Father Cantalamessa on Where Jesus Speaks
Pontifical Household Preacher Looks at This Sunday's Gospel
ROME, MARCH 11, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is the commentary by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household, on the Gospel passage for the upcoming Second Sunday of Lent.
* * *
2nd Sunday of Lent
(Genesis 22:1-2,9a,10-13,15-18; Romans 8:31b-34; Mark 9:2-10)
Listen to Him!
"This is my beloved Son; listen to him." With these words, God the Father gave Jesus Christ to humanity as its sole and definitive Teacher, superior to the laws and the prophets.
Where is Jesus speaking today, so that we can hear him? He speaks to us above all through our conscience. It is a sort of "repeater," set within us, of the very voice of God. But conscience is not enough on its own. It is easy to make it say what we like to hear.
Thus it needs to be illuminated and supported by the Gospel and the teaching of the Church. The Gospel is the place par excellence in which Jesus speaks to us today. But we know by experience that the words of the Gospel can also be interpreted in different ways.
It is the Church, instituted by Christ precisely for this end, which assures us of an authentic interpretation: "He who hears you hears me." Because of this it is important that we endeavor to know the doctrine of the Church, to know it firsthand, as she herself understands and proposes it, not in the interpretation -- often distorted and reductive -- of the media.
Almost as important as knowing where Jesus is speaking today is to know where he does not speak.
Needless to say, he does not speak through wizards, fortunetellers, necromancers, horoscope orators, alleged extraterrestrial messages; he does not speak in spiritualistic sessions, in occultism.
In Scripture, we read this warning in this regard: "Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortuneteller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord" (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
These were the pagans' typical ways of referring to the divine, who read the future by consulting the stars, or animals' entrails, or birds' flight. With that phrase of God -- "Listen to him!" -- all that came to an end. There is only one mediator between God and men; we are no longer obliged to move "blindly" to know the divine will, or to consult this or that source. In Christ we have all the answers.
Lamentably, today those pagan rites are again fashionable. As always, when true faith decreases, superstition increases. Let us take the most innocuous thing of all, the horoscope.
It can be said that there is no newspaper or radio station that does not offer daily its readers or hearers their horoscope. For mature persons, gifted with a minimum capacity for criticism and irony, it is no more than an innocuous joke, a kind of game or pastime.
Meanwhile, however, let us consider the long-term effects. What mentality is formed, especially in children and adolescents? A mentality according to which success in life does not depend on effort, diligence in studies and constancy in work, but of imponderable external factors; being able to acquire certain powers -- one's own or others' -- for one's own benefit.
Worse still: All this leads one to think that, in good and evil, the responsibility is not ours, but of the "stars," as Don Ferrante thought, of Manzonian memory.
I must allude to another realm in which Jesus does not speak and where, however, he is made to speak all the time: that of private revelations, heavenly messages, apparitions and voices of various kinds.
I do not say that Christ or the Virgin cannot also speak through these means. They have done so in the past and they can do so, of course, also today.
It is only that before taking for granted that it is Jesus or the Virgin, and not someone's sick imagination, or worse, of fraudsters who speculate with people's good faith, it is necessary to have guarantees.
In this area, it is necessary to wait for the judgment of the Church, and not precede it. Dante's words are still timely: "Christians, be firmer when you move: do not be like feathers in the wind."
St. John of the Cross said that ever since the Father said about Jesus on Tabor: "Listen to him!" God made himself, in a certain sense, dumb. He has said it all; he has nothing new to reveal.
Those who ask for new revelations or answers, offend him, as if he has yet to explain himself clearly. God continues to say to all the same word: "Listen to him, read the Gospel: You will find there, no more and no less, all that you seek."
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Cantalamessa, Jesus, Gospel, Lent
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Friday, February 23rd, 2018 HD Video
- St. Margaret of Cortona: Saint of the Day for Thursday, February 22, 2018
- America's pastor, Billy Graham passes away, age 99 HD Video
- 10 emotional prayers for healing and hope in a world of tragedy
- Daily Readings for Thursday, February 22, 2018
- Six great meatless soup recipes for Lent
- Lenten fish recipes: Economical and delicious!
- Daily Reading for Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 HD
- Cleaning products could be damaging to your health HD
- St. Patrick HD
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst season in years HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education