• Elpidio Pezzella

Fear and Inconvenience


...rejoice because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20 NKJV) In this time, new and extraordinary for all, we are called to a radical change in habits. The church itself is facing a new challenge to communicate the Gospel and nourish the faith of believers, prevented (for the known reasons of the covid-19 emergency) in sharing and communion, characteristics of Christian brotherhood. Never before are we grateful to the creators of social media and video platforms. Those who had always demonized them now regard them as manna from heaven. Nonsense of judging roughly. We are all facing different levels of fear and inconvenience that have made this month of March unforgettable: a real Lent for Catholic friends. If the health effort is great, whoever has the spiritual stick must stretch it on the waters so that they open up and the faith remains alive. Although penitent and imploring divine intervention, as it should be, we will not cover our head with ashes or dress with sacks, because we are aware that our name is written in the heavens, where the One who governs everything has power over our lives . This immense truth that Jesus communicates to the group of the seventy, projects our existence into his eternity and helps us understand Paul's words to the Romans: “ ...all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose" (8:28). Perhaps it will be difficult to wait, yet the Christian is he who awaits the Christ. The expectation of the Lord leads to disciplining one's egoistic desire, to move from consumerist attitudes that have emptied our society to one of sharing and communion. "Love is patient" (1Corinthians 13:4). We could hear God's voice echoing in the air: "Wait for my times, respect my ways". Our life should be affected by all this. Maybe it's time to rediscover the meaning of one's existence or at least to ask ourselves about it, starting from our most intimate and essential reality. Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), Jewish family psychologist, prisoner in a concentration camp, says that in every circumstance, even in the most painful, there is a sense of life. "Worrying about making sense of existence is a primary reality, it is the most original feature of the human being." Everything superfluous contradicts the essence of life. In fact, the saving grace of God "...teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age" (Titus 2:12). The Christian is learning to live in projection of eternity, and no one more than he can consider Frankl's words true: "A life always makes sense, even in suffering and before death". Where the best pedagogue fails, life itself with its "improvisations" thinks about changing us profoundly or changing our behavior. As a believer I prefer to let myself be modeled by the skilled hands of the potter, to let myself be confident about rotating on your lathe, rather than being tossed about by external events. The seventy, but still a few, disciples sent in the great harvest to do what was necessary were commanded "carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road", and to keep in mind their mission: "And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you" (Luke 10:9). Personally I want to remember the task that the Lord has entrusted to me: to bring the light of the Gospel to our neighbor, to every house where the door will be opened to me, and I want to do it with love, responsibility and intentionality in words and deeds. This emergency can help intensify our call in a constantly renewed, innovative and faithful way. The Lord reminded the disciples themselves: "nothing can harm you" (Luke 10: 19b).

Devotional 12/2020 Weekly Bible reading plan March 16 Deuteronomy 30-31; Mark 15:1-25 March 17 Deuteronomy 32-34; Mark 15:26-47 March 18 Joshua 1-3; Mark 16 March 19 Joshua 4-6; Luke 1:1-20 March 20 Joshua 7-9; Luke 1:21-38 March 21 Joshua 10-12; Luke 1:39-56

March 22 Joshua 13-15; Luke 1:57-80

Father's Day On March 17 in the Roman Empire the Bacchanals were celebrated, feasts in honor of the god Bacchus. Initially celebrated by women, without the presence of men, they lasted three days. It was the priestess Paculla Minia Campana who introduced the presence of men, brought the ceremonies at night and the days to five, making it an immoral feast. The church tried to remedy these customs with a reference to a feast dedicated to Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. In our day, the custom of dedicating a day to the celebration of paternal love comes from the United States. The first time of the festival appears to have been on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia, at the local Methodist church. Others link it to Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, who, inspired by the sermon heard at church on Mother's Day, decided to organize a party in honor of her father, veteran of the American Civil War, on the occasion of her birthday, June 19th. of 1910. Since then Father's Day has spread all over the world, although the day of its celebration varies: many countries have kept the third Sunday of June, while in the countries of Catholic tradition it is made to coincide with March 19, St. Joseph's day.

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