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An Exemplar for these days: The Man Born Blind

The Gospel reading of the Man born blind is easily my favorite Scriptural text (John 9. 1-41).

Notice how it starts without the man asking for anything.  Instead, while his disciples are wondering why the man is born blind, Jesus puts mud on the poor man’s eyes, and tells him to wash. The man returns cured.

But that’s just the beginning of the story.

In the meantime, Jesus exits.

The leaders want to know how did this man get cured.  Here’s where things get dicey for the man. By the end of the story, his frightened parents distance themselves from him and the temple leaders expel him.  He’s off on his own.

Throughout the text, he’s incredibly impressive, testifying on his own, on each occasion, with greater confidence about who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for him.  By the end he has grown in such courage, wisdom, and faith that he turns the tables and begins to question those questioning him.  It’s a tour-de-force for the man born blind. But he gets thrown out of the Temple….. (Continua a leggere)

 

 

 

IL DIO VIRUS!?

 

 

Fonte originale: In cammino con san Gerardo,
Il mensile della Famiglia Redentorista, maggio 2020

IL DIO VIRUS!?

 

«Io sono Covid-19!», qualche giorno fa tra le tantissime notifiche e messaggi divertenti, dissacranti e a volte preoccupanti che continuano ad animare il cellulare, sono emersi anche alcuni video nei quali il noto (purtroppo) coronavirus “prende” addirittura la “parola”. Al microrganismo, bisognoso di attaccarsi ad una cellula per poter vivere e riprodursi, è data “voce” e “identità”… il “potere” d’imporsi come un vendicatore nelle nostre vite, di poterle giudicare, e di ergersi a maestro sino a minacciare un possibile e apocalittico suo ritorno nel momento in cui l’umanità solo provasse a dimenticare ciò che a suo dire è venuto ad insegnare!

Corona and the Crown of Thorns (II part)

 

God is always with his People and accompanies and consoles them in every crisis.  Here in Australia Catholic hospitals have rightly joined the government’s effort for the whole health system, government and non-government, to confront the menace.  Some thousands more beds are available for patients.

Bishops as Chief Priests have to be at the head of the flock at this time.  The virus took society by surprise and Church leaders did not have the chance to elaborate policy beforehand and to call parish communities together to prepare for the difficulties ahead.   Like society at large Church activities have largely shifted to the net.   Thus prayer, meditation and educational programs can transfer well to social media.  Charity and help for the most vulnerable can be organised efficiently on the net so that no one is abandoned or goes without…. (Continua a leggere)

Corona and the Crown of Thorns (I part)

 

As a seventy-seven- year old I am at high-risk from the Corona virus.  I would like to share some scattered reflections from my pastoral experience as a priest-moral theologian.

Epidemics since antiquity have always spread along trade routes with even more swiftly and dramatically in an age of globalization.  Despite the devastation, humanity has learned to overcome and not to succumb.  When the Black Death stuck in 1349 it took nearly half of Sienna’s population, leaving the walls of its new cathedral standing ‘in mid-air”.  Today, still unfinished, they have been absorbed as part of the cathedral’s history.  Since the Spanish flu just after World War I four great influenza epidemics have swept the world.   By the 1970ies scientists had vaccines for many extremely contagious diseases and predicted that epidemics might be consigned to the past.  They were quickly disillusioned by the arrival of AIDS, Ebola, Saas and now the Corona virus.  In fact, specialists kept warning that a tremendous outbreak was not just possible but highly likely and that we were medically and psychologically unprepared. (Continua a leggere)