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A light that never sets

From the early days of the Church, the story of the man born blind is read in Lent. The reason is easy to understand: in the story of the man born blind every Christian can easily recognise their own story. Before meeting Christ, he was blind, then the Master gave him his sight. 

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The priceless water

John has made the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman a theological text to teach the process of conversion of those who accept the gospel of the Lord. Although the event is real it has a deeper, symbolic and metaphoric import.

It is noon when the woman comes to draw water and Jesus asks her for a drink. It is important to understand who this woman is. The way in which the evangelist presents her clearly reveals his intention to transform her into a symbol.

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A relationship with God means serving

When he does or says something important,  Jesus goes up onto a mountain. The mountain in the bible is a site of encounter with God. It was on the mountain that Moses had an encounter with God and received the revelation that later was passed on to the people. 

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God always takes care

Today’s gospel begins with a denunciation of idolising  money (Matthew 6:24). Money, like God, provides all good things to those who pay it worship: gives food, beverages, health, pleasures, amusements, but what does it ask in return? Like any god, it demands everything.

God is the reference point of the thoughts and actions of human life, and wants to be loved “with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). 

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A call to be perfect

Lord I am not worthy”—we repeat before receiving communion, aware that I know I can’t become bread broken, blood shed without strength from you, for the brethren. 

I know that I will not have the strength to let myself “be consumed” by them. “I just come to beg your Spirit.” 

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Jesus came to fulfill the laws

In the first phase of today’s gospel, Jesus reiterates this truth, “Do not think that I have come to annul the law and the prophets. I have not come to annul them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).

If he feels the need to clarify his position, it means that someone had the impression that he, through his behaviour and his own words, is demolishing the same beliefs, expectations and hopes of Israel, based on sacred texts.

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How to become salt and light

In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the images of salt and light to define the disciples and their mission. 

The rabbis of Israel used to say: “The Torah—the holy Law given by God to his people—is like salt and the world cannot live without salt.” Jesus applies this image to the disciples.

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Truly blessed poor

The gospel reading for today relates the Beatitudes. Any attempt to make a reflection on the whole of the beatitudes in this small space would be futile, so instead, we will concentrate on the first one. Blessed are the poor. It is hard to say in how many ways the beatitude has been interpreted.

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U-turn conversion but non-stop commitment

After the conclusion of John the Baptist’s mission, Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. It became the centre of his activities for nearly three years.

Matthew does not merely record Jesus’ change of residence. Galilee was inhabited by Israelites regarded by all as semi-pagans, because they were born from the intermingling of different peoples.

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Blessed because she believed

In today’s gospel the shepherds again appear beside the manger of Jesus. On receiving the news from heaven, they go to Bethlehem and find Joseph, Mary and the baby in a manger. They do not find anything extraordinary. They see only a baby with his father and his mother.