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Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent

The power of the prayer

[John] sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” When the men came to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'” At that time he cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits; he also granted sight to many who were blind. And he said to them in reply, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the good news proclaimed to them. And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.” Lk 7,19-23

The faith needs to be confirmed. It is a very delicate reality, like the flowers of the tuscan countryside which,  when being children, we were used to call fumaroles. We  were picking these and…a breath was enough to remain with the bare stem in the hand. In the today’s gospel, John the Baptist also needs to be confirmed in the faith, so much so that he sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he really was the Messiah. Jesus does not respond by argumentations, but by the signs: he makes the blinds to see, the lames to walk and the dumbs to speak. Even for us today, the miracles are bricks by which we construct the building of our faith. At the beginning the bricks are few, but, over the years, they rise quickly, because our eye becomes more expert in understanding the succession of the miracles in the everyday life. At the end we realize that the entire life is a miracle. Almost always we do not even have to make the request: it is the Providence itself which comes to us in many forms which are the real answer to the love of God: the work, the daily bread, a person who advises us at the right time. Sometimes the situations of the day fit together so well to make us thinking  that everything is Providence and that the Lord is willing to arrange the things so that our faith finds continuous correspondence in the events. One day I was in Tunisia together with three colleagues. At sunset we were crossing the salt desert, from which the sun was sending the  last rays of the day. At some point one of my traveling companions proposed to reach in hurry the city of Tunis to spend the evening at a famous night club where – he said – the ladies were expecially available. I did not agree with the program, but my disagreement in no way would have dampened their intentions; so I started to silently pray the Lord to take me away from that embarassment. After a few kilometers, one puff and a tire deflated. We go down, we replace the punctured tire with the spare one and we start again. We go for a few more kilometers and again…a second puff and the second tire deflated. We spent the night in the salt desert, waiting for a rescue which came by the early morning.

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