Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Losing to win

Then he said to all: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily  and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”  Lk 9,23-25

By the last Sunday we held a party in a restaurant, to celebrate the seventy years of my father. We organized it without informing him, with the complicity of my mother and Sergio and Renata, their very dear friends. They pretended to invite them to an intimate lunch, only for the four of them, and instead, when my father entered the restaurant, he found a room full of sons, daughters, daughters in law, sons in law, with the grandchildren all lined up in the first row. He was speechless, happy and deeply moved at the same time.What a party! What a fun!  Amid jokes, songs, pictures and children running around, we read this humorous poem written by Gianmario, the family poet:

Seventy gives me so much
Dear father, dear grandfather,
you who live in Saronno
where certainly remark that there is no shortage of grandchildren.
Of course, do not be surprised
that, with all these children,
as the result here there is
such number of the dynasty people.
By the Sunday we have difficulty
to be less then thirty people.
On days like this
the Sunday is an holiday,
although at two o’clock you get sleepy in front of our eyes.

But we know that you raise up at three o’clock,
at which time the adrenaline
pumps up for the Fiorentina soccer team.
So today we are going
at last to your party:
we celebrate that by these years
you have not done too much of a damage.
We celebrate and give thanks
to the good God, because we have you
sharp and always on a diet
from the morning religious praises to the last evening prayers.

We know that since a long time
you think that the  “by the middle
of the journey of our life”
expression is too bold.
Do not let us as being loosers: in any case, it can be three fifths ……
And if you do some quick counting, you can
cry with one only eye .…
Let the party go ahead:
best wishes and much Chianti!

When we asked him to say a few words to drink a toast he, as usual, chosed to say the our Father prayer, all together, holding our hands. The today’s gospel tells us of the life which has been given to us: it is an exhortation that hovers over the whole story of the salvation. It’s the life which is reborn in those who choose to lose it for the Lord, “Who wants to save his life will lose it, but who loses his life for my sake will save it”.

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