYSTERY OF THE RISEN CHRIST WE CANNOT RETURN TO LIVE AND REDUCE TO SURVIVE

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My conscience as a man, of Catholic, of priest and Italian citizen therefore requires me to make the following decision: this is the last time I celebrate Holy Mass live on television, because I don't want to become an accomplice in an absurd and mortifying way of doing. Others will decide differently, but I can not, I don't have to and I don't want to do otherwise, because I want to live and not just survive, I want to be a responsible witness of the risen Christ, the only one who frees us from the terror of evil and death.

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John Zanchi

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Brothers,

the effigy of Santa Maria del Conforto, venerated in the Diocese of Arezzo

let's celebrate this Holy Mass to the glory of God and in honor of Santa Maria in the resurrection of the Lord (cf Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary 15). Saturday is particularly consecrated to Marian devotion, because on Holy Saturday the Madonna was alone on the face of the earth to believe and hope in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; on Holy Saturday the whole faith of the Church was "enclosed" in the Most Holy Mary, always united in faith obedient to his Divine Son. For this, just resurrected, Jesus first appeared to his Holy Mother; about this, I re-read part of what St. John Paul II taught during the General Audience of 21 May 1997:

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«The Gospels report a small number of apparitions of the risen Jesus and certainly not the complete account of what happened in the forty days after Easter. The Virgin, present in the first community of disciples (cf At 1, 14), how it could have been excluded from the number of those who met his divine Son raised from the dead? Indeed, it is legitimate to think that the Mother was probably the first person to whom the risen Jesus appeared. Mary's absence from the group of women who go to the tomb at dawn (CF. Mc 16, 1; Mt 28, 1), it could not perhaps be an indication that she had already met Jesus? This deduction would also be confirmed by the fact that the first witnesses of the resurrection, at the behest of Jesus, it was the women, who remained faithful at the foot of the Cross and therefore more firm in faith. TheThe unique and special character of the presence of the Virgin on Calvary and her perfect union with the Son in the suffering of the Cross, sembrano postulare una sua particolarissima partecipazione al mistero della risurrezione. Present on Calvary during Good Friday (CF Jn. 19, 25) and in the Upper Room at Pentecost (cf At 1, 14), the Blessed Virgin was probably also a privileged witness of the resurrection of Christ, thus completing his participation in all the essential moments of the Paschal Mystery ».

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St. John Paul II therefore teaches that, among the singular supernatural privileges that Our Lady had from God, there was also the appearance of the Son just risen from the dead. For us now the encounter with the risen Jesus takes place first of all in the sacrament of the Eucharist, celebrated in Holy Mass and received in Holy Communion; under the appearances of the consecrated bread and wine it is indeed present, really and substantially the risen Jesus, in body, blood, soul and divinity; that same and same risen Christ that the blessed already enjoy in Paradise, that same and same risen Christ that Our Lady and the first disciples contemplated here on earth in the 40 days of the first Easter, that same and same risen Christ is now communicated to us in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar; the only difference between the blessed in heaven, Our Lady and the first disciples and we are that they contemplate him and contemplated him in vision, for now only in faith under the veil of the Sacrament.

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In Holy Mass and in sacramental communion we therefore enjoy the presence of the risen Jesus who assimilates us to himself and communicates his glorious life to us. But because of the ongoing pandemic, the vast majority of the faithful have for too long been deprived of the grace of participating in the Holy Mass and receiving Holy Communion. In the beginning our bishops justified this very serious deprivation as a painful sacrifice and an act of responsibility on the part of the Church, to foster the common struggle against the spread of the disease e, in the emergence of the emergency, this could also be entirely acceptable, waiting to be able to organize safely. But now, continue to deny participation in the Holy Mass and the reception of the sacraments for an indefinite time, exposes our people to serious spiritual risks, more dangerous than physical ones; I list some of them: first of all the danger of believing that faith can be reduced to a simple subjective opinion to be lived only in private, without public and social form and that indeed a religious practice without public rites and manifestations and reduced to the fulfillment of solitary prayers and philanthropic acts would be more pure and mature; then the danger that the Church will be totally enslaved to the state, without any freedom of preaching and action, neither internally nor socially, as happens for example in communist China, origin of this pandemic that afflicts us; quindi il pericolo che le nostre chiese siano falsamente considerate i luoghi più pericolosi per la salute pubblica e le nostre Liturgie fonte principale di diffusione del contagio virale ― mentre le chiese sono i luoghi dove con più facilità si possono osservare le norme della profilassi e la celebrazione dei Sacramenti sono gli atti meno pericolosi per la salute ―; finally the danger that people mistakenly convince themselves of the uselessness of the Christian faith and of the very existence of the Church.

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It is now clear that many politicians and their self-styled experts, many journalists, many - too many - ordinary people want to exploit the pandemic to annihilate the presence and work of the Church in Italy, forcing Catholics to practice faith even in churches, but the priests in the closed of the sacristies and the faithful in the closed of their own home, isolated from each other.

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So far we have adapted to many spiritual sacrifices with great suffering even in very important things, but now the situation has changed - thanks to God and the sacrifice of many - and it is no longer possible to continue living like this, i.e.: for fear of physical death, to survive and give up living; die of unemployment so as not to die of viral contagion; die as a Church to continue to survive as single believers barely tolerated by the unbelieving world. Those who do not believe in Christ risen from the dead always and inevitably end up surviving rather than living: «If the dead are not raised, we eat and drink, because tomorrow we will die » (1Color 15, 32), so atheists think and live; but we Christians are the witnesses of Christ risen from the dead and we cannot give up living to reduce ourselves to survive, neither as men nor as Christians.

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This also means that Masses are only televised they have had their time and it is no longer necessary or appropriate to continue celebrating in deserted churches with all our people reduced to a shapeless mass of viewers more or less involved; in many other countries afflicted by the pandemic, they continued to celebrate Holy Mass with the people, certainly with due precautions; now it is possible to start doing it also in Italy, without any permission from anyone - least of all the civil authorities, who have no power to forbid us or allow us what we have to do in churches -; now it is possible to start again to celebrate the sacraments with the people in church, without endangering anyone's physical health, certainly by doing it with that responsibility that we Christians have always abundantly shown and taught to others in times of calamity. Therefore, the live broadcast of the Holy Mass must return as soon as possible to be an exceptional and sporadic fact in the spiritual service only of those who, due to illness or old age, are prevented from participating personally; all the other faithful must be able to return to church as soon as possible to celebrate and receive the sacraments.

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Jesus says: «I am the living bread, down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he will live forever ... Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day ". (GV 6, 51. 54). Jesus says "Do this in memory of me" (LC 22, 19); Jesus doesn't say: «You were holed up in the house each on his own for fear of dying because he does the same; each for himself and God for all ".

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My conscience as a man, of Catholic, of priest and Italian citizen therefore requires me to make the following decision: this is the last time I celebrate Holy Mass live on television, because I don't want to become an accomplice in an absurd and mortifying way of doing. Others will decide differently, but I can not, I don't have to and I don't want to do otherwise, because I want to live and not just survive, I want to be a responsible witness of the risen Christ, the only one who frees us from the terror of evil and death.

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Santa Maria, cheered by your Divine Son just risen from the dead at dawn of Easter, intercede for us and obtain from the glorious Lord the liberation from the pandemic and the courage to profess our faith always and in every place and circumstance (safe or dangerous) and above all get us freedom from the tyranny of worldly power and from reducing us to survive, prisoners and paralyzed by fear of death.

Praised be Jesus Christ!

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Cathedral Church of Arezzo, 2 May 2020

Lady Mass on Saturdays

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The video meditations of the Presbyter Mons. Giovanni Zanchi are available on our page

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Visit the pages of our book shop WHO. Following the coronavirus emergency, the Amazon company that prints and distributes our books had to prioritize the distribution of basic necessities. Printing and distribution of books will then resume after 4 May.

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6 thoughts on "In the face of the mystery of the Risen Christ we cannot renounce living and reduce ourselves to survive

  1. Decisione lodevole. Purtroppo ormai i danni incalcolabili sono stati fatti, e in modi e misure diversi ne siamo tutti più o meno colpevoli, ma con capofila la CEIP (P=Patriottica), that (minimo esempio) addirittura ci ha spacciato per Devozione in trasmissione diretta del 1° maggio unevento televisivoregistrato 5 giorni prima.

  2. Grazie per questa vigorosa testimonianza. Sono molto rattristata dalla situazione attuale, ma continuo a coltivare una tenace speranza fondata su Nostro Signore chesarà con noi fino alla fine dei tempi

  3. Reverend Father, una domanda diretta: visto che da domani, 18 May, potranno riprendere le sante Messe coram populo, Lei intende distribuire la Santa Comunione con guanti monouso?

    1. Nessuno può obbligarmi a fare una cosa del genere, therefore, ciò che non si può comandare poiché contrario al sacro rispetto verso la Santissima Eucaristia, io non lo farò.
      Anche perché l’Autorità Ecclesiastica dovrebbe poi spiegarmi e rispondere in modo chiari a preciso a questo quesito: e i guanti monouso, dopo l’uso degli stessi, che fine faranno? Forse dovranno essere gettati nella raccolta differenziata?
      Figurarsi se io getterei nella raccolta differenziata guanti usati per toccare il Santissimo Corpo di Cristo.
      Let me be clear: non si tratta di disubbidire, anything! Si tratta di non attenersi a ciò che oltraggia la Santissima Eucaristia, verso la quali, di oltraggi, ne sono stati recati fin troppi.

      Le faccio un altro esempio: Once, mentre soggiornavo in una diocesi italiana, il vescovo diocesano mi disse: «Non portare la veste talare, perché i miei preti, che non la portano, sono infastiditi che uno porti la talare in pubblico». I replied: «Vostra Eccellenza ha modificato il Codice di Diritto Canonico e le disposizioni date a tal proposito da Paolo VI, John Paul II, Benedetto XVI e dalla Conferenza Episcopale Italiana?» Dunque: io porto la talare come previsto, therefore, che i suoi preti non protestino e che Vostra Eccellenza non si permetta mai più di suggerirmi cose contrarie alle leggi e alle disposizioni della Chiesa»

      Here, sempre per chiarire ciò che non è affatto disubbidienza.

      1. Reverend Father, Thanks. Sono rincuorata dalla sua risposta. However, nella mia diocesi di appartenenza (Padova), le disposizioni del vescovo sono molto chiare e non certo identiche alle Sue. (http://www.diocesipadova.it/ripresa-delle-messe-con-il-popolo-il-decreto-del-vescovo-per-la-diocesi/).
        I ask her: se io accetto la S. Comunione con questa modalità, sono anch’io in qualche modo colpevole di un ‘oltraggio’se non altro perché lo permetto – or not? E cosa dice del divieto di ricevere la comunione in bocca? Grazie in anticipo per la Sua risposta

        1. Dear Adriana,

          legga l’ultimo articolo di Padre Gabriele, perché al suo interno troverà molte risposte ai suoi quesiti.
          Per quanto mi riguarda le ribadisco che nessun vescovo può obbligarmi a distribuire la Santa Comunione con i guanti di lattice; guanti che poi andrebbero smaltiti, presumo nella raccolta differenziata di rifiuti, perché una cosa simile mi fa letteralmente inorridire.

          Una cosa molto importante, alla quale prestare attenzione, perché è una insidia nella quale è bene proprio non cadere, è l’uso ideologico e polemico della Santissima Eucaristia.
          Sappiamo infatti che si sono gruppi di persone, oggi accompagnati anche da seguiti blog e siti, che fanno battaglie contro la Comunione data sulla mano. A questi ideologiperché tali sononon poteva capitar di “better” del coronavirus per incentivare le proprie polemiche.

          Come spesso ho spiegato ai lettori: personally, la Comunione sulle mani, non l’ho mai data a nessuno, pur prestando totale ossequio alle disposizioni date in tal senso a suo tempo dalla Conferenza Episcopale Italiana. Indeed, il decreto in questione, autorizza a poter amministrare la Santa Comunione sia sulle mani o sulla bocca a scelta del fedele, sia a discrezione del celebrante sotto le due specie, ossia intingendo la sacra ostia nel Sangue di Cristo e porgendola al fedele sulla bocca. E così io ho sempre fatto sin da quando sono diventato prete: ho sempre dato la Santa Comunione sotto le due specie.

          Le battaglie portate avanti da certe persone, sites and blogs, they are not in heaven or on earth, perché ricevere con sacra devozione la Santa Comunione sulle mani, non è affatto il sacrilegio che loro vanno sbraitando in giro, quasi sempre attaccandosi a pseudo-teologie o a visioni catastrofiche di qualche mistico o mistica mal compresa.

          La Comunione sulle mani, by secular, io non l’ho mai ricevuta. La prima volta che ho toccata la Santissima Eucaristia è stato dopo essere divenuto diacono. Ho sempre preferito riceverla in bocca, ma sempre ribadendo che, riceverla devotamente sulle mani, non è il sacrilegio che molti vanno dicendo in giro.

          I fedeli hanno sensibilità diverse, come le ho espresso portandole come esempio me stesso, prima da laico e poi da prete. Quindi lei non deve sentirsi obbligata in alcun modo a ricevere la Santa Comunione in una modalità che potrebbe crearle disagio. In the event to, faccia ciò che la sua coscienza le suggerisce di fare, per esempio rinunciando, in case, a fare la Comunione.

          La disciplina della Chiesta stabilisce che il fedele si confessi almeno una volta all’anno e che riceva la Santa Comunione a Pasqua (Catechism of the Catholic Church, NN. 2041-2043).
          La Chiesa non stabilisce, né mai ha stabilito, che è dovere del fedele fare di frequente la Comunione. anything, come infatti chiarisce sempre il Padre Gabriele nel suo ultimo articolo, “la Comunione frequenteè cosa molto recente, risale all’epoca del Santo Pontefice Pio X, to be exact the 1905.

          Ciò che invece non va fatto è di dare vita a proteste e aggressioni verso l’episcopato, che per quanto riguarda la disciplina dei Sacramenti, non può e non deve certo prendere direttive e ordini da blogghettari, siti vari e giornalisti anziani che si sono messi a fare i teologi, i liturgisti, i canonistisenza averne né la preparazione, né la sensibilità, né l’autorità.

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