HOMILÍA - PARA LOS TRES CICLOS

  Comienzo de la CUARESMA

P. Félix Jiménez Tutor, escolapio ...

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  MIÉRCOLES DE CENIZA...

 EL TÚNEL DE LA CUARESMA

P. Félix Jiménez Tutor, escolapio

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 Escritura:

Joel 2, 12-18; 2 Corintios 5,20 – 6,2;
Mateo 6, 1, 1-6.16-18

Dígame su edad y le diré su visión de la Cuaresma.

Los Católicos de más de 50 años vivimos ayunos obligatorios, silencios impuestos, iglesias cubiertas de morado... y aún tenemos las cejas socarradas por el fuego del infierno de la Santa Misión.

Paisaje de museo que, contemplado con los ojos de hoy, se nos antoja estéril y cruel.

Los túneles modernos están muy iluminados y bien oxigenados. Y el túnel de la Cuaresma del 2006 pide a gritos nueva iluminación y completa oxigenación.

Ya Nietzsche acusaba a los cristianos de ser gente triste, tal vez, por no estar suficientemente redimida. Y algunos impíos de hoy prefieren, dicen, el infierno de los pecadores divertidos al cielo de los santos aburridos. Pero Jerry Clower, comediante cristiano, dice que está convencido de que el único lugar donde no hay risas es el infierno y ya ha hecho todos los arreglos para no ir a él.

Los católicos celebramos con alegría más piadosa que profunda la Navidad y la Pascua y cuando en la autopista de la vida aparece el túnel de la Cuaresma es como un jarro de agua fría que nos devuelve a la realidad: seriedad, ayunos, pecados, cita con la muerte... Para algunos, peor para ellos, todos los días del año son cuaresmales.

El túnel de la Cuaresma no es ni triste ni oscuro ni interminable. Iluminado por el foco poderoso y victorioso de la Pascua es alegre y ligero, es sereno y firme, atrás queda el fardo insufrible de la culpabilidad y la maldición.

Es tiempo bautismal. Los catecúmenos, adultos que se bautizarán la noche de Pascua, han revitalizado y reorientado este tiempo. Ellos, y con ellos la comunidad, vibran como guitarras tocadas por el Espíritu y, sin mirar atrás, sueñan con el nuevo nacimiento y la alegría de una vida nueva entregada a un nuevo Señor.

Tiempo bautismal para todos. No somos seres amenazados de muerte sino salvados. No hace falta despedir a don carnal, la Cuaresma es tiempo de reír. Debemos demostrar al mundo que no somos un montón de gente triste y que, como el rey Midas, todo lo que tocamos lo convertimos en alegría.

El Miércoles de Ceniza marca el kilómetro 0, la entrada en el túnel. Ceniza y "Recuerda que eres polvo" y feliz viaje.

Los de más de 50 años, curtidos por la adversidad y la austeridad, lo aceptan con resignación. Pero los hombres sin raíces, del aquí y ahora, del no a la trascendencia, los jóvenes del botellón... ¿cómo recordarles que el hombre es más que polvo, más que carne, más que un yo sin deudas con nadie?

Durante 40 días los cristianos, alegres y optimistas, viajamos por el túnel de la Cuaresma con el perfume de la sonrisa, la oración de la bendición, el ayuno de toda maldición y la limosna de la responsabilidad a la tierra. Y testigos del día más joven, la Pascua, podemos y debemos reír y estar alegres también en la Cuaresma.

A tiempos nuevos, ayunos nuevos.

Un día sin televisión, sin teléfono, sin bar, sin compras, sin riñas, sin tacos...

Un día con la Biblia, con donación de sangre, con el desconocido vecino, con la escucha del silencio, con un email a Dios@cielo.com, con una carta de gracias a su Obispo, a su párroco, a su suegra, a su enemigo... o simplemente fregando los platos.

Feliz Viaje.

 

HOMILÍA 2

LENT is our time. I find it hard to put up with myself, but it is much harder to put up with the people I live with.

Lent is our time. Lent is the acceptable time, forget my insolence, not only to put up with God, and his bizarre demands, but also to accept Him, to experience Him, and to discover that there is a room for me in his heart and in his Church.

Lent is the time to be reconciled with God, with my brothers and sisters and even with myself.

Lent, time to be in constant dialogue with God, my beginning and my end, and during this interim with men, and always with myself.

Today, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the new liturgical season. Once a year we celebrate our Lenten marathon, 40 days, 40 km. walk towards Easter, the finish line.

“No one has ever seen God” says John in his Gospel, but we see our brothers and sisters every day and Lent is an invitation to see them with new eyes, with the eyes of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, because if you cannot see them, it is still night.

An old rabbi once asked his pupils how they could tell when the night had ended and the day had begun.

“Could it be”, asked one of the students, “when you see an animal in the distance and can tell whether it’s a sheep or a dog? “No”, answered the rabbi. Another asked,”Is it when you can look at a tree in the distance and tell whether it’s a fig tree o a peach tree? “No” answered the rabbi. Then when is it? The pupils demanded. “It is when you look on the face of any man or woman and see that it is your sister or brother. Because if you cannot see this, it is still night”.

The christian writer Thomas Merton wrote, ‘our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether they are worthy or not’.

And “giving up being a jerk may be harder than giving up chocolate, but think of the difference it can make your life as well as the lives of others around you’. Mike Slaughter.

Every Ash Wednesday we proclaim the same Gospel, Matthew 6,1-18.

When this beautiful Gospel was written, the Jewish society was not only very religious, but people tried very hard to look religious, doing all the right things on the outside. Keeping up spiritual appearances was the main thing.

Today, WE live in the secular city, people do not make a big show of being religious.We are living in a new country where young adults are entirely ignorant of the teachings and practices of the historical christian faith. They are homeless, spiritually homeless. I hear so many people say,”I believe but I do not belong, I have put religion aside”.

Sometimes we see a man standing on a street corner with a Bible in his hand shouting like Jonah in the big city,”Repent”, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed”, and we think he is totally nuts.

Ash Wednesday is the narrow door that introduces us into the realm of holiness.

Jesus picked three things: giving, fasting, and prayer, three things that do not need to be displayed publicly to be effective, three things that are done best in private.

Private vs public; human reward vs G’s reward.

In our society nothing is private, we tend to advertise everything, the places we visit, the things we do, the books we read, the people we hang out with, and even our thoughts and fantasies, in facebook, twitter, instagram..

Why do people go public? Nobody likes to be forgotten.We are told that we are important in God’s eyes, and we believe it, and that we are always in his presence, but we want to be considered important and intelligent by men. They say that you do not exist if you are not in facebook. And we want to exist.

We know that God rewards his sons and daughters, but God’s reward comes only in the future, in a very distant future while men’s reward is instant like instant coffee, we enjoy it here and now. We want instant gratification, everything has to be instant.

Jesus tells us in today’s gospel, “when you pray, when you give, when you fast, Jesus does not say “if” you pray, if you fast, if you give, because this is something we have to do, it is a “must” in our christian life.

When we practised these three things, giving, fasting and prayer with joy and without boasting, there is no need to take them to the City Bank in heaven , then “your Father who sees what no man sees, will repay you”.

Real faith is not about outward differences but inward differences.

The encouragement to secrecy is a very specific demand. God is not in facebook, “you are with me,even though I was not with you”.

Invitation to pray. This is a great time to improve our prayer life.

We will also be called to fasting and self-denial. We learn to submit our bodies to our reason.

The motto of life is Give and Take. Everyone must be both a giver and a receiver. He who is not both is a dead tree.

Read and meditate the eternal Book, spend time with the Word to become better nourished.

“The earth may not be the most important planet, our eon may not be the only one. But in this world, in this eon, the Bible is the most enduring vessel of the spìrit”.

Practise solitude. Be alone with God. Do not be afraid of saying nothing, just listening.

The impòsition of ashes as we practise it is just a symbol to remind us what we are, very beautiful, but a handful of dust. We do not do it to go out and show how christian and pious we are. If you leave the church with the ashes on your forehead, go out as a witness to Christ, and if somebody asks you about you new decoration tell him about your gracious Christ.
 


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