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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. 

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Jesus the God with us

How the birth of Jesus happened begins today’s gospel’s passage.

Matthew emphasises the intervention of the Spirit from the beginning of his story to avoid a misunderstanding that Jesus may have been generated through the intervention of a man.

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Invited to conversion

Educated by the prophets, Israel had been waiting for the saviour for centuries. But when he came, even the more spiritually prepared and well-disposed struggled to recognise and to welcome him. The Baptist also remained indecisive.

In the first part of today’s gospel we see that John is imprisoned. Not getting news about exciting interventions from Jesus, the Baptist’s faith begins to waver. 

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Purging evil from within

Every year on the second Sunday of Advent, the liturgy offers us the preaching of John the Baptist, who prepared the people of Israel for the coming of the Messiah.

Today, as then, the most difficult step to accomplish is understanding that it is a must to get out of the land where we are settled and move away from false theological security that we construct so we can welcome the newness of God’s word.