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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.

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A judgment that saves

The language used in the gospel passage today can lead to extravagant interpretations (or even rants) on the end of the world and the punishment of God. It can also be reduced to the invitation to be always ready, because death can take us unprepared.

These interpretations stem from a lack of understanding of the apocalyptic literary genre that was widely used at the time of Jesus, but that is alien to our mentality and culture.

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Christ the King - A cross for a throne

The Israelites were expecting a great, rich, strong and eternal king, who would decimate the enemies of Israel. Our gospel reading for today presents a response to these expectations.

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Have courage and lift up your head!

Luke wrote his gospel around the year 85AD. In the fifty years that had passed since the death and resurrection of Jesus, tremendous events occurred. There were wars, political revolutions, catastrophes and the temple of Jerusalem was destroyed.

Christians became victims of injustices and persecutions. How to explain these dramatic events?

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We live only one eternal life

The first reading speaks of seven brothers. They had an imperfect concept of the resurrection. They imagined it as an extension of the life of this world, nothing more. 

The Pharisees, who firmly professed faith in the resurrection of the dead, continued to interpret it in a rather crude way.