sabato 30 dicembre 2017

«Exspectans consolationem Israel»

The liturgy dedicates the Sunday within the Christmas octave to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. A week ago, reflecting on the mystery of incarnation, we were saying that the Son of God did not become an abstract man, as it were disembodied, sexless, stateless, without a history; on the contrary, he joined a specific people with its own history and culture. But even before joining a people, the Son of God willed to be born and grow up within a human family. Even though the manner of his conception was out of the norm, Jesus had a mother and a father who nourished and brought him up.

lunedì 25 dicembre 2017

«Vidimus gloriam eius»

On Christmas, four Masses can be celebrated: in the vigil, during the night, at dawn and during the day. The first three Masses are more “narrative”: the gospels we hear in them tell us what happened that day in Bethlehem. The Mass which is celebrated during the day, instead, has a more “reflective” character; its purpose is not to inform about the events, but to unveil the mystery hidden in those events. The liturgy of this Mass shows who is the Infant who is born today in Bethlehem. It does it especially through the second reading and the gospel, in which we have heard the beginning of the respective books.

domenica 24 dicembre 2017

«Apparuit gratia Dei»

We are celebrating the Vigil Mass of Christmas. Security reasons advised against celebrating the Mass during the Night; but, since the liturgical norms allow it, we have heard the readings of the Night Mass. I would like to highlight the contrasts present in these readings: it will help us to grasp the meaning of this celebration.

sabato 23 dicembre 2017

«Conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto»

On this Sunday we commemorate the events immediately prior to Christmas, especially the incarnation, which is not only an event, but the “mystery kept secret for long ages, but now manifested” to us, as Saint Paul says in the second reading.

sabato 16 dicembre 2017

«Ego vox»

On the last Sundays, we were saying that this year we will read the gospel of Mark, and today we have heard a selection from the gospel of John. The reason is that Mark is the shortest of the gospels, and so, on several occasions this year, the liturgy will supplement it with passages from John. Usually, scholars emphasize the differences between John and the synoptic gospels; but in this case we cannot but take note of the concordance between them.

lunedì 11 dicembre 2017

Tradurre o interpretare?

Hanno fatto molto scalpore le dichiarazioni rilasciate da Papa Francesco durante il programma di TV2000 Padre nostro andato in onda mercoledí scorso 6 dicembre. «Non ci indurre in tentazione» non sarebbe, secondo il Pontefice, una buona traduzione:
Anche i francesi hanno cambiato il testo con una traduzione che dice non lasciarmi cadere nella tentazione, sono io a cadere, non è lui che mi butta nella tentazione per poi vedere come sono caduto, un padre non fa questo, un padre aiuta ad alzarsi subito.
Sembrerebbe che si tratti di una novità (l’unica vera novità è il fatto che dal 3 dicembre scorso, prima domenica di Avvento, in Francia è stata introdotta nella liturgia la nuova traduzione del Padre nostro: qui); in realtà, si tratta di una questione che si trascina da decenni.

sabato 9 dicembre 2017

«Rectas facite semitas eius»

As we were saying last Sunday, this year we will read the gospel of Mark, probably the first gospel to be written. Unlike Matthew and Luke, who start their gospels with an infancy narrative, Mark begins his account straight with the public ministry of Jesus, which opens with his baptism at the Jordan. But, before speaking of the baptism, Mark introduces the baptizer, namely John, the son of Zachariah and Elizabeth, the cousin of Jesus.

venerdì 8 dicembre 2017

«Gratia plena»

I think the best way to understand the meaning of today’s celebration is to consider the preface of this Mass. At the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, addressing God, the priest says: “You preserved the most Blessed Virgin Mary from all stain of original sin, so that in her, endowed with the rich fullness of grace, you might prepare a worthy Mother for your Son and signify the beginning of the Church, his beautiful Bride without spot or wrinkle. She, the most pure Virgin, was to bring forth a Son, the innocent Lamb who would wipe away our offences; you placed her above all others to be for your people an advocate of grace and a model of holiness.”

mercoledì 6 dicembre 2017

Una nuova narrazione?

Il Professor Massimo Introvigne ha rilasciato nei giorni scorsi una lunga intervista alla rivista Formiche. È uno di quei casi strani in cui vorresti tanto che ciò che stai leggendo fosse vero, ma ti accorgi, con dispiacere, che non lo è.

sabato 2 dicembre 2017

«Utinam dirumperes caelos et descenderes!»

Today we begin a new liturgical year. In the three-year cycle of readings, 2017-2018 will be the “Year B,” during which we shall read the second of the synoptic gospels, namely Mark. The liturgical year opens with the Advent Season, which is a time of preparation for the commemoration of the first coming of the Lord, two thousand years ago, and likewise a time of expectation of his second coming, at the end of time. Advent usually lasts four weeks; this year it will be shorter—only three weeks—as the fourth Sunday falls on Christmas Eve, December 24. The first two weeks should especially turn us to the second coming of the Lord; the third week instead should be an immediate preparation for the solemnity of Christmas. Today’s readings emphasize some points of the first part of Advent. Saint Paul, in the second reading, says that we are waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is his second coming, and assures us that “he will keep us firm to the end.” The gospel is a call for watchfulness: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” We know for certain that the Lord will come; when, we do not know. That is why we have to watch.