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Nativity of St. John the Baptist - A courageous witness of the light

Today’s Gospel presents the birth of John the Baptist. In the event of a birth, every believer wonders what God has planned for this event and what dreams he raises on each creature. 
 
Luke was a believer; he wrote fifty years after the events and recalled John’s birth and interprets it as an act of “mercy” of the Lord on Elizabeth. The term “mercy” in the Bible indicates Yahweh’s attention, his tender love for anyone who needs his help.








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Corpus Christi — The New Covenant

The Passover evening comes and the Twelve disciples meet with Jesus to eat the paschal lamb. They think of celebrating their liberation from Egypt and the Sinai covenant. They become, instead, representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel and witnesses of the new covenant foretold by the prophets and they receive the true Lamb as food. 
 








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Sixth Sunday of Easter: We are loved — that is why we love

The allegory of the vine and branches is full of a mysticism alluding to the Eucharist. This is a sacrament where an intimate union with the Lord is celebrated and realised: “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood, live in me, and I in them” (John 6:56). That’s why, before receiving communion, everyone must “examine himself,” to see if he really is determined to remain in the Lord. 
 








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Fifth Sunday of Easter: A vinedresser who prunes

In today’s Gospel, Jesus begins with the solemn affirmation “I am the true vine” (v.1).
 
Israel was the vineyard of the Lord, sung by the prophets. She was a vine that had produced abundant fruits of faithfulness, when she was “like wild grapes in the desert” (Hosea 9:10) and Yahweh took loving care of it (Isaiah 27:2-5). 
 








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Fourth Sunday of Easter: The shepherd

In the Old Testament, God is often portrayed as a shepherd who guides, protects, and nourishes his people (Psalms 80:2; 23); “he gathers the lambs in his arms, and gently leading those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11). He takes care of Israel that has been brought to ruin by unworthy kings and promises: “I will gather the remnant of my sheep from every land to which I have driven them and I will bring them back to the grasslands. They will be fruitful and increase in number.








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Third Sunday of Easter: God asks us to show him our hands

The experience of the Risen One told in this Gospel passage took place in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday. The day began with the journey of the women to the tomb and with the announcement of the resurrection (Luke 24:1-8).
 








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Easter Sunday: You are the unnamed disciple

Befitting Easter, today’s gospel narrates the journey of Magdalene, Peter and the ‘other disciple whom Jesus loved’ from empty tomb to belief in the resurrection. 
 
It is generally said that it is the evangelist, John. In the Gospel of John, this unnamed disciple certainly has a symbolic character and that should be understood. 
 








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Fifth Sunday of Lent: It is not easy to get along with God

Some Greeks were among the pilgrims who came to Jerusalem for the Passover. They had learned from their fathers to worship idols. As soon as they discovered the God of Israel, they embraced the Jewish religion. Their spiritual restlessness is revealed by the need they felt to see Jesus. 
 








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Third Sunday of Lent: Body of Christ becomes the new temple

The house of prayer had been transformed into a market place during the time of Passover. Many pilgrims from distant countries to Jerusalem made sacrifices and renouncements for years to afford. Traders could accumulate more gains than throughout the rest of the years. It was difficult for the temple priests to resist the temptation to get into a so profitable turnover.
 








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Second Sunday of Lent: The glory before the Passion

The transfiguration scene is set in a secluded place, on a high mountain where Jesus led three of his disciples. They will be witnesses of his agony in Gethsemane (Mark 14:33). Mark stresses the fact that they were alone. 
 
The fact that Jesus reserved His revelation to some disciples and that he eventually told them not to disclose it indicates they were given a share of a very significant experience but still too high to be comprehended by all.