domenica 17 aprile 2011

Palm sunday

Today even in Cottolengo Mission Hospital we have celebrated a solemn mass where the patients, the boys of the centre, the staff, the brothers and sisters, many Christians from Chaaria have joined together to start the Holy Week.
The mass has started in the centre for the disabled with the blessing of the branches, the reading of the gospel and the procession up to the hospital. Then the celebration has continued in the laundry as usual.
We were very many and there was a very nice environment of prayer.
Palm Sunday is very dear to my spirituality and I want to offer you few insights which may be are a bit far from what you normally hear in the sermons of the priests.
First of all I think of today as a celebration of the courage of Jesus. He knew what was going to happen but he decided to enter Jerusalem anyway, in order to fulfill his mission and the will of God. This is the first teaching Jesus is giving me today: not to be afraid; not to be coward, but to go straight to the points we believe in, facing all the unavoidable consequences.
I have always liked the fact that Jesus has chosen to enter Jerusalem on a donkey.
He knew to be King; in fact he has not refused the acclamations of the people. But he has not chosen a horse to ride on as kings were doing. He has decided for a very humble and meek animal, in order to give us a lesson about humility. So the second message I get today is to be humble.
And then, when I look at those crowds chanting at him, I wonder what has happened to them just four days later. Today they put their clothes on the ground where Jesus is supposed to pass; they call Him king; they wave branches and sing “hosanna”; may be many of them have been healed or they have seen miracles.
What happens to them during the course of the following week?
Next Friday the same crowd gathers again shouting; but this time the words are different: no more “hosanna”, but “crucify him”.
I don’t want to go deep on the possible ways the mob has been bribed or corrupted, to turn against Christ. My meditation today is about the extreme unreliability of success, fame, good name and appreciation by people.
Fame lasts a minute… says a psalm.
The ancient Greek culture was depicting fortune and fame as a blind-folded goddess: and the meaning of this is very clear to me; good luck can be with you for a moment and disappear suddenly; bad luck can strike at any time without considering who you are, how good you are, or the wonderful things you have done. Fortune and fame are like unstable waters in which you can never swim peacefully, because they can turn against you without any notice.
Those are just few suggestions and emotions on the teaching of Jesus at the beginning of the last week of his life. I see him as a model of courage and determination to fulfill his mission, whatever the cost. I appreciate his renewed call to be humble: I really like this teaching because I believe that pride (together with jealousy) is the most destructing force fighting against the kingdom of God in our communities. And finally I want to learn the message of Jesus about fame: we are what we are in front of God, and what other people say about us adds or subtracts nothing to our real value. When we are praised or flattered, it is better not to take it into any consideration, because people can change, and the same ones praising us today are often the ones stubbing us on the back tomorrow.
Let us pray for one another in this Holy Week, and let us pray in a special way for the people who are sick in mind, body and soul, both here in Chaaria and wherever in the world.

Bro Beppe 

Nessun commento:

Chaaria è un sogno da realizzare giorno per giorno.

Un luogo in cui vorrei che tutti i poveri e gli ammalati venissero accolti e curati.

Vorrei poter fare di più per questa gente, che non ha nulla e soffre per malattie facilmente curabili, se solo ci fossero i mezzi.

Vorrei smetterla di dire “vai altrove, perché non possiamo curarti”.

Anche perché andare altrove, qui, vuol dire aggiungere altra fatica, altro sudore, altro dolore, per uomini, donne e bambini che hanno già camminato per giorni interi.

E poi, andare dove?

Gli ospedali pubblici hanno poche medicine, quelli privati sono troppo costosi.

Ecco perché penso, ostinatamente, che il nostro ospedale sia un segno di speranza per questa gente. Non ci sarà tutto, ma facciamo il possibile. Anzi, l’impossibile.

Quello che mi muove, che ci muove, è la carità verso l’altro, verso tutti. Nessuno escluso.

Gesù ci ha detto di essere presenti nel più piccolo e nel più diseredato.

Questo è quello che facciamo, ogni giorno.

Fratel Beppe Gaido

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