Thursday, October 6, 2016


The theme of this Sunday’s celebration “thanksgiving for the good we have received” 

Ø  Naaman is healed  from the leprosy and he comes back to thank the prophet for his cure.    

Ø  The Samaritan leper comes back to give thanks to Jesus for his cure from leprosy. 

Ø  Jesus asks where are the other 9.      


Ø  The two books of Kings are the continuation of the two books of Samuel. 

Ø  In the Hebrew Bible these books form a single literary work called Kings (Melakim).  

Ø  In the translation of the LXX (seventeen) and in the  Vulgate they are called “third and fourth  Kings” 

Ø  Since the two books of Samuel are called “first  and second Kings”  

Ø  1 and 2 Kings are part of the Deuteronomist History  

Ø  Which goes from the entrance in the promise land (Joshua) to the Babylonian exile (587.) 

Ø    Solomon and his kingship play a major role.

Ø  The author is pleased to show the magnificence of Solomon, and also, at the same time, to show his sin. 

Ø  Whose consequences are the division of his Kingdom into the Northern Kingdom – Israel and the Southern Kingdom – Judah. 

Ø  The theological principle used to judge history is:   sin                  punishment                 return 

Ø   Two prophets have a great importance:  in 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah, in 2Kings, the prophet Elisha, the first reading today speaks about him.     

Ø  Theological points:

o   Monotheism        

o   Messianic hope

o   Institutions:

§  the monarchy, the King is God’s representative

§  the temple is the place of God’s presence    

§  the exile,   the end ?  or  a new beginning? 

FIRST READING  2Kgs 5:14-17

ü  The whole chapter is dedicated to the story of  Naaman

ü  Who was a general of the King of Syria, he was a leper.  

ü  They tell us the story how this man comes to the kingdom of Israel  

ü  Today in the liturgy we read the passage related to the cure of this man, not because of his faith, but because of the faith and trust of a young Israelite girl, slave of his wife.  

ü  Naaman, as the prophet had told him, submerges seven times into the Jordan River and is cleansed from the leprosy. 

ü  Very simple act, apparently useless, aren’t there better rivers in Syria, Naaman had asked before going into the river.  

ü  But it is not the material water which cures the sickness of this man; it is the acceptance of the prophet’s word. In reality it is the humility to believe that something so unimportant can cure.   

ü  Naaman goes back to the prophet, the man of God, to give thanks, and offer him abundant gifts

ü  The prophet does not accept them. The prophets of the Old Testament in Israel and Judah, were not   wage-earners, but men called by God to be his voice, his presence. 

ü  Naaman asks for some earth to take to his country to offer sacrifices to the true God. 

ü  For the people of those cultures, God was tied in a very especial way to his people, and each people had its own God. 

ü  However here Naaman, through his cure, discovers that there is only one God, the God who has cured him.   

ü  They say that when someone is cured by God in an extraordinary way, which we usually call miracle, there is not only a physical wellbeing, but a whole wellbeing, like a new birth which relates the person  in a very especial way to God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4

R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
his right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands:
break into song; sing praise.
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power..

v  We will repeat singing 

o   The Lord has shown his love. His love that does not make differences, that has cured a foreigner, a pagan, because all of us are the work of his love, we are his children. 

o   The Lord has shown his faithfulness, the Lord is always faithful.  

GOSPEL   Lk 17:11-19

Ø  Luke tells us what happened to 10 lepers who meet Jesus.     

Ø  They ask him to have pity on them    

Ø  Luke tells us that when Jesus approaches them and sees he does not speak about healing them, or of their faith, but he tells them to go to the priest.  

Ø  When someone was cured from his or her leprosy, the Law established that they had to go to the priest who would declare that they were cured, thus allowing them to go back to their normal life in family and in society.      

Ø  The lepers go on their way, did they understand that what Jesus was telling them is that they were cured?  We do not know, Luke tells us that on their way they realized that they were cured.  

Ø  One of them, a Samaritan, full of joy and admiration and gratitude comes back to tell Jesus how happy he is, and give thanks to him.  

Ø  Jesus question: where are the other 9?   

Ø  Luke does not give any answer, but we can reflect on our own attitudes.  

Ø  They say that to be thankful, we need to allow us to be surprised, to be able to discover the newness and more than anything else to be able to see more the good than the evil.  To have light or to let the light of Christ fill us.   

Ø  Are we able to give thanks?   Do we rejoice for the good we see, even if we also see the evil?   Do we let God to surprise us?


ü  The Apostle invites us to remember Jesus Christ 

o   Risen from the dead   

o   And a descendant of David    

o   Jesus is risen, he is our God who lives forever,  

ü  Paul speaks of his imprisonment, as a criminal without freedom, but he says that the Word of God is not in chains, nobody can silence it. 

ü  If we have died with Him, we also will be raised with Him   

ü  But if we deny Him, He will deny us. What does the Apostle mean with these words?   ? 

ü  But Jesus will always be faithful, because this is his nature.   


I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfil their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way.  The  Synod’s reflections show us that there is no stereo- type of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems.  The situations that concern us are challenges.  We should not be trapped into wasting our energy in doleful laments, but rather seek new forms of missionary creativity.  In every situation that presents itself, “the Church is conscious of the need to offer a word of truth and hope…  The great values of marriage and the Christian family correspond to a yearning that is part and parcel of human existence”.48  If we see any number of problems, these should be, as the Bishops of Colombia have said, a summons to “revive our hope and to make it the source of prophetic visions, transformative actions and creative forms of charity”. (57)


PAGOLA, José Antonio. El camino abierto por Jesús. Lucas.

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferecia Episcopal Española.


Thursday, September 29, 2016


The theme of the celebration seems to be “faith”    

Ø  Faith so full of trust that allows  us to  present to  God our complains, because he seems not to listen to  our supplications   

Ø  Faith so strong as to have the strength needed to uproot a strong tree    

Ø  Faith so full of novelty as it would be to plant a tree in the sea   

Ø  Faith so simple which discovers the presence of the God who is behind all reality.  


Ø  The name of this prophet is unique in the Bible, it could come from the name of a plant “basil” 

Ø  We do not know either his origen, or his family, or his place  

Ø  The three chapter of this book are difficult to understand.  

Ø  The content is a proclamation received during a vision   

Ø  The prophet does not understand and, suffers for the social situation,  and asks God for an explanation  

Ø  The time of its composition is between   606 a.C  and the Babylonian exile 587 a.C)

Ø  The message seems to be: we must abandon the traditional  way to understand the retribution from God.  We must understand the intervention of God in our human history in a different way.  

FIRST READING  Habakkuk 1:2-3;2:2-4

ü  The prophet complains because he asks help from God, and it seems that God does not listen  

ü  Why do I have to see violence and destruction?    

ü  The answer from God is to tell the prophet to write the vision   

ü  “If it delays, wait for it, because it will certainly come, without delay.”  

ü  The reading ends saying “the just will live by his faith”  

ü  We have this same reading in the Liturgy of the Hours one of the days of Advent.

ü  To know that He will certainly come, fills our heart with hope and enkindles in it the fire of love.  

ü  And certainly the Lord has come, and He continues to come into our life; sometimes we complain, like the prophet, because we do not realize that He is already here.    

Salmo 94, 1-2. 6-7. 8-9

 R.  If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
“Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works.”
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

v  The psalmist invites us   

o   To praise God,  

o   To adore God

o   To listen to God   

GOSPEL  Lk 17:5-10

Ø    This Reading has two parts.    

Ø  In the first part the Apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith   

Ø  Maybe when they heard  the mission that Jesus wanted to entrust to them, they realized that the traditional faith, still childlike, would not help them.  

Ø  Thus their petition, sometimes we do the same petition to the Lord.  

Ø  It does not mean that we do not have faith, but that our faith is still the faith the First Communion Catechesis, or the faith taught to us by our grand-mother, but that we have not made it our own yet, thus it does not help us.  

Ø  And Jesus gives them a surprising answer.   

Ø  It seems that with this comparison He wants to tell them that they need:   

o   A faith as strong as the strength needed to uproot  a mulberry tree, a strong tree, difficult to uproot   

o   A faith able to accept and propose the novelty, as it would be a novelty to plant a tree in the sea.  

Ø  I copy below a fragment from a book of José Antonio Pagola, it has helped me a lot, and I wish to share it with you. (it is my own translation from Spanish)  

The theologian  Karl Rahner said, this “abandonment” proper of faith is the “maximum audacity of man.”  A tiny particle of the cosmos (universe) dares to enter into a relationship with the “incomprehensible and foundational wholeness of the universe,”   and it does it, trusting absolutely in his power and in his love. As Christians we have to be more aware of the audacity of daring  to trust in the mystery of God.  

The original message of Jesus is precisely, to invite the human being to trust unconditionally in the  unfathomable Mystery, which is at the origin of everything.    This is what we hear in his proclamation “do not fear… trust in God…. call Him Abbá, loving Father. He takes care  of you. Even the hears of you head are counted. Have faith in God.”   

SECOND READING  2Tm 1,6-8;13-14

ü  Rekindle the gifts you received with the imposition of my hands. Return to your first love.  

ü  God does not want us to be cowards but daring, motivated by love and not by fear  

ü  Do not be ashamed to witness to Jesus.    

ü  Carry the hard work allotted to you, what work? The proclamation of the Gospel in words and deeds.  

ü  Keep the treasure which is in you, and in all of us, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  

ü  What treasure? The faith we have received at our Baptism, and which we need to make it grow, with the friendship and intimacy with Jesus in our prayer and in our life.   



“Migration is another sign of the times to be faced and understood in terms of its negative effects on family life”.30  The recent Synod drew attention to this issue, noting that “in various ways, migration affects whole populations in different parts of the world.  The Church has exercised a major role in this area.  Maintaining and expanding this witness to the Gospel (cf. Mt 25:35) is urgently needed today more than ever…  Human mobility, which corresponds to the natural historical movement of peoples, can prove to be a genuine enrichment for both families that migrate and countries that welcome them.  Furthermore, forced migration of families, resulting from situations of war, persecution, poverty and injustice, and marked by the vicissitudes of a journey that often puts lives at risk, traumatizes people and destabilizes families.  In accompanying migrants, the Church needs a specific pastoral programme addressed not only to families that migrate but also to those family members who remain behind.  This pastoral activity must be implemented with due respect for their cultures, for the human and religious formation from which they come and for the spiritual richness of their rites and traditions, even by means of a specific pastoral care…  Migration is particularly dramatic and devastating to families and individuals when it takes place illegally and is supported by international networks of human trafficking.  This is equally true when it involves women or unaccompanied children who are forced to endure long periods of time in temporary facilities and refugee camps, where it is impossible to start a process of integration.  Extreme poverty and other situations of family breakdown sometimes even lead families to sell their children for prostitution or for organ trafficking”.31  “The persecution of Christians and ethnic and religious minorities in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, are a great trial not only for the Church but also the entire international community.  Every effort should be encouraged, even in a practical way, to assist families and Christian communities to remain in their native lands”. (46)  


PAGOLA, José Antonio. El camino abierto por Jesús. Lucas.

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferecia Episcopal Española.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016


·          Amos continues inviting us to live in justice and compassion towards our brothers and sisters less fortunate.  

·         We will listen to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. This parable like the words of Amos invite us to take seriously the matter of justice in our relationships.  

·         The author of the letter to Timothy   tells  him how to behave as a follower of Jesus

FIRS READING  Amos  6:1a. 4-7

ü  This reading is taken from the "woes' section" called also "lamentations"  in chapter 5 and 6. 

ü  The reading gives us the third woe.  

ü  If we did not know that we are reading something related to many centuries ago, we would think that the prophet is speaking of our own time and society.  

ü  Amos tells the powerful, the rich men that they live in the opulence and that they are not sensitive to the suffering of those who lack almost everything.  

ü  He gives a very vivid description: they participate in banquets, they sing, they dance... in a word they do nothing useful. 

ü  They take advantage of those who lack almost everything, and they, the rich, take from them the little they have, or they do not give to them  their salary.  

ü  The consequences of this empty and selfish life will be great. When the Assyrians come they will be the first to be deported. This was the policy of the Assyrians, to take the powerful from their own  nation, so that they could not organize a revolt. But they  were  leaving  the poor of the land to care for it. 

ü  It is not difficult to see something similar in our society today.   we are continually invited  to spend    to spend the little we have in futile things for the profit of the business  owners.   We are offered continually "sales" or "two for the price of one," or they make us believe that "we can buy without paying now and  without interest..."  

ü  In a word they play with our  inclination to possess without effort, to spent money without thinking....   

ü  But I do not think that we have to look only to the world of opulence, of the businesses etc... the readings invites all of us to look at our own life and see if there is something in it  similar  to what the prophets describes. 

ü  The great sin of all those Amos is describing in his oracle, and also of the rich man of the parable of Luke is the "indifference" in front of the suffering and the need of whole countries, whole continents…   

RESPONSORIAL  PSALM . Ps 146  7,8-9,9-10     

R.  Praise the Lord, my soul!
 Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
 The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
Praise the Lord, my soul!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

§  The psalms repeats what Amos has said, God will not forget the wrong we do to others. 

§  The psalm says it by means of song, poetry, but it is the same message, it is a call to justice and compassion = to suffer with...  

GOSPEL  Lk 16: 19-31

*      Before we begin to analyze this parable, let us look at what comes before it in chapter 16 of the Gospel of Luke. 

*      The reason to do so is because the Gospels have an inner order through which the author wants to help us to understand the message.  

*      Chapter 16 of Luke begins with the parable of the "dishonest steward"  then comes the words addressed to the Pharisees, who loved money and power.   

*      In a word we may say that this is a chapter on the need to use money justly.  

*      Let us see now the parable  

§  It is a story we know very well, the story of two human beings  

§  One is rich but does not have a name, his life is empty and Luke says that not giving him a name.   

§  The other man has a name in spite of being a "nobody" for the rich man who does not even see him. He only realizes that Lazarus exists when he needs him, when he wants to use him for his convenience.   

§  This man is called Lazarus = Eliezer which means "God helps", what a beautiful name the name of this beggar, and certainly God helps.      

§  The sin of the rich man is not that he abuses the poor man or takes advantage of him, not even a sin of "social injustice", but a sin  of "indifference"  He does not see the poor man, he does not feel his needs, he is totally indifferent.   

§  The human beings do not help the poor man full of sores, but the dogs, those dogs who are as homeless as he is, take care of his wounds.

§  These two men die like everybody does. None of us takes anything when we die: neither the riches, nor the sores... nothing. At this time we are all equals, simple human beings poor and naked before our Creator and Father.   

§  The fate these two men changes immediately: the rich man is buried, why do they tell us something which is so normal to be buried? because he is buried in the abyss of the dead, he is forgotten forever, nobody remembers him.  

§  the poor man is taken to the bosom of Abraham, which is the image of peace and consolation reserved for those who die in the Lord, who will enjoy happiness for all eternity. 

§  The reaction of the rich man, as Luke describes it, is very interesting. On one side he is as selfish as always "tell Lazarus to come to alleviate my suffering..." on the other side he is able to act moved by love for his brothers.   

§  The words of Abraham make us think "between you and us there is a great chasm that nobody can cross."  

§  Maybe this is the best description of what happens between selfishness and unconditional love.  

§  This parable does not need more explanation, let us enter into our heart and let us see in it how much of the rich man we have and how much of the poor. From there let us make our own reflection.   

SECOND READING  1 Tm 6:11-16

v  The author of the letter continues to tell Timothy how to behave as a man of God called to the pastoral  ministry. 

v  He invites Timothy to live according to the commandments and to exhort him to do it he reminds him that Jesus gave witness in front of Pilate. 

v  We know that because of this witnessing, he died, but his death was redeeming us.   

v  It is an invitation to Timothy to live a good life.  

v  Until Christ  the Lord  of Lords comes again.   

v  His is the honor and glory.


“At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future.  Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family”.14  In some countries, many young persons “postpone a wedding for economic reasons, work or study.  Some do so for other reasons, such as the influence of ideologies which devalue marriage and family, the desire to avoid the failures of other couples, the fear of something they consider too important and sacred, the social opportunities and economic benefits associated with simply living together, a purely emotional and romantic conception of love, the fear of losing their freedom and independence, and the rejection of something conceived as purely institutional and bureaucratic”.15  We need to find the right language, arguments and forms of witness that can help us reach the hearts of young people, appealing to their capacity for generosity, commitment, love and even heroism, and in this way inviting them to take up the challenge of marriage with enthusiasm and courage. (40)


 JENSEN, Joseph, Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets.

PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.

POPE FRANCIS. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”

 RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.

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

The Catholic Study Bible, Second Edition. New American Bible.