An Omer of love for the neighbor
Just after Easter, I received a gift of a “barley omer” from Yisca Harani, a Jewish woman who is much more than an ordinary tour guide. She specializes in Christianity and gives seminars and lectures as well as being a university level researcher.
For anyone interested in Israel and Christianity I recommend following her website (https://www.yiscaharani.com/en) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/YiscaHaraniInfo). Her Jewish perspective in explaining Christianity is always incredibly enriching.
Yisca, with a group of participants in one of her very popular seminars, came to visit me and offering me a barley omer, she made a surprising and courageous gesture towards me, let’s see why.
The omer (“sheaf”) is an ancient biblical volumetric measurement of grains. On the day following the Sabbath during Passover – on the second day of Passover (Feast of Unleavened Bread) an omer of barley was offered at the Temple in Jerusalem.
“Speak to the children of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you and reap its harvest, you shall bring the sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest, and he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, so that you may be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. And on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb a year old without blemish as a burnt offering to the LORD”. (Leviticus 23)
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Your Love Will Keep Me Strong
Songwriting is certainly an art and something fascinating that I have recently discovered.
Music is a gift from God through which we can reach others by touching very deep “chords”. All of us have listened to the songs we love dozens of times – and perhaps for years and years – because music reaches deep down, reaches the spirit.
The song “Your Love will keep me strong” was born in collaboration with two of my friends, Ann Ammar and Marianne Eichhorn.
Download the HD version for free (click on the small arrow below):
On the following link you find the song on Spotify, you can add it to one of your playlists
The song is released in many other online stores as Apple Music, I-Tunes, Google play, Amazon, and Bandcamp
In collaborations we are able to achieve something different than writing alone. The presence of others with their input and advice determines a unique result that we would never have been able to achieve on our own. The song is entirely produced and sung by me at my hermitage in the small home studio I put up. The video shows original images from the Sea of Galilee.
It was a rewarding experience that cemented our friendship, and now I hope the result says something beautiful to you as well.
The song is about God’s faithful love, which keeps us in the different seasons of life.
His Love will always “keep us strong” no matter what happens!!!
I attach also my social accounts where I post usually the same stuff I post on the blog
Storm at the Sea of Galilee
On Ash Wednesday I went to Capernaum. In the video you see the dock of this town of fishermen, home of the Apostles John, James and Matthew (Peter and Andrew, as probably Philip, had also moved there from their earlier home of Bethsaida). Jesus, at the beginning of his public ministry, moved from Nazareth into Peter’s home in Capernaum, where so many episodes reported in the Gospels took place.
Today you can visit the ruins of this ancient Jewish city, the Synagogue where our Lord preached and a Church built on the house of Peter, where Jesus was living. The present-day pier on which I walk is built on top of the authentic pier of Jesus’ time, which forms its foundation.
Such a storm was certainly enough to get the boats of the time into trouble, as evidenced by the Gospels which tell of the famous storms on the lake, miraculously calmed by Jesus.
I hope the shower was good for my cleansing and even if it wasn’t I had a lot of fun!!!
I attach also my social accounts where I post usually the same stuff I post on the blog
Christmas is first and foremost the feast of goodness.
This year has been hard for everyone, and this is no time for homilies. Often we just need to understand that God is good and accepts us as we are.
Don’t buy, no to the consumerist Christmas, don’t spend, do this and that to please Jesus….
I think that God is happy if we buy, if we give each other presents, if we exaggerate a little… and even if in the end we do almost nothing of what he has taught us.
God is happy all the same because he is good.
This is the fundamental message of Christmas:
God is far more good than we ever dared to hope for
Merry Christmas to all !!!
The Parable of the Talents
It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ [Then] the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant![k] So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Mt 25: 14-30
I am on the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus taught many parables, but the parable of the talents was taught in Jerusalem. Jesus in fact looking at the holy city from the Mount of Olives explains to the disciples the events that precede the end of the world.
The Sign of the Son of Man
“”Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Mt 24
The miracle of water changed into wine happened by a woman, and even my meeting with Fr. Eamon Kelly, would not have happened without the intercession of a very dear friend.
In this time of Coronavirus, I received a visit to my hermitage from a Jewish friend.
Multiply Our Love
The lyric video:
Read below the story of this song.
Listen to the Soundcloud version in full HD, and download for free the HD version clicking on the arrow in the right corner:
On the following link you find the song on Spotify, you can add it to one of your playlists, there are also the links to many other online stores as Apple Music, I-Tunes, Google play, Amazon, and Bandcamp. The song is free, except in some online stores where I could not choose otherwise.
In the spring of 2019, I had the grace of living in the holy place of the multiplication of loaves and fishes in Tabgha, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Commentary on the Our Father
By becoming a teacher of prayer and a model of humility, Jesus taught us and prayed this prayer himself
Our Father who art in heaven
Jesus invites us to turn to God as a Father. God is not distant, but he takes care of us as a Father and wants a loving and trusting relationship from us, not detached, just like a father to his child.
The Father is not mine alone, but ours. In praying Jesus wants us to grow in the awareness of being brothers, children of a unique Father and in mutual love. For the same reason the questions of the Our Father are in the plural and not in the singular “give us our bread” “forgive us” … in this way we realize that the profit or harm of any other brother is also ours and we take to heart the fate of our brothers and sisters.
The Father is also in heaven, that is, he is higher and incomparable to all that exists, this reminds us of divine transcendence.
Hallowed be thy Name
God and his person should be given the place and holiness that belongs to him in the world, the first. Animals sanctify him, Creation sanctifies him, but we men often rebel and do not accept the reality of God nor sanctify his Name and as soon as something goes wrong the men immediately take it out on the eternal Father. He is always and only love, he has never done any evil deeds, nor will he ever do it from the beginning of creation to the end of the world and for all eternity. Men rebel against divine decrees, are incapable of gratitude and do not see the many benefits they have received from God, but are afflicted by the scandal of evil. Instead of blessing God and his wonderful works, they naively curse and mock him and do not sanctify his name, without realizing that one day, by force or love, they will have to surrender and sanctify the divine Name, or be thrown into eternal torment together to demons.