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- « Come aside, you alone, in a deserted place, and rest a bit". Summer is an opportunity to make meaningful connections with the Lord - 11 August 2023
« COME APART, YOU ONLY, IN A DESERT PLACE, AND REST FOR A LITTLE". SUMMER IS THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE MEANINGFUL BONDS WITH THE LORD
I want to be a provocateur and suggest to our readers to do without, during rest and vacation times, of the many newspapers and newspapers that we commonly purchase to enhance reading and meditation on the Gospel. It won't just be an economic benefit - more or less 1,50 € saved - but a sure blessing that will greatly benefit our soul. The rest, the Gospel has not always been there Good news par excellence that no newspaper can ever hope to match?
- Church news -
Ivano Liguori, Ofm. Capp..
We have now entered the height of summer which is that elective season that allows us to dedicate ourselves to rest and recovery from physical and spiritual efforts. In the Gospel we see Jesus himself inviting the Apostles, at the end of a tiring day of announcing the Kingdom, to rest and stay with Him to recover our strength [See. MC 6,31]. To a casual glance, rest cannot be interpreted only as an absence of fatigue. In Holy Scripture, eg, the divine rest after the week of Creation [See. Gen 2,2] it becomes the way in which to enter into recognition of the praise and contemplation of the Father for what has been created. God does not pause, he is not idle, static, because as Christ himself attests to us: “My Father always works and I too work” [See. GV 5, 17].
«Vgo aside, you alone, in a deserted place, and rest a bit" [See. MC 6,31]. Divine rest, that God lives and generously gives to man, becomes the reward of that work of guardianship of Creation - and in the Gospel of announcing the Kingdom of the Father - in which it is possible to contemplate, worship and praise the Lord. Just as it is God first who in his joyful «Shabbat» contemplates his work blessing its intrinsic goodness - he saw that it was good -, thus man contemplates and recognizes his Creator who places him at the pinnacle of created things and who makes him a blessing (See. John Paul II, Apostolic letter, Dies Domini, 1998).
Rest according to Holy Scripture expands and transmutes man's time from saturn/kronos, moment marked by appointments and doing, in weather/kairos, opportune moment in which man becomes the subject of the concern of God who reveals himself. The favorable weather kairos it is an epiphany of grace, something that the Church lives in its action of daily sanctification in the liturgical action. In this regard, allow me a brief aside on liturgical theology. During the liturgy, whatever it is, it would be good to expand time and not narrow it, let yourself be guided by kairos and not from kronos, forget for a moment the wristwatch - primarily for the celebrating priest - together with the inevitable clocks which for some years have become the new liturgical furnishings present in many presbyteries.
We must however with a sense of balance and reality, be aware that not everyone can enjoy a moment of rest, perhaps because they are busy with duties that cannot be postponed or because they are burdened by some condition that takes away from the mind even the vague possibility of conceiving a bit of rest or vacation. but yet, even in the face of these situations, God wishes to provide each of his children as a caring father and suggest a rest that is not made up of places alone but above all of presence, of his divine presence.
It will be good to remember - and remind ourselves - that as Christians we must not give in to the temptation of discouragement, much less to desperation. Let us often remember what the Blessed Apostle James suggests in his letter: «Who among you is in pain, do you pray; whoever is in joy should sing" [See. GC 5, 13-20]. Moments of joy - including those of rest and holidays - are favorable opportunities to sing praise to the Lord, to tell Him how great He is and that He alone is the powerful Savior of our lives.
Saint James invites you to sing because the Psalms constitute the elective prayer of the man who seeks the Lord and who wishes to live this search always, without interruptions, not just when things seem to be going well, an eventuality that does not automatically coincide with the absolute absence of problems. In this regard I like to remember the example of the Seraphic Father Saint Francis who composed in 1226 the Canticle of the Creatures certainly not at a favorable moment in his life, indeed in perhaps the most difficult moment from the point of view of physical health and internal controversies within the Order, yet his mouth never closed due to pain but was able to open to the praise of the Lord.
The search for the Lord opens us to praise and helps us to pour out that free sense of gratitude of the heart towards God who unfolds his Providence and his strong and omnipotent arm as we see proclaimed by the Blessed Virgin Mary in the song of Magnificat. It is precisely during periods of rest that we have the privilege of forming elective bonds with the Lord and knowing him as he wishes to be known by us.. For this reason, when our summer days will be freer from work commitments, academic or scholastic, let us learn to live with the solitude of our churches, so as to fill them with kairos. Much more than the churches in winter, in summer, they are promptly deserted and seem perfect deserts in which to let the voice of the Lord speak. We choose a time that is favorable to us in which we know we can remain face to face with the Lord in front of the tabernacle and there we raise our praises and our free and grateful adoration. Let us be educated by the Holy Spirit to know how to embrace the greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharistic mystery. We are not afraid to speak from the heart:
«We adore you, Most Holy Our Lord Jesus Christ, here and in all your churches throughout the world, and we bless you, because with your holy cross you have redeemed the world". [See. F.F. 110-111].
Given the several hours that we can dedicate to well-deserved leisure, to go to the sea, in the mountains or in some other favorable location, we are not afraid to dedicate an hour - yes sixty minutes of the entire day - to the Lord Jesus. It would be good to divide this hour into two periods of thirty minutes each, letting the Lord communicate with us. If we think about it, summer is the hotbed of many ephemeral words and superficial conversations that holiday time often exacerbates.. As Christians we feel a strong imperative to fill our lives with the Word of the Word made Flesh. In this hour of kairos, we are not afraid to open the Gospel. A good thing is the reading of the Gospel of the day which can be found in various ways on the dedicated Apps or through the monthly missal tool. I want to be a provocateur and suggest to our readers to do without, during rest and vacation times, of the many newspapers and newspapers that we commonly purchase to enhance reading and meditation on the Gospel. It won't just be an economic benefit - more or less 1,50 € saved - but a sure blessing that will greatly benefit our soul. The rest, the Gospel has not always been there Good news par excellence that no newspaper can ever hope to match?
For those like me who love walking and walking - when I can I can do it too 10/15 km per day - it is good practice to recite the Holy Rosary or the Prayer of the Heart: «Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, sinner!». Walking helps to tune the mind with the heart and find the right concentration to rise to God within naturalistic contexts, on the seafronts or on the beach... but also in city parks. Let us not be ashamed to say the rosary and show that we have it in our hands. Summer often offers us a series of embarrassing and out-of-place situations and it will certainly not be a rosary clutched in one's hands that will create a scandal and arouse the attention of the curious..
Summer is that time when, due to the heat, we usually lighten up our clothing to be freer and enjoy a certain healthy well-being. If we think about it, we can make a similar comparison regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sin weighs us down, it suffocates us, it prevents us from enjoying Christ the sun of justice and truth and from living in the baptismal freedom of our children. Confession is the sacramental practice that removes sin from our lives, that concrete and deadly evil that suffocates the relationship with God and with brothers. Let's get used to confessing periodically, maintaining habitual constancy to always be free from the garments of evil and be clothed in the shining light of baptism which makes us forgiven children because above all loved.
Source and summit of the Christian's entire life and of the disciple it is the Holy Mass. Let's not abandon the connection with the weekly Easter in the summer months. Let's organize our time and commitments to participate first of all in the Sunday Holy Mass and, if we have the chance, we don't disdain going on some other day of the week too. Let us remember that the praise of the Lord - as well as the liturgy of the Church - lives on the note of gratuitousness and generosity. Let us not be stingy in desiring the encounter with Christ in the Eucharistic celebration, he is certainly not stingy with us when he gives himself to us in his most precious body, blood, soul and divinity.
Prayer, listening to the Word of the Gospel, reconciliation and Holy Mass are personal privileges that we must jealously and intimately keep to ourselves? Absolutely not, the Lord in sending us to announce the Kingdom and in caring for the world that the Father has entrusted to us does not leave us alone. It is he himself who provides us with the necessary equipment so as not to fail along the way and to support those we meet who need the Good News. Contemplate, adoring and praising the Lord constitute the first form of welcome that allows us to abundantly exercise that active charity, pastoral and mutual towards all that the blessed apostle Paul recommends to the Christians of Thessalonica [See. Ts 3, 12-13].
Wishing us happy holidays and good rest Let us hope first of all to be able to remain with Christ the Lord, he is the true beneficial sun from which to draw the strength to build significant bonds of grace with which to open a new relationship with the Father and brothers.
Sanluri, 11 August 2023
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