Monday, September 18, 2017


XXV SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME     -  SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
ü  Two Sundays ago we were invited to love our brothers and sisters caring for them and advising them with love.  
ü  Last Sunday the Gospel of the XXIV Sunday Jesus told us to forgive seventy times seven if someone sins against us. 
ü  Today the parable of the owner of the vineyard and the workers is another way to invite us to love without expecting anything like the Father who loves us unconditionally.   

FIRST READING   Is 55:6-9
o   Today’s Reading is taken from the Second Isaiah called also Deutero-Isaiah and Book of Consolation. 
o   It is of an exceptional beauty whose words give comfort to the heart.   
o   Seek the Lord while you may find him, while he allows himself to be found.  
o   This is an image of a father or a mother who plays with her young child; image also of the lover who seeks his or her love, and also allows the loved one to find him or her.    
o   After that there is an invitation to abandon evil, to change, to go back to the Lord who is generous in forgiveness.    
o   And here the prophet, the voice of God, says words that he has heard from God: my thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are high above your ways. 
o   My thoughts are generous no mean like yours.  
o   The Lord is all mercy, forgiveness, compassion and tender love. 
o   His thoughts do not judge us negatively, but only to save us. On the contrary we judge others to condemn with our tongue without mercy in our heart and,  without even realizing who we really are.  

 RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 145:2-3; 8-9;17-18

THE LORD IS NEAR TO ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM
Every day will I bless you    
And I will praise your name forever and ever
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised
His greatness is unsearchable.
THE LORD IS NEAR TO ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM

The Lord is gracious and merciful
Sallow to anger and of great kindness
The Lord is good to all
And compassionate toward all his works
THE LORD IS NEAR TO ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM

The Lord is just in all his ways
And holy in all his works
The Lord is near to all who call upon him
To all who call upon him in truth
THE LORD IS NEAR TO ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM

*     This psalm sings the goodness of God
*     It is a fitting prayer response to the text of Isaiah where the prophet says how good is God toward all.    
*     Do we not feel the desire to be like him?   
*     So that with him we may work to transform this world of ours, and also our communities filling them with love and compassion.      

GOSPEL  Mt 20:1-16a
Ø  Chapter 19 ends with the sentence “the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” 
Ø  At the beginning of chapter 20 Matthew tells us this parable that Jesus told about the owner of the vineyard.  
Ø  This parable tells us what the kingdom of God is all about.  
Ø  It is like a land owner who has a vineyard and needs workers who can work in it, who will be willing to pick up the grapes that probably are already ready.  
Ø  This image of men waiting for someone to give them work,  was something that Jesus had seen many times .  
Ø  Still today in many places people who need to work and people who need workers meet at certain points of the towns.     
Ø  According to the parable the owner goes out very early in the morning, and then many more times until 5 in the afternoon and to all he says the same I will pay you what is just.   
Ø  He continues to go out, but the Lord does not tell us if this is because he needs so many workers or because he wants to give work to everyone.  
Ø  No one has hired you? No one. Go to my vineyard and I will pay what is just.    
Ø  All go, some work all day long, some work some hours and the last work only one hour.  
Ø  The great surprise comes at the end, when the owner says to his steward, start paying the last first and continue until you have paid all. Give to each one the usual daily wage.  
Ø  What is this? What an injustice! Some have worked more than 12 hours and the last only one hour… 
Ø  My friend, if I want to be good, am I not free to give to this one the same as to you? I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?   
Ø  Why is this way of retribution just?    
o   This is what they had agreed   
o   But if we now look at our life, at our relationship with the Lord, what is this parable telling us?
§  The call, the mission and the recompense in the eternal life is complete gratuitous and it depends only on the loving will of God.  
§  God loves us all equally; he creates all and redeems us all with the same love.  .
§  I say creates and redeems because creation and redemption are ongoing realities.   
§  The reward, the wage is God himself, and God cannot be divided in different parts, the salary is such that it is only one which is eternal life.
§   The extra salary or reward for those who have worked all day long is the possibility to work a longer time, happy and blessed those who have been able to work for the Lord since their childhood.  
§  The salary does not depend on us, because we are not entitled to any reward, but it depends on the loving disposition of our God.   
§  When you have done all you had to do, say we are useless servants, and we have done only what we were supposed to do.  
§  Do you think that the owner of the house will praise the servant who has done what he was told to do?   
o   For me this is the most interesting parable among the parables that the Lord has told us. Our human categories, our human justice, our own calculations are excluded in the parable.     
o   My thoughts and my ways are far from yours. I think and act in a very different way than you, but you need to learn from me.   

SECOND READING    Phil  1:20c-24,27a
Ø  The community of Philippi was the most cherished community by Paul, and Paul was loved very much by the community.   
Ø  This letter belongs to the group of letters called “captivity letters” because they were written in prison.    
Ø  Paul was in prison twice thus it is difficult to date this letter. The date will be between the years 50-60.    
Ø  It is a short letter, filled with love. It is addressed to the first community that Paul evangelized; maybe this can explain his preference for them.  
Ø  The contents:
o   A theological jewel: the Christological Hymn  
o   Some autobiographical notes   
o   The church organization:  bishops and deacons   
o   The teaching of Paul about the encounter of the believer with Christ after death.    
o   The financial cooperation of this community to help Paul.

Let us see the contents of today’s Reading
v Christ will be glorified either by my life or by my death   
v Because my life is Christ, and I consider death as gain
v Paul does not know what to choose, to continue to live in this world to serve the community, or to die and go  with the Lord forever. He says that his heart is divided between these two wishes.  
v O that our love be like his! and we might experience this inner fight, between being with the Lord in heaven or remain with our brothers and sisters to serve them.   
v Today’s reading ends with an exhortation to behave in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ.   
v This invitation is not only to the community of Philippi, but also to us, to our community.  

 CLARETIAN CORNER
In this petition which, later I understood, was very much to the liking of His Divine Majesty, because it was done with much simplicity and good will, our Lord has deigned to teach me with much pleasure how He would like to be served by this ungrateful creature, it was in this how He set before my eyes the observance of His most Holy Law and evangelical counsels, and told me to observe them with much perfection; he told me with intense sorrow that He had no body in Hid house to observe  them, for the great extent that all the religious orders had gone lax in the observance of His most Holy Law and because of this He permitted with grief, their destruction.

I was shocked at this because I had always believed that all persons who profess perfection served God faithfully and for this I wanted to be a religious. Here, once more our Lord put, as of what I can understand, before the eyes of my soul, because with my bodily eyes I did not see anything, His most Holy Law and Evangelical Counsel. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 3-4.

I was christened Anthony Adjutor John. My mother's brother, Anthony Clara, was my godfather, and he wanted me to be named after him. My father's sister, Mary Claret, was my godmother. She was married to Adjutor Canudas, so they gave me her husband's Christian name. My third name, John, was my father's name. Later, out of devotion to Mary Most Holy, I added the sweet name of Mary, my mother, my patroness, my mistress, my directress and my all, after Jesus. Thus my name is Anthony Mary Adjutor John Claret y Clara.
I was one of eleven children, whom I shall list in order, giving the year of their birth:
      1.  My sister Rose, born in 1800. Formerly married, she is now a widow. She has always been hard-working, upright, and pious. She is the one who has loved me the most.
      2. My sister Marian was born in 1802 and died when she was two years old.
      3.  My brother John (1804) was heir to all our goods.
      4. My brother Bartholomew (1806) died when he was two years old.
      5. Myself (1807 or 1808).
      6. One sister (1809) died shortly after birth.
      7. My brother Joseph (1810) married and had two daughters who became Sisters of Charity or Tertiaries.
      8. My brother Peter (1813) died when he was four years old.
      9.  My sister Mary (1815) became a Tertiary Sister.
      10.  My sister Frances (1820) died when she was three years old.
      11. My brother Manuel (1823) died when he was thirteen years old, after studying humanities in Vich. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 5-6.

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

CLARET, Anthony Mary Claret, Autobiography.

PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography

STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo)  2007

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.     

Thursday, September 14, 2017


XXIV SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME   -CICLE A – SEPTEMBER 17, 2017
ü  Last Sunday we were invited to correct one another in  love and to pray together 
ü  The central theme of this Sunday’s liturgy is the fraternal love under the aspect of forgiveness. Forgiveness that we are called to share among ourselves, like the Father forgives us in Christ Jesus who has died for all of us without exception.  
ü  Paul says that none of us lives for himself and that we belong to the Lord.  

FIRST READING   Sir 27:30—28:7
Ø  Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.
Ø  The author invites us to forgive and thus when we pray we will be Heard.  
Ø  How can we expect to be forgiven if we do not forgive?  
Ø  What do I answer to this question?  
Ø  If we harbor wrath in our heart , who will be able to forgive us? Because when our heart is filled with wrath there is no more room to anything else, thus we are unable to accept the light of God, to hear his voice that invites us to forgive, to love.  
Ø  El autor invites us to think about our last moments,  are we going to be at peace with that wrath in our heart when we face our Creator and Redeemer?
Ø   Jesus has invited or called us to love another as He has loved us.
Ø  The reading ends saying: Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor; remember the Most High's covenant. In so doing we will be happy  

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R
. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion.
GOSPEL Mt 18:21-35

Ø  We continue Reading the chapter we began last week, chapter in which Matthew speaks to the community about the requirements of being a community.  
Ø  The Gospel was written for a given community, with its own needs and shortcomings.
Ø  The community of Matthew needed to forgive those who persecuted them, those who killed their loved ones…   
Ø   And the evangelist tell them what Jesus had told Peter long time before: Peter you have to forgive always, without getting tired of forgiving.
Ø   And to help us to understand the evangelist tells us one of the parables of Jesus on forgiveness and on the lack of forgiveness.  
Ø  For us to forgive is very difficult,  because the offense is an attack on our own being, thus is like being deprived of our life.
Ø  But Jesus who has died for us who has offended him more than anyone can offend us asks us to forgive as He did.
Ø  I think that if we learn the lesson on forgiveness we will experience such happiness that we will never want to go back.
Ø  Lord transform our heart and make it like yours.

SECOND READING:  Rom 14:7-9
ü  God invites his community to understand and accept one another, especially those weaker in their faith, 
ü  And Paul says very comforting words: 
o   None of us lives or dies for oneself.   
o   But we live and die for the Lord.  
o   Because he has rescued us and in life and in death we belong to Him.  

ü  Do I trully believe that I belong to the Lord? And if there is any doubt in our heart let us ask the Lord to change our heart and make is like his.
ü  In our prayer let us meditate and ask ourselves : from what has the Lord recued me?  
  CLARETIAN CORNER 
Year 1842, one night while I was at prayer pleading to Christ crucified to remedy the necessities of
the church, which in that time were many, that had cost him so much, I offered him my life in sacrifice as I have done before many times, well aware that my life was not of much value to sacrifice for so many evils, but as I had no virtues to offer him, I begged him to deign to teach me what should I do in order to give him pleasure and glory accomplishing his most holy will. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters.  Autobiography 2.
I was born in the village of Sallent, deanery of Manresa, diocese of Vich, province of Barcelona.
 My parents, whose names were John Claret and Josephine Clara,  were married, upright, and God-fearing people, very devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and Mary Most Holy.
I was baptized in St. Mary's Parish, Sallent, on December 25, Christmas Day, 1807, although the parish books say 1808. The reason for this is that they counted the year as beginning on December 25, and so it is that mine is the first entry in the books for the year 1808. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,    Autobiography 3-4.


BIBLIOGRAFÍA


CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.

PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía

STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo)  2007

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.     

Thursday, August 17, 2017


XX SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME   - CYCLE A – AUGUST  20, 2017

ü  The first reading and the Gospel today speak of the universality of salvation, of the love of the Father God toward all his creatures, no matter what nationality, language, culture, religion o lack of religion.    

ü  And Paul in the second reading, taken from the letter to the Romans, speaks about the fidelity of God to his promises.   

FIRST READING   Is 56: 1.6-7

Ø  Chapter 55 at the end of the book of the Second Isaiah or Deutero-Isaiah, also called the Book of Consolation, speaks to us of listening to the Word of God.          

Ø  The book of the Third Isaiah is a call to put in practice the word we have heard.  

Ø  It is a call to practice justice and equity.

Ø  God will treat in the same way those who belong to the people of Israel, the people of the election, as well as those belonging to the gentiles, if both practice justice, that is to say if both allow God to be part of  their lives.   

Ø  The Lord will lead them to his holy mountain, Jerusalem.    

Ø  Here, in his Temple the Lord will fill them with joy.    

Ø  He will accept his/her sacrifices and offerings.     

Ø  Because the House of the Lord is a house of prayer, a house for the loving conversation of the human being with his/her Father, God.    

Ø  Thus it will be called and known by all peoples   

Ø  Later, Jesus will remind the people in the temple that “the house of my Father is a house of prayer…”  

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps  67:  2-3. 5. 6. 8

O GOD, LET ALL THE NATIONS PRAISE YOU!

May God have pity on us and bless us;

May he let his face shine upon us

So may your way be known upon earth

Among all nations, your salvation.

O GOD, LET ALL THE NATIONS PRAISE YOU!

May the nations be glad and exult

Because you rule the peoples in equity

The nations on the earth you guide.

O GOD, LET ALL THE NATIONS PRAISE YOU!

May the peoples praise you, O God

May all the peoples praise you!

May God bless us

And may all the ends of the earth fear him!

O GOD, LET ALL THE NATIONS PRAISE YOU!

Ø  This psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving made of three stanzas separated by a refrain. 

Ø  It is an invitation to all peoples to praise and give thanks to God, to sing his wonderful works for all of us.    

GOSPEL  Mt 15:21-28

v Jesus has withdrawn to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  

o   These two cities were famous in the Ancient Middle East. 

o   Their names are also mentioned in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. 

o   They are about 12 or 13 miles apart from each other.  

o   They belong to Lebanon and are situated close to the Israel’s border.  

o   Sidon is called now Saida,  Arabic  word which means “fishing”. 

o   Tyre is called in Arabic language “rock” because it is built on a rocky isle in the Mediterranean Sea.     

v Maybe the Lord has gone to this region seeking some peace and rest.   

v But here his Father is going to speak to him through the mouth of a pagan woman.  

v In this episode, which Matthew has transmitted, we see Jesus as always attentive to what his Father wants to tell him in his interaction with every human being he encounters in his life journey.    

v Jesus says to his disciples, and also to the woman, although in a very strange way, that he has been sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, this is the will of his Father.   

v The gentiles are not included in his mission.  

v The woman is a desperate mother, she does not know what to do, where to go or who to ask for help, her daughter is very ill.   

o   We do not know anything about this woman, only that she is a Canaanite, this is the only thing we need to understand this episode. 

o   Besides being a Canaanite, we are told that she has a daughter who is sick and tormented by an evil spirit; therefore we understand that she is a mother in great need of help.  

o   We do not know if this demon is some of the consequences of her illness, by that time sickness was very often considered as diabolic possession.  

v This woman must have heard about Jesus, about his powers to cure, his goodness and compassion, his unconditional help.  

v And she walks behind Jesus and the disciples shouting and asking for help “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me!”   

v What a beautiful prayer full of trust and humility! Trust in the goodness of Jesus, humility because she asks for help, she acknowledges her poverty and helplessness.   

v Every time I read this Gospel two things call my attention in a especial way:  

o   First the reaction of the disciples which is very much like the reaction they had before the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Do something to get rid of this problem! 

o   Second the words of Jesus, he has been sent… the bread of the children is not given to the dogs.  

o   Certainly dogs may mean pagan or gentile as it was customary to call them.  

v But looking more deeply into the meaning of the text and trying to find the message we are surprised of what has happened here:  

o   Jesus is honestly convinced of what he says and wants to be faithful to the will of his Father.  

o   The woman does not get angry at Jesus’ answer.  

o   She acknowledges that it is true what Jesus says about the children of the house and the doggies, but she also knows that the doggies, the puppies eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table.  

o   You may translate these words as follows: it is true my Lord that we, pagans, are the dogs, but the puppies receive the scraps, what is leftover by the children, which are you the people of Israel. 

o   Briefly, you can also help us, even having been sent to seek those who are lost of the house of Israel, the children of the household.  

o   Jesus becomes surprised by the faith of this pagan woman, and says to her “O woman, great is your faith!” “Be it done for you as you wish.” Here again Jesus is surprised by the faith of someone pagan, as it happened to him when the Roman centurion approached him.    

o   The Gospel ends with these words “and the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.  

v What has happened to Jesus?  

o   Many scholars see in that episode that Jesus, although being faithful to what he understands to be the will of his Father over his mission, he is open to whatever the Father wants to reveal to him.  

o   I think that what has happened here is very much like what had happened at the Wedding at Cana. The words of Mary helped Jesus to discover the will of his Father in that situation. At the beginning he did not planned to do anything because his hour had not come yet.   

o   But in both cases, he is open and attentive to his Father. Jesus is humble, as I have read in one of the commentaries to this reading.  

o   I believe that this episode is a strong call to all of us and to the whole Church as a faith community, the Lord speaks to us through the events, many times contrary, and also through any human being, believer or not, walking on the right track or not, on our side or against us. 

o   Because Jesus has not come to do his will but the will of the one who has sent him. We should also repeat over and over again, we have been sent to do the will of the Lord Jesus who has sent us, and we have not been sent to do our own will. 

SECOND READING   Rom 11:13-15.29-32

*     In last Sunday’s Reading Paul said to us that he was suffering for his own people, that if he could he would be willing to be separated from Christ for the sake of his people. 

*     Today he speaks to the gentiles and tells them how proud he is to be their apostle.   

*     And he adds that he glories in his ministry in order to make jealous his own people. 

*     Because if their rejection of the message has brought about the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be?  

*     And he continues as if reflecting aloud, the gifts of God are irrevocable, because our negative responses do not make God change his will over us.    

*     This is cause for a great confidence for all of us, the Lord who calls us, continues to call us to life, to his friendship, to mission, to faith, and he waits for us until we decide to come back after moving away from him.

CLARETIAN CORNER


I humbly  turn to Your Beatitude in supplication that, you may grant me the faculty to admit to the profession some of the mentioned virgins, once their novitiate be approved by Your Holiness.  Thus this so useful Institute will have its beginnings in this region, and thus his spirit, to serve God and to help their neighbors, will be spread very quickly. The new religious house will have the same name as it had in Tarragona and, it will substantially fulfill the same rule of St. Benedict.  

 
However, I considered necessary to do verbally, as I have already mentioned, some adaptations   responding to the circumstances, time and climate. Because fearing to fall into error, I entrusted this business to the All Powerful before putting in writing such modifications.  What will be established later is now kept in practice.  
   Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Petition to Pius IX   November 20  1854. 

 In view of the good effects produced by the exact observance of our Constitutions, which with great pleasure of our heart we are fulfilling for 24 years, I have the honor to present to Your Holiness a copy of them,  humbly and instantly asking Your Holiness, that as you deigned so benignantly give the Document for the foundation, in the same way, may you deign to put to our Constitutions the seal of your approval.   

Carcagente, November 4 1875.Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Leter to Pope Pius IX, November  4  1875.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Letters

PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012

PARIS, María Antonia, Letters

STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo)  2007