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Allocution February 18, 2024

 

(Song)

18

(Gospel)

The Holy Spirit pushed Jesus into the desert. For the book of Exodus, the desert is something transitory, passing, provisional. Human life is like this: it has limits and we cannot take anything material with us after death. The Spirit in the desert makes this fleeting reality present in Jesus and then Jesus himself teaches it to us.

The book of Exodus also tells us that the desert is the home of the devil and he loves to invite us to leave God and his teaching aside.

The devil invites us to deny God, break up marriages, abandon children and elderly parents, and use violence, forgetting that we are brothers. Every time we are tempted, we are in the desert, the same place where Jesus conquered temptations. Temptation is neither good nor bad. It just says who I am. That is why we pray: “Do not lead us into temptation.”

The desert is an experience of God. Without noise, without silly conversations, without anything, we can experience who the merciful Daddy God is, who walks by our side and speaks to us in silence. It is good to have, during the day, long moments of silence to be able to hear the voice of God, who speaks many times in the silence.

The desert is a place of trust. This is indicated many times in the book of Exodus. In the desert, when people who left us are missing and we do not have abundant material goods, we can only trust in the Lord.

In pain, betrayal, disappointment only when all the doors are closed, we can only trust in the Lord.

The desert is the place of trust.

When we do not see, we must walk in the hope that God fulfills what he promises.

We walk by faith, not by sight.

Those who make pilgrimages on foot, like those who go to El Cobre, carry the minimum amount of luggage because luggage is heavy and slows down the journey. Trusting in God we walk only with the necessary material goods and to share them.

A tourist visited a Hindu teacher and upon entering the room the tourist noticed that the teacher did not have seats.

The tourist asked: Don’t you have seats?

The teacher said: Neither do you.

But the tourist responded: But I’m traveling.

The teacher replied: I am also on a trip.

We are all on a journey towards eternal life. Unnecessary material goods can prevent us from walking lightly in love, peace and harmony.

To try to live better these forty days of Lent, which lead us to Holy Week, reading the book of Exodus enlightens us. Some call the book of Exodus the gospel of the Old Testament.

The Exodus develops two main themes: the departure of God’s people leaving the slavery of Egypt and God’s Covenant with his people on Mount Sinai.

There is a third theme: the march through the desert. Moses, who has received the revelation of God’s name, Yahweh, leads the Israelites freed from slavery. God, in an impressive theophanic manifestation, makes an alliance with his people and dictates his laws. The pact, barely sealed, is broken by the worship of the golden calf but God forgives and renews the Covenant.

There are 40 chapters in the book of Exodus. Chapter by day we advance in the reading, meditation and prayer to which the Exodus invites us.

(Song)

Saint John Chrysostom tells us about temptation.

Temptation is useful, first so that you realize that now you are stronger.

Second: so that you have moderation and humility and do not become conceited about the gifts received.

Third: the malice of the devil, who perhaps doubts whether you have really abandoned him and through temptations can have complete certainty that you have definitively separated from him.

Fourth: Temptations make you stronger than iron, better tempered.

Fifth: they give you the best proof of how precious the treasures that have been entrusted to you are because if the devil did not see that you are now constituted in the highest honor of virtue, he would not have attacked you.

Never fear temptation if you have very strong virtue, because temptation does not harm but rather produces patience.

Fire does not harm gold, nor tribulation harms a generous soul, but both are purified.

Where alms are given, the devil does not dare to penetrate.

(Song)

A rich man who liked flowers one day wanted to plant a garden in front of his mansion, and to do so he selected the best seeds of the most beautiful flowers.

He prepared the soil, sowed the seeds and, a few months later, the beautiful, colorful specimens began to sprout. But unfortunately, a weed that was quite common in the region had also taken root among the flowers.

Not knowing what to do, the man hired the services of several gardeners, but none of them were able to solve the problem.

Desperate, he sent for the oldest gardener in those lands. After asking him a few questions, the king’s gardener began to look at the garden.

A few moments later, he looked at the knight and said:

-It would be good for your honor to start by convincing yourself that you will always find some weeds among the best plants.

In Lent we remove the weeds from our thoughts, from our affections, from our hearts and we place, in the place of the weeds, the beautiful seeds of virtue, thus we will live a beautiful Lent.

(Song)

Let us turn to Our Redeemer who grants us these days of forgiveness, and blessing Him, let us sing:

Mercy Lord, for your goodness..

-Christ, our life, You who through baptism have buried us with you in death, so that with you we may also rise again, grant us to walk today in a new life.

Mercy Lord, for your goodness..

-Lord Jesus, you who passed through the world doing good, make us also be attentive to the good of those around us.

Mercy Lord, for your goodness..

-Help us Lord to work together in the construction of family happiness, without ever forgetting your eternal Kingdom of heaven, the path towards which we are going.

Mercy Lord, for your goodness..

-You Lord, who are doctor of bodies and souls, heal the ailments of our spirit so that we grow every day in holiness.

Mercy Lord, for your goodness..

Our father…

God save you, Mary…

And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, descend upon you, upon your families, upon those who have made this radio broadcast possible, and this blessing remain forever. Amen.

(Song)

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