Tuesday, August 23, 2016


XXII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – AUGUST 28, 2016



The theme of our celebration is humility, which is the same as truth and wisdom. We will listen to the words of  Ben Sirach in the first reading, and of Jesus, our teacher, in  the Gospel.  



THE BOOK OF  SIRACH OR ECCLESIASTICUS

·        It is a wisdom book which is part of the deuterocanonical books, the books of the second list.  These are the books that the people of Israel do not recognize as revealed by God, they were written in foreign lands in Greek, not in Hebrew. Our brothers and sisters from other Christian traditions do not acknowledge them either as part of the canonical books.  

·        For us in the Christian of Catholic tradition this book (Ecclesiasticus) is counted among the revealed books.  

·        It is part of the wisdom literature, so common in the Middle East.   

·        Contrary to what was believed the original book, was written npt written in Greek but in Hebrew by a man known as Simon son of Jesus, who was the grand- father of the man who translated the book into the Greek language. (see foreword of the Catholic Study Bible)

·        In chapter 51, the author Simon son of Jesus says that he has looked for wisdom with passion, and this is the wisdom he shares with the reader.   



FIRST READING Sir 3:17-18, 20-, 28-29

The author addresses someone as "my son" It can be his real son or it may also be the way an elder person speaks to a younger one. 

v  He gives the following counsels: 

ü  Humility, the reward of conducting oneself with humility will be the love of those who know him or her, they will love him more than they love those who make gifts.  

ü  If you are greater, humble yourself the more.  

ü  Avoid what is over your possibilities  

ü  a listening ear  gives joy to the wise.   

*      this listening is not of anything, not of gossips, not of novelties... 

*      in Scripture a listening ear means to be attentive to what God is saying to us through  the events of life, through other persons and through creation, it has the same meaning as obedience.       

*      The joy comes to us when we listen to God and obey him, even when we experience suffering because of that obedience, there is an inner peace.   

ü  The reading ends with the sentence " water quenches the fire, alms atone for  sin."  



RESPONSORIAL PSAL - Ps  68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11

GOD IN YOUR GOODNESS, YOU HAVE MADE A HOME FOR THE POOR.   

The just rejoice and exult before God;

they are glad and rejoice

Sing to God, chant praise to his name;

whose name is the Lord.  

GOD IN YOUR GOODNESS, YOU HAVE MADE A HOME FOR THE POOR.   

The father of orphans and the defender of widows

is God in his holy dwelling.

God gives a home to the forsaken;

he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.

GOD IN YOUR GOODNESS, YOU HAVE MADE A HOME FOR THE POOR.   

A bountiful rain you showered down, O God,

upon your inheritance

you restored the land when it languished;

your flock settled in it;

in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.

GOD IN YOUR GOODNESS, YOU HAVE MADE A HOME FOR THE POOR.   



GOSPEL - LUKE 14:1,7-14

Ø  Like the past Sundays, we hear Jesus teaching what is the Kingdom and how are we supposed to behave in the kingdom, which has already begun on earth. 

Ø  Luke tells us that Jesus recommended humility, as a way to behave in relationship with others.  

Ø  The first reading invited us to live a simple life without ambitions or looking for what goes beyond our capacities.   

Ø  Humility according to St. Therese of Avila, is the same as truth. 

Ø  The root of this word

o   is the Latin word humus which means dust of the earth.

o   We have been made from the same matter as the rest of creation.

o   It is the transforming love of God who has transformed our mud into light,

o   into divine life which he has given to us, and which he is willing to continue giving to all and everyone.  

Ø  Let us listen to the teaching of Jesus, what he tells us as he sees the guest at the wedding looking for the first seats, those who are closer to the married couple.  

Ø  Jesus says to us:  

·        If you go to a wedding banquet do not sit at the place of honor  

·        Why? Very simple, if these sits have been assigned to other people by the owner of the house, he will ask you to move back and give your sit to the person for whom it has been reserved. 

·        You will feel shame and will have to stand up and go to a lower place.  

·        But if you sit at the last place, then you will have the chance to move to a higher place.   

·        If we think higher of us than what we really are, we will suffer a lot of humiliations, but if we recognize who we are, simple and  lowly persons created and loved by God,  then the Lord will honor us.

·        After that parable Jesus says some words that always make us wonder, because we do not fully understand  what do  they mean.   

·        Do not invite those who can repay you... relatives, friends, important persons... What is wrong about inviting them to a dinner in our home? Does not friendship grow through those celebrations?   

·        Yes, but Jesus does not say that, he is simply saying that we should not take advantage of other people, inviting them to get something from them.

·        The list of guests he mentions is the image of those who cannot pay us back: lame, poor, blind... 

·        Blessed are you because they cannot repay you, it is the heavenly Father who will repay you on the last day, the day of the retribution because you have served your brothers and sisters in need.  



SECOND READING : Heb 12:18-19,22-24a

*      This passage of the letter to the Hebrews, offers to us the contrast between the theophanies of the Old Covenant, and those of the New Covenant.  

*      In the Old Covenant the theophanies to the patriarchs, during the exodus, to the prophets are always described by means of terrifying natural phenomena. It is a way to explain to us that God is THE OTHER, transcendent, whom we cannot approach or touch.   

*      The description of the presence of God among us in the New Covenant are through the person of a simple man, Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, known as the son of Joseph and of Mary, who lived a  life like the life of any Israelite of his time with simplicity and fidelity.  

*      This man so simple is the Second Person of the Trinity who comes to us under kind and attractive signs.  

*      This man is the mediator of the New Covenant which is so different from the Old one in its manifestations. 







POST-SYNODAL  APOSTOLIC  EXHORTATION

THE JOY OF LOVE “AMORIS  LÆTITIA”

OF  THE  HOLY  FATHER FRANCIS



 The majestic early chapters of Genesis present the human couple in its deepest reality.  Those first pages of the Bible make a number of very clear statements.  The first, which Jesus para- phrases, says that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (1:27). It is striking that the “image of God” here refers to the couple, “male and female”.  Does this mean that sex is a property of God himself, or that God has a divine female companion, as some ancient religions held? Naturally, the answer is no.  We know how clearly the Bible rejects as idolatrous such beliefs, found among the Canaanites of the Holy Land.  God’s transcendence is preserved, yet inasmuch as he is also the Creator, the fruitfulness of the human couple is a living and effective “image”, a visible sign of his creative act. (10)

BIBLIOGRAPHY
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Commentary to the Biblia de nuestro Pueblo
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.
POPE FRANCIS, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation: The Joy of Love. 2015

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


XXI SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  – CYCLE C – AUGUST 21, 2016

FIRST READING  Is 66:18-21

v  The text which we are going to read this coming Sunday belongs to the third part of the Book of Isaiah, Third Isaiah.   The historical time is the time after the return from the exile.

v  The Lord says:

o   I know their works and their thoughts, I know them.

o   I come to gather the nations, the peoples who speak different languages. 

o   But in spite of this diversity they will come and they will see the glory of God. 

o   How will God go about to gather the peoples? He will send the fugitives to their nations. The name given to those nations reflect a great variety and extension of territory.     

§  Tarshish this name is mentioned sometimes in the Bible in the OT as well as in the NT.  It might refer to a great city, a faraway region or a land far from Israel beyond the seas.  

§  Put and Lud translated also as  Libya y Lydia.

§  Mosoch could be  Macedonia in Greece.   

§  Tubal  .  there is in the OT someone called Tubal-Cain, a descendent from Cain, and maybe there was later on a place with his name.  

§  Javan was the name frequently used to designate Greece. 

o   Mentioning these places the author of the book wants to give us a vision of mission and universality, accomplished by the same people that had flee.  On reaching these places they will proclaim the greatness of God, and sing their praises to God.

o   And on coming  back to Israel they will  bring the exiled, their brothers and sisters from Israel, as an offering to the Lord. 

o   Those who had been exiled will return in glory, riding horses and camels, proud and strong animals.   

o   They will arrive into Jerusalem, the sacred mountain of God  

o   The author compares this return to the worship which the chosen people was giving to God in the temple   

o   From among them, God will call priests and Levites, men who will serve God in the temple.  

o   What a grandiose vision of the return.



RESPONSORIAL PSALM:  Ps  117:1-2

This psalm belongs to the hymns, psalms which are considered as hymns, which praise God singing his  the greatness.  

R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
 Praise the LORD all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
 

GOSPEL – Lk 13:22-30

*      Jesus on his way to Jerusalem passes through towns and villages.  

*      In one of these places or on the road, someone asks: Lord, are they few those who will be saved? 

*      Jesus does not give a concrete answer, but he says that each one is called to follow the way of goodness “the narrow gate.”

*      As humans, we  are very much accustomed to measure everything by means of statistic. How many?    

*      I think that this question is wrong, each human being is the work of God who loves him or her because they are his work of art, his son or his daughter.    

*      He works mysteriously in the human heart. We see only the outside and we dare to judge what we do not know. 

*      In each human heart, we say, that a battle takes place between good and evil, and this is certainly true  

*      But I prefer to think that in each human heart, during the lifetime of each one of us, a love story between the Creator and his creature is being weaved.  

*      And many of us, we do not realize this until some especial moment in our life, moments of joy  but especially moments of suffering, then we are more ready to discover the presence of our God in our life.  We become aware of his tender and merciful love for us.

*      Jesus speaks of those who believe they save themselves, that it is due to their efforts that they have the “passport” to enter into God’s Kingdom. They do not know that the Kingdom is a  gift.

*      They know much about God and speak also very much about him, but they do not speak to Him. 

*      Jesus does not recognize their teaching, probably because they did it for their own pride not for the service of their brothers and sisters.   

*      And again here in the Gospel we are given a description of universality: East, West, North South… This is the image of the eternity, of salvation with Jesus. 

*      Let our heart be filled with this light, this hope, this trust and security in the unconditional love of God our Father.  

*      But let us be at the same time vigilant and alert, to avoid the possibility to be of those who teach with pride and treat their fellow men and women with arrogance, oppressing them instead of serving them.  



SECOND READING : Hebrews 12:5-7.11-13

ü  The author  of this letter reminds us the exhortation  that had been given to us 

ü  “Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord “

ü  These words can help us in difficult times, when it seems that God is deaf when we call him, that he does not listen to our prayers. 

ü  And thus we think that what is happening is his punishment for our sins  

ü  I do not think that God sends the sickness, or the accidents, or the bad relationships among the members of the family, between the couples….   

ü  But I really believe that when we find ourselves in any difficulty, when we found ourselves completely lost; it is the moment when we are ready to discover the presence of God in our life.  

ü  The suffering we endure, may sometimes for a while, harden our heart,  make us bitter, proud, rebellious,  but it will eventually help us to open up  to God, whom we have ignored for so many years.   

ü  It is the time to begin a journey of conversion, a change in direction in our life, to encounter the God who has been waiting for us since the first moment of our conception, when he has created us and loved us. It is also the time when we realize the existence of the other human beings, our brothers and sisters.     

ü  God says to us the same words he said  to Jeremiah “before  you were fashioned in your mother’s womb I had chosen you, before you were born I consecrated you….  

ü  Let these thoughts and words fill us with tenderness, trust and thankfulness to our Father for loving us unconditionally  

ü  His commandments, his calls, his admonitions and exhortations have the purpose to make easy the way of salvation, there are not meant to make it difficult or complicated.

ü  Let us always remember that he knows us and loves us.     

********************

In the section below I use to put some texts from the Autobiographies or our Founder and Foundress. From now on, at least for a while, I want to do something different. Since the Pope has written a letter on the family, I  will copy each week one of the paragraphs



POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION- THE JOY OF LOVE - AMORIS LAETITIA
OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS



The Bible is full of families, births, love  stories and family crises.  This is true from its very first page, with the appearance of Adam and Eve’s family with all its burden of violence but also its enduring strength (cf. Gen 4) to its very last page, where we behold the wedding feast of the Bride and the Lamb (Rev 21:2, 9).  Jesus’ description of the two houses, one built on rock and the other on sand (cf. Mt 7:24-27), symbolizes any number of family situations shaped by the exercise of their members’ freedom, for, as the poet says, “every home is a lampstand”.   Let us now enter one of those houses, led by the Psalmist with a song that even today resounds in both Jewish and Christian wedding liturgies:  

“Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
 your children will be like olive shoots round your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!” (Ps 128:1-6).

 
  




Monday, May 16, 2016


            THE MOST HOLY TRINITY  - CICLO C – 2016

  1. On the first Sunday after the Easter Season the Liturgy of the Church invites us to celebrate the greatness of our God, to adore him, to contemplate him, to allow ourselves to be fascinated with his beauty and goodness
  2. Through the readings we will   enter into the mystery of God one and triune. Like Moses we will remove the sandals from our feet because we are on sacred ground.   
  3. Let us enter into his presence with our imagination and our feelings and over all with our love.      
     
    FIRST READING   Proverbs 8:22-31 

  • Wisdom speaks and says that she existed from the beginning.  
  • Wisdom describes for us the works of God. Let our imagination go to the places where Wisdom leads us: 

  • oceans, springs of water, rivers.
  • mountains and hills  
  • earth and fields   
  • She says that she was present when God made the sky 
  • when he put it, the sky, as a dome  over the ocean.   
  • when he put boundaries to the sea     
  • If we pay attention to what Wisdom is saying, God is building a home. The home he has prepared  for us to live in.  
  • And Wisdoms tells us that she was there beside him as his craft man, and that she played before him, and was delighted to be with the human race .
  • What a wonderful word, the Wisdom of God, God himself found and still finds his delight in the human race, in each one of us. 
  • The Church sees in this Wisdom the Son of God, through whom all things were made. He became one of us.  In the Eastern Churches they see in this Wisdom an image of the Holy Creator Spirit.  (see psalm  104)
     
    RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps  8
    O LORD OUR GOD, HOW WONDERFUL YOUR NAME IN ALL THE EARTH
    When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers  
    the moon and the stars which you set in place
    What is man that you should be mindful of him,
    or the son of man that you should care for him?
     
    You have made him little less than the angels
    and crowned him with glory and honor
    you have given him rule over the works of your hand
    putting all things under his feet
     
    All sheep and oxen
    yes, and the beasts of the field
    the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea
    and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
     

  • The psalmist is surprised to see how God takes care of his creatures.  
  • And in a very special way of man, to whom he has given power over them. 
  • And he asks himself, what is man?  
  • We repeat the same question, who are we that the Son of the Father became one like us, and put his tent among us?  Who are we that God comes to dwell in us.  
     
    SECOND READING  Rom 5:1-5

  1. Paul speaks of the redemptive work of God for his creation.  
  2. We have been justified by faith, and this gives us peace with God by Jesus Christ. 
  3. Christ is he who has given us the grace in which we live, and at the same time we rejoice in hope of the   glory of God. 
  4. He says that we do not only rejoice in hope, but also in our afflictions.  
  5. Knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character hope.  
  6. He says that hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.  
  7. The Holy Spirit is he who fulfils the work that God does in us. 
     
    GOSPEL  Jn 16,12-15

  • Jesus says to his disciples that he has many more things to tell them, but they cannot bear them in that moment.  
  • The Holy Spirit will help them to understand and to live what Jesus has taught them during his life. The Spirit will guide them to all truth. He will remind them all the words of Jesus.
  • He will not speak on his own; he will speak what he hears in the intimacy of the Trinitarian life. 
  • He will glorify Jesus, because he will take what is Jesus' and declare it to them.   
  • Why does Jesus say that the Spirit will not speak on his own? 
  • Jesus had said to his disciples that the Spirit was the promise of the Father; the Father was given the Spirit to them.  But now it seems as if the Spirit was given by Jesus.
  • The answer is found in the next verse: everything that the Father has belongs to Jesus.
  • The mission of the Spirit among us has been to make possible the creating and redemptive plan of the Father in the Church and in the world. 
  • This is our God, the Christian God, God who is a Trinity of persons, a community of persons united by the love generated between the three divine Persons. He is the Creator, the Redeemer and the Sanctifier.  
     

  1.  we confess your eternal holy Trinity and undivided Unity   (Prayer after Communion - Mass of the Most Holy Trinity)     
  2. Blest be God the Father, and the Only Begotten Son of God, and also the Holy Spirit for he has shown us his merciful love.  (Entrance Antiphon - Mass of the Most Holy Trinity)  
  3. Let us see what the beginning of the  book of Revelation says, before John greets the seven churches at the beginning of the heavenly liturgy: 

  • Grace to you and peace from him who is, who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first born of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.  
  • We can simplify this greeting as follows: May the favor and peace of  the Father, of the Holy Spirit and of the Son be with you. 
  • At the beginning of our Eucharistic celebrations the priest greets the people saying: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.
     
                            CLARETIAN CORNER
     

Once, I was somehow worried thinking how to maintain a house with so many people since, at the same time, nine young ladies came to receive the holy habit, so poor that they did not bring me not even one peseta, and with so miserable clothes that some – most of them – could not change. On the other hand I knew very soon that among them, only two were industrious, all the others were fond of rest and comfort. This fact, more than their poverty, was the cause of my distress, because I like the poor but diligence ones. Besides this, I was worried those days because they presented me a bill of S 250, rentals of the house we had live in until then and of the one we were starting to occupy (this one, even it if had been bought to build a monastery, had to be rented until we had the documents made), and this was due to the carelessness of the person in change, if he had been cunning enough, nothing of this had to be paid : that is why I was so disappointed. I was also disgusted because until that moment they had made me believe that the Archbishop would take charge of the house (meaning to say” in case that we would not earn anything”). I think the devil was using all the means to make us distrust the Divine providence, but, by the grace of God, his attempt was not successful.    Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography- Second Account  88.

 

In truth, the fire of love acts in a minister of the Lord in much the same way that material fire acts in the engine of a locomotive or a ship: it enables them to move the heaviest cargo with the greatest of ease.  What good would either of these two huge machines be without fire and steam to move them? None at all. What good is a priest who has finished all his studies and holds degrees in theology and canon and civil law if he lacks the fire of love? None at all. He is no good for others because he is like a locomotive without steam. Instead of being a help, as he should, he may only be a hindrance. He is no good even for himself. As St. Paul says, "If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.". Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters, Autobiography 441  

 

BIBLIOGRAFÍA:

CLARET, Antonio María , Autobiography.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography

RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según Las Escrituras, Año C, 2006

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo. 2010.