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The risk of being homeless

Today’s gospel narrates the event of Jesus going to Nazareth, accompanied by a group of disciples. It’s not a courtesy visit. He returns to Nazareth to present to the ancient family, his new family, consisting of those who responded to his call. Some time back his relatives had tried to convince him to return to his family and to resume his decent work as a carpenter, but he did not accede to their proposal.

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Rescued from death by God of life

Like all sick, marginalised, or despised people the unclean woman in today’s gospel feels inside her, an irresistible impulse to get closer to Jesus, to “touch him.” “If I just touch his cloak—she thinks—I shall get well” (v. 28).

The woman advances “in fear and trembling,” as if being sick, feeling unclean, feeling the need of resorting to Jesus were a sin.

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Upon awaking we look at the ripe ears

Jesus narrates a parable of the small seeds that grow into large trees to signify the growth of the kingdom of God. 

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The alliance: the ring of the bride

To get the message that the evangelist wants to convey, we must go beyond what seems a simple stenographic transcript. It is the disciples who want to remember the Passover, not Jesus. They think of celebrating their liberation from Egypt and the Sinai covenant. They become, instead, witnesses of the new covenant foretold by the prophets and they receive the true Lamb as food.

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God is not far

We do not have exclusive right to faith in God. However, the assertion that, in the one God, there is a paternity, filiation and a gift of love is specific to Christianity. With an abstract term, not biblical and certainly inadequate, we call this mystery, Trinity.

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The Spirit: fancy to power

Pentecost was an ancient Jewish holiday. It commemorated the arrival of the people of Israel at Mount Sinai where, God handed the 10 Commandments to Moses. The Israelites were really proud of this gift. They said that before them, God had offered the Law to other peoples. They had refused it, preferring to continue with their vices and excesses. To thank God for this predilection, the Israelites had set up a feast: the Pentecost.

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A different way of being near

The ascension of the Lord is the moment of handing over the announcement of the gospel to the disciples. Having concluded his physical presence with the disciples he will be near them, from now on, in a different way. 

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We are loved—
that is why we love

Who is God? The disciple who, during dinner, rested his head on the breast of the Lord revealed to us that God is love, only love and everyone who loves is begotten of him. The disciple explains how he manifests himself: not as a legislator and judge, as the rabbis believed, but as love. “Let us love one another—he says—for love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Those who do not love have not known God, for God is love.”

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How about a drink?

This lengthy gospel account of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well is a story rich in lessons that are as relevant to life today as they were in the era of Jesus.

We can also apply them to the everyday situations that we encounter in our own era. Let’s look at three key elements of this account of a meeting with Jesus.

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A little cheer up

The feast of the Transfiguration comes in the middle of our Lenten preparation and could well be looked upon as a boost injected into possibly flagging spirits, something to cheer people up and give them something to hope for in the future.

This in all probability is a role that it played for the three disciples who were present.