Greetings from the director. Lent 2021

The Season of Lent again this year invites us to slow down our pace and to listen to God: this is the propitious time to carry out a revision of life necessary to fully welcome the mystery of the Resurrection.

We do this within the biblical scene of the Disciples of Emmaus which, as you know, marks the step of this Pastoral Year. In particular, diocesan attention in this Lenten season is focused on a verse relating to that episode: “He explained to them in all the Scriptures what referred to him” (Lk 24:27)

The scene is still in motion: the two are on the road to Emmaus, talking to each other and wondering about what happened to Jesus just two days earlier in Jerusalem. They can’t explain that unsuccessful ending: they are disappointed and confused. They do not even know how to interpret the news, given by some women of the community, which “shocked” them: the tomb is empty and someone advances the idea that Jesus may be alive.

The street, therefore, is the vital space of this scene; it is on the road that Jesus takes the Word and, through the Word, will help them to understand and overcome the limit of reason; it is along this path that – we will discover later – the hearts of the two disciples begin to “burn”, come back to life, are on fire with a passion that disappointment had extinguished. Mind (understanding) and Heart (emotion), Reason and Faith, find a synthesis in the Word that illuminates both.

As our Archbishop reminds us: «Refocusing on the Word of God is essential to illuminate the mystery of life, rediscover the reasons for hope and change the direction of the journey. We know well that for us contact with the Word is vital, but often this contact is limited to a superficial reading or to a more or less in-depth knowledge of the text itself, without feedback and relapses into existence. […] We need to recover the primacy of Sacred Scripture in our research and in our personal and community witness “. [1]

For this to happen profitably, it is essential to first recover the ability and the courage to ask ourselves profound questions, looking our fears and disappointments in the face, allowing ourselves the luxury of fragility. This Lent reminds us that – in this process – we are privileged. We who work in the service of Charity have the opportunity to confront each day with the frailties of the women and men of our time, which are often also our frailties.

The encounter with the suffering and the precariousness of the other questions us about our sufferings and our precariousness; he asks us questions about the existence of God and his way of taking care of humanity; it questions us about the distortions and injustices of the world and about our real capacity to love and share; it places us before our limitations and the need to believe in the One who alone is Almighty. And it is at this point that the Word of God becomes vital for the Christian: it is in it that we can hope to find Light and Comfort, because it opens wide the doors of the Infinite and helps us to re-read the present from God’s perspective.

Without this leap towards infinity – which the Word offers us – we risk getting stuck on unanswered questions. And if even in the comparison with Scripture it should not be clear, and even if not all questions were to be answered immediately … we would still have breathed the scent of God, we would have entered his eternal Time, we would have listened as disciples who admit of not knowing and having to wait for the Master to speak.

It would be nice if within our parish Caritas moments of common Reading and Meditation of the Word of God were experienced in this period that see – perhaps – the involvement of brothers and sisters who are going through a period of fragility: as “all brothers” before the Lord.

I wish all of us, dear friends and companions on the journey, a Lent full of profound questions and attentive listening to the Word.

Fraternally,

Caritas Diocesana Agrigento Director

Valerio Landri