Monday, November 12, 2018


XXXIII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE B – 2018



The readings for this coming Sunday have an apocalyptic tone and color.   


THE BOOK OF DANIEL
Ø  This prophetic book has traits of the apocalyptic literature. 
Ø  It has several peculiarities:   
o   The first and second chapters are written in Hebrew. 
o   Then from 2,4b to 7,27 they are written in Aramaic.   
o   And afterwards it continues in Hebrew .
o   The Greek version includes passages not included in the Hebrew Scriptures, probably these are episodes that circulated around the Jewish communities and were added to the original book: the three young men prayer in the furnace   3,24-90, the judgement of Susana    c.13 , and the story of Daniel and the idols    c. 14
Ø  In this book we discover the following structure:  

o   A series of stories about Daniel and the three companions in the court of the king of Babylon (cc. 1-6.)

o   Revelations that Daniel receives through heavenly visions  cc. 7-12

o   Intervention of Daniel in the judgement of Susana and the fall of the idols   cc. 13-14.
o   Each one of these sections presents a different structure:   
§  The first one describes the life of the Jewish community in the diaspora, the good relationships with the civil authorities.    
§  The second pictures the persecution suffered by the Jews under the kingship of Antiochus Epiphanes IV. Daniel speaks of 4 kingdoms and the coming of the Kingdom of God after the death of the king.  
§  The third part shows an undetermined historical concept, signals the triumph of justice and the nonsense of idolatry.  All of this can happened in any historical moment.  
Ø  The leading thread which gives unity to the book is:   
o   The person of Daniel  
o   The  exile  in Babylon  
o   But overall “God who has the power over the kingdoms of the earth will establish his kingdom sometime in the future.”  

Ø   Composition  of the Book

o   The book is written in  several languages   

o   The central point is the vision of the 4 kingdoms and  the Son of Man

Ø  The Message of the Book of Daniel  

o   Hope in the coming of a new situation in which, those who are faithful to God will reign, where evil or sin will be no more, and which will be eternal.   

FIRST READING  Dn 12,1-3

ü  This Reading is taken from the second part of the book, when the Jews were suffering persecution for their faithfulness to their faith.   
ü  Michael the angel who takes care of the humans will rise up to take action.    
ü  From the People of God all those whose names are written in the book will be saved.  
ü  This is like what happens in the nations and in the cities, those who belong there have their names written in the civil registries.   
ü  The reading speaks of resurrection for life or for death.   
ü  The wise, not those who accumulate intellectual knowledge, but the true wise men, those who savor the truth, the beauty, the goodness of God, those who discover his footprints everywhere around them, and who learn from his inner whisper.  
ü  Those who taught others justice, that is the truth of God, the knowledge of God, the love of God, goodness. 
ü  All of them will shine in the firmament like the stars for all eternity, forever.   
ü  What a wonderful image, so full of meaning!



RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Ps  16

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the Lord ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!



v  We repeat over and over “You are my inheritance, O Lord.”    

v  Yes, the Lord is our inheritance, our joy, our delight, the cup of our happiness, our portion.   

v  He will never abandon us; he will not allow us to suffer corruption.  

v  He shows us the way to Him, towards life where joy is eternal.   



GOSPEL  Mk  13:24-32

§  The situation that the communities lived at the beginning, especially the community of Mark was of suffering due to  persecution.  
§  Persecution which led to physical death, but also another type of persecution “to be considered of lower status in society, to be like people who do not count…” How many human beings still now continue to suffer the same situation!  
§  The temptation of tiredness is a reality.   
§  And Mark wants to encourage his community, to remind them some of the words of Jesus that could enlighten them, give them courage, give them strength.   
§  In that day… what day? The end of history, when God will be all in all.    
§  When the falsehood and the truth of our history will be manifested, because all that distract us now: sun, moon, stars, human and nature powers will be no more.   
§  Time will be no more either, the sun, the moon and the stars which signal now the years and stations will no longer shine   
§  Space will disappear also, “the stars will fall…” the distance between the sky and the earth will be eliminated  
§  And then without obstacles caused by the things which surround us, we will be able to see the presence of the Son of man, Jesus, the Lord of history.   

§  Jesus who has said to us that he will come, he has also said to us  that he is in every human being who comes to us in his or her need and asks for our help.  He has also said that he will be with us in our evangelizing mission, until the end of history.  

§  This Jesus who will come,  is already here and  walks with us.   Remember the two from Emmaus they walked with him (Jesus)  “but they did not recognize him, they did not see him, until they were  able to forget  themselves, their sadness, their worries and think about the stranger  whom they welcomed into their home, only then they were able to see him.  
§  Towards the end of this segment of the Gospel of Mark, it seems as if Mark changes the scenario from the end of history to the end of Jerusalem, of the temple “ this generation will not pass away…”     
§  Mark also invites us to look at nature, which warns us about the times, the phenomena, In the same way we are invited to look at history with the eyes of Jesus and discover its meaning.   
§  The Lord has come, the Lord is already here, the Lord will come. Mark does not speak about judgement, because the presence of the Lord which will illumine our lives, our history, will uncover our truth and our lie as well.   
§  Let us not await until the end to ask the Lord his help, to allow him to illumine us, and thus we will not fear that our lie be uncovered by Him. He is the only one who can change our lie into his truth.   
§  Come Lord Jesus! And give us the strength to allow your love and your presence   transform us.    

SECOND READING  Heb 10:11-14. 18

*      The author of this letter continues sharing with us his thoughts about the priesthood of Jesus.  
*      The priest of the old law offered repeatedly the sacrifice asking for forgiveness, but these sacrifices could not take away sin.    
*       Jesus has offered only one sacrifice to take away the sins of the world, and he is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. To be seated at the right hand means to have power, means equality with the one seated on the throne. In the earthly kingdoms the person seated at the right hand of the king is the most important person in the kingdom after the king.    
*      And it ends saying “when there is forgiveness, sin is eliminated.”      
*      This reflection of the author of the letter to the Hebrews is an invitation to trust, to truly believe that we have been forgiven, saved, redeemed.   That when I repent and I approach the sacrament of forgiveness my sins are eliminated, they do not exist anymore, because Jesus has destroyed them forever, and this is made visible and real for me through the sacramental  ministry which Jesus has given to the church.   
*      Thank you Lord for your forgiveness, teach us to forgive in the same way, to forgive the offenses instead of nurturing them with our bitterness. Make us like you!   
  CLARETIAN CORNER
 








They were so humble that the Archbishop always commanded me to give my opinion and , with this family , he had myself – love well humiliated, because my rudeness did not understand anything of these matters, and, in virtue of holy obedience, I had to express my feelings, and I did not know how to say any other thing but that, for me, I preferred to be poor with Christ than to have rents to give to the poor . And that was the purpose of rents if we would not be able even to beg alms from them? That this was my opinion but that my will was no other than the will of my prelate and that he might do what he considered best before God.

 Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress, Autobiography 221.
I can see that what the Lord is doing in me is like what I observe going on in the motion of the planets: they are pulled by two forces, one centrifugal, the other centripetal. Centrifugal force pulls them to escape their orbits; centripetal force draws them toward their center. The balance of these two forces holds them in their orbits. That's just how I see myself. I feel one force within me, which I'll call centrifugal, telling me to get out of Madrid and the court; but I also feel a counterforce, the will of God, telling me to stay in court for the time being, until I am free to leave. This will of God is the centripetal force that keeps me chained here like a dog on his leash. The mixture of these two forces, namely, the desire to leave and my love for doing God's will, keeps me running around in my circle..Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder.     Autobiography, 623



BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía

PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. 2 Marcos.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía

DIARIO BÍBLICO 2018. Claret Publishing Group.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.

Monday, November 5, 2018


 XXXII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - CYCLE B –   2018 

Today in the Gospel Jesus tells us that the poor widow put more money in the Temple’s treasury than anybody else.       

FIRST READING: I Re 17:10-16 
Ø  The two books of King are the continuation of the two books of Samuel.  
Ø  In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, called the Septuaginta, and in the Latin translation called Vulgata, the books of Kings are called III and IV of Kings, because the books of Samuel are called I and II Kings.  
Ø  These books are part of what is called the Deuteronomist history, which goes from the entrance into the promised land to the Babylonian exile (587 BC) 
Ø  In the Hebrew Scriptures  these books are called “The former prophets” 
Ø  The author of these books writes them after the return from the exile.  
Ø  They have the same theology as the rest of the Deuteronomist books: 
o   Monotheism. The God of Israel is the only God.     
o   The messianic hope,  for the Southern Kingdom we have the promises of the Emmanuel, which fulfills the promise made to David, that his dynasty will remain on the throne of Israel.   
o   On the other hand, the Northern Kingdom establishes its legitimacy in their condition as heirs of Jacob and Joseph.   
o   The exile is seen as a punishment for their infidelity to the Covenant with Yahweh. 
In this Sunday’s reading we encounter the prophet Elijah.  The ministry of this prophet is narrated  in what it is called the Cycle of Elijah   (cc. 17-19 of  I Kings). Elijah does his prophetic ministry in the Northern Kingdom, he denounces the infidelity of the kings and of the people.      
«  The country suffers a strong drought and in the book of Kings it is attributed to the words of Elijah who asked God to stop the rain until Elijah will ask him the contrary. 
«  Elijah has asked this as a punishment for the unfaithfulness of the Kingdom of Israel or the Northern Kingdom.   
«  After Solomon’s death, his kingdom was divided in two Kingdoms: Northern-Israel, Southern- Judah.   
«  The culture of those people attributed all the natural phenomena to God, they are his weapons.   
«  The scene of this Sunday first reading is situated in the context of the great drought and the poverty, which comes from it.  
«  Elijah arrives to Zarephath  of Phoenicia as God had told him.     
«  Elijah talks with a widow. He asks her for food and drink, the woman has only a small amount of food for her and her son; afterwards she will wait for death to come.   
«  Elijah asks her to give him food, and assures her that the little provisions she has will last until the drought comes to an end.   
«  The woman believes in the word of the man of God, and the promise becomes a reality.  



RESPONSORIAL PSALM –  .



R.   Praise the Lord, my soul!
 The LORD 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.
R.   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!
 
 

ü   This psalm is a hymn to God,  the creator of the universe and defender of the poor.  God  

o   makes justice to the poor

o   gives food to the hungry

o   gives freedom to the captive

o   gives sight to the blind

o   raises those who are bowed down

o   loves the just and protects the foreigner    

o   upholds the widow and the orphan   

o   destroys the plans of the wicked.   

  

ü  We may say that God reigns by protecting and caring and serving his creature with love and tenderness.    



GOSPEL  Mk 12:38-44
«  Jesus begins saying that we need to be careful and do not trust those who seek honors and distinctions, making us believe that they are superior and different from us.  
«  These who ask us to honor them, instead of all of us honoring God, devour the little that the poor have, for their own benefit.   
«  Jesus, who is observing the people who give their donation for the Temple, sees a poor widow who comes also and deposits two coins, because she has nothing else   to give. Nobody pays attention to her donation, which is so insignificant.
«  Jesus sees more, he sees the heart, our truth or our lie. He sees the truth of the poor woman, her full trust in her God.   
«  Jesus considers this situation so important that he calls his disciples around him, in the same way he did when he wanted to teach them about service. Now the lesson will be about complete trust in God, which is the true poverty mentioned in the first beatitude.  
o   Look, he said, this widow has given more than anyone else has. We can imagine the surprise in the face of the disciples, really our Teacher says sometimes estrange things.   
o   She has given more than anyone else has because she has given the little she had for her sustenance, while the others have given the leftovers.   
«  How happy we would be if we could open up ourselves to Jesus. He invites us to be free from the little or the much we have, and to have the freedom to share it with others.  
«  Happy are we if we learn the lesson on poverty, how free we will be!

SECOND READING : Heb 9:24-28
ü  We read again from this beautiful letter on the priesthood of Christ.  
ü  Christ has entered not into a copy of the true sanctuary, like the sacred temple of Jerusalem, but he has entered into God’s abode in heaven.    
ü  To be in the presence of God and to intercede for us, He is our mediator, our redeemer.    
ü  He does not have to offer sacrifices repeatedly. He came at the end of time, and he offers the sacrifice once and for all for all of us, for the people from the past, present and future.   
ü  The reading ends with these words: in the same way that we die once and afterwards comes the judgement 
ü  In the same way Christ offered his life only once to take away the sins of many=all  
ü  And he will appear a second time to bring salvation to those who anxiously await for him 
ü  In the Eucharistic Celebration, we proclaim his death and we await his second coming.  
CLARETIAN CORNER  
And so it has happened in this foundation, that though the Archbishop was unwilling to be concerned for this or that,  he has been, by Divine impulse, concerned for everything, because I have never expressed a desire of mine except when I have been asked. I think that my silence itself gave place to them to ask me, and God put in them more desire to advance the work, more than what I manifested, because this is the way of God in this work. I say this for the new ones coming to us, to learn how to hope in God against all hope.  Venerable Maria Antonia París, Foundress.  Autobiography 218.


I sometimes ask myself, "What cause have you to be so upset? Everyone in the palace respects you; the whole royal family appreciates you and values your presence; Her Majesty the Queen loves you and dotes on you. Well, then, what makes you have such violent feelings on the subject?" In truth, I have none. I can't come up with any good reason for it. My only answer to the enigma is that the repugnance I feel is a grace God has sent me to prevent me from becoming attached to the prestige, honors, and riches of this world. For I can see clearly that this constant feeling of disgust for the court and my desire to escape from it have kept me from envy and from setting my heart on the things the world holds dear. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder. Autobiography 622.  

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía  en Escritos.  

Schökel, Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

Sagrada Biblia. Versión oficial de la Conferencia episcopal española.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


XXXI SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE B – 2018  



Ø  Last Sunday the readings invited us to reflect on the need of faith, as a loving adherence to the will of God, and as the longing to see the face of God, as   the blind man said to Jesus.    
Ø  Today we are reminded of the need to keep, during our entire life, the commandments of the Lord our God.   

BOOK OF DEUTERONOMY
Ø  The book of Deuteronomy is placed at the end of the Pentateuch and it is the summary of the  first four books of the Pentateuch and the prologue to the Historical Books.   
Ø  Some scholars consider that this book should not be included in the Pentateuch and should be part of the Historical books, since it shares with them the same Deuteronomist theology. 
Ø  Other scholars, on the contrary, believe that it should be part of the Pentateuch, as   the book of Joshua should also be.    
Ø  The Deuteronomy develops its own  spirituality and a theology which have had a decisive influence on the faith of Israel, which could be summarized as follows:  

Obedience to the Lord brings prosperity; disobedience brings devastation and death.   

FIRST READING   Dt 6,2-6



Ø  When Israel is about to enter into the land God promised to his ancestors, Moses speaks to the people and tells them to keep the commandments all the days of their live.  
Ø  Commandments, which Moses puts on the people; if they keep them they will have a long life. For the people of the Old Testament, “long life” was a sign of God’s blessing and thus of a just life.   
Ø  The fidelity to the law of the Lord goes together with “to receive and to keep the land from which flows milk and honey” that is the land of abundance.   
Ø  Only in this way could Israel make sense of the Babylonian exile. According to the Deuteronomist theology, when Israel behaves well it prospers and things go well; but when Israel is unfaithful, it suffers defeats, exiles and all sorts of calamities.        
Ø  Many centuries will have to pass until Israel questions the equation: prosperity= just life, and realizes that it is not so easy to explain the sufferings and difficulties in life. They belong to the mystery of life, the mystery of God, and mystery of man.   
Ø  Moses concludes with these words addressed to the people: “Listen Israel, love the Lord your God with all your being.“  These words are also for us Christians from the XXI century, Listen… truly love your God more than anybody or anything else. Maybe we should say: be in love with Jesus, your Lord and Savior.    
RESPONSORIAL PSALM. Ps 18

R.   I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R.
I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,

my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD lives! And blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.



Ø  The author of the psalm says that God is our strength, protector, liberator, refuge, shield, hope

Ø  Is this our experience of God? 

Ø  In the third stanza, we bless the Lord for all he does for us.    

GOSPEL Mc 12: 28-34

Ø  Following the theme of the first reading, the Gospel presents a scribe who wants to know from Jesus, which one is the first commandment. 

Ø  Jesus tells him what Is written in the Deuteronomy, and which the scribe knows by heart after repeating it so many times in his life,  

Ø  When he hears Jesus saying that the first is to love God above all, he is very happy.   

Ø  Jesus adds that there is a second commandment, which is as important as the first; it is to love our neighbor.   

Ø  There is no commandment above this two.   

Ø  Jesus summarizes for the scribe all the commandments in these two: the first three that are about God, and the other seven, which are about our neighbor.   

Ø  The scribe says to Jesus that to fulfill these two commandments is more that any holocaust or sacrifice.   

Ø  Jesus says to the scribe: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”    

Ø  Let us often reflect on these words of Jesus about the law, let us ask ourselves if it is true   that the love of God and the love of neighbor govern our life.   

SECOND READING  Heb 7:23-28

Ø  Jesus since he remains forever can always intercede   for us. 
Ø  The author of the letter says he is always able to save those who approach God through him
Ø  Jesus does not need to offer constantly sacrifices as other priests do; he only offered one sacrifice once and for all, the sacrifice of his life.  
Ø  These words fill us with trust and invite us to rest peacefully in God’s arms, like the baby sleeps calm in the arms of his or her parent. 

CLARETIAN CORNER

Fragments from letters of  the Founder and Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters.     

I have just received a letter from our most beloved Nuns of Santiago de Cuba and with great pleasure I send to Your Excellency the copy of the Act of the Holy Visit that the Most Rev. Archbishop ordered to be copied in the book of the House;  because I have no doubt that it will please you very much to see, that Our Lord gives us another father so good that not only likes our Holy Poverty, but that with great love confirms us in it; this is a great consolation for me. Our most beloved Mother Mª Rosa has told me that when he was visiting the different offices he kept saying “everything is poor, everything in order;” I do not have to tell you the satisfaction of all, they keep giving thanks to God to have given them another father who with so much love and concern provides for their spiritual and temporal wellbeing. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress. Letter to Bishop  Caixal, March 15, 1863, in History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, chapter X note 29.    

In the Granja and now in Madrid I have met several times the Archbishop of Cuba, and I know he values very much the nuns of Cuba and all the nuns of this Order. His secretary Rev. Ciriaco is a blessed man and he values you very much. S. Antonio María Claret, Fundador. Letter to   M. María Antonia París, Septiembre 27  1967 in History… chapter X note 30.

BIBLIOGRAFÍA

ALVAREZ, Jesús , History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, 1980.     



FALEY, Roland J. From Genesis to Apocalypse, Paulist Press 2005.