Wednesday, March 15, 2023



  • The fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday, the Sunday we are invited to rejoice because Easter is closer than when we began our Lenten journey.  Laetare is the first Word of the invitation (antiphon) at the beginning of the Mass.   
  • This Sunday the catechumens who are preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation have the second scrutiny, the second opportunity to examine themselves and see how their journey goes and have the opportunity to allow the Lord to correct whatever is needed of change.  
  • Last Sunday the theme of the liturgy was the water, this  Sunday the theme is the light.    


Ø  These two books are found between the book of Judges and the books of Kings.

Ø  The repetitions, the diversity of literary styles found in these books make us think that they were composed by many different authors and over a long period of time.  

Ø  Each book has a particular central theme. 

Ø  Besides the literary forms of these books, we need to look at the theology they transmit.  

Ø  The main point is the monarchy.   

Ø  Connected with this theme we find other themes: history, human initiatives, vocation, religious confrontations and some other themes.  

FIRST READING:   1 Sm 16: 1b,6-7,10-13a

ü  The author of the book of Samuel narrates how David was anointed King of Israel

ü  He was anointed king but did not become the king of Israel until later.  In the second book of Samuel chapter 4 we find another story about David becoming the king of Israel.  

ü  Samuel is sent by God to Jesse’s home in Bethlehem of Judah. 

ü  Samuel is drawn by the external look of the sons of Jesse, but the Lord keeps telling him “Not this one” until David comes, then the Lord commands Samuel to anoint him.  

ü  As he is anointed the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him.   

ü  We have been anointed at our baptism and confirmation, as kings to be kings like Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served.   

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 23: 1-3a-3b-4,5,6

R. (1The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. 

v  Psalm 23 is one of the most beautiful psalms of the Bible. We use it for funerals, since it describes the truth about what the Lord does for us, human beings, for those who know him and for those who do not.    


*      The author of the letter to the Ephesians reminds to us how we have come from darkness to light in Christ through our baptism. It is true that he does not mention the word baptism in this fragment but, some verses before, he has spoken about Christian behavior. 

*      Now that we are light, we are invited to live in the light of Christ, because his light makes us do good works, works of light.    

*      We are invited to leave aside whatever has been and is darkness in our life, to be light.  

*      Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew says that a light is not to be covered it is to be visible. If someone lights a candle in his home, that invites others to do the same, very soon the place that was dark before becomes a light which invites others to come and do the same. As Christians our life must be an invitation to come to the light of Christ

*      The reading ends with an invitation “awake oh sleeper and rise from the dark and Christ will give you light.”   

*      Yes, let us arise, let us begin with decision and enthusiasm our journey of conversion to Christ, let us allow Him to help us to go day by day from darkness to light.   

GOSPEL  Jn 9:1-41

As we said last Sunday about the gospel of the Samaritan woman, today John presents again to us a theological reflection over a real event, a blind man to whom Jesus gives back his sight.   

The story can be divided in 6 different scenes.    

First scene

ü  As Jesus is passing by with his disciples he finds a blind beggar.  

ü  The disciples, as good Israelites, know what those who interpret the Scriptures have taught them: if you behave God will bless you, if not he will not bless you. Thus is something goes wrong in your life it means that your behavior is bad. Let us recall the book of Job. Job has a very hard time trying to convince his friends that he has not done any wrong thing to be visited by so many sufferings. This story told by John is like a reduced version of the book of Job.  The disciples ask Jesus: who has sinned him or his parents?    

ü  The question seems out of place because who can sin before being born? Because this man was born blind.   

ü  Jesus tells them that nobody had sinned. God can transform darkness into light, give back the spiritual and physical  sight to someone.

ü  Jesus makes clay with his saliva and sends the man to the pool of Shiloh, which means sent, to wash his eyes.   

ü  Jesus wants to give back the sight to this man, but he will have to cooperate. The same thing is true in our life, the Lord wants to convert us to Him, but he asks us to cooperate with our works of light.  

ü  The man comes back with his sight restored.

Second scene

ü  The neighbors of the man were divided among themselves over the identity of this man who was blind and now could see. 

ü  He kept repeating “it’s me”    

ü  How can you see? He told them the man called Jesus anointed my eyes with clay, I washed my eyes and I see.

ü  And where is that man? I do not know.   

Third Scene

ü  They bring him to the Pharisees. John says that when Jesus cured the man it was a Sabbath.  The Pharisees had interpreted the law about the Sabbath in a very strict way, to make clay was already a work that could not be done.   

ü  There is a very interesting and a bid ironic dialogue between the Pharisees, man knowledgeable of the law and, that poor ignorant beggar. We can imagine how they considered that man, who in spite of his poverty and former blindness had a lot of wisdom and common sense; the wisdom given by God to every human being.  

ü  This man cannot belong to God because he works on the Sabbath… they were divided among themselves about this.

ü  What do you say? He is a prophet.  

ü  They sent the man away and called his parents.  

Fourth Scene

ü  To be sure that this was really the blind man, they ask his parents  

ü  Is he your son? Yes  

ü  How come he sees now? We do not know, ask him he is of age.  

ü  His parents did not want to be in problems with the authorities.  

ü  We do not know if they stay to hear the second part of the conversation of their son with the authorities.    

Fifth Scene   

ü  They call the man again to continue their interrogation.  

ü  Give glory to God, we know that, that man is a sinner.   

ü  If he is a sinner or not, I do not know, what I know is that he has given back my sight.  

ü  How did he open your eyes?   

ü  Why do you ask me again ? Do you want to become his disciples?  

ü  You will be his disciple; we are disciples of Moses. And God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where that man comes from.   

ü  This is what is amazing, that you do not know where he comes from, but what is true is that he has open my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners. (That man knew well that only God can do miracles)  

ü  Faced with the wisdom of this poor and simple man, without any status in society, the leaders feel threaten and they expel him from the Synagogue.  

Sixth Scene

This is the climax of the story, the revelation of Jesus to that man. Jesus revealed himself as Messiah to the Samaritan woman, today he reveals himself as the Son of Man to the blind man.  

ü  Jesus comes to meet the man. God always takes the initiative to encounter us.

ü  Do you believe in the Son of man?  Who is he?  He who speaks to you. I believe.   

ü  And Jesus saying in a loud voice what was in his heart, says the reason for him to have come to this world. It is to make the blind see and those who believe they see help them to realize they are blind and ask him for help.

ü  The Pharisees ask, do you think that we are blind also? No, because if you were blind you would not be responsible, but you know, but do not want to  see and thus change your life.     

ü  Let us put ourselves in place of this man and let us read the Gospel putting our name instead of the name of the blind man. Let us ask us if our faith is like the faith of the blind man or like that of the Pharisees. Whom  do we believe?  Whom do we follow?  

ü  Jesus revealed himself to the Samaritan woman as the Messiah, here he reveals himself to the blind man as the Son of Man. 


 This virtue should be so precious that it was the first one that the Most Holy Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ practiced, being born in a shoddy manger, poorer than all the poor in the world.  Oh poverty of my God, who could inherit your riches!  Christ Our Lord taught us all the virtues in a heroic degree because it was God’s own virtue, but it seems that he wanted to inculcate Holy Poverty in a particular way (because she was his inseparable companion.  He is born very poor, lives in utmost poverty and dies in extreme necessity), as the foundation of evangelical life. Maria Antonia Paris. Plan for the Renewal of the Church.


Monday, March 6, 2023


Ø  The third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent will teach us about one of the signs of baptism.

Ø  These readings are found only in the liturgical year A, all of them are baptismal readings.

Ø   During these 3 Sundays, the catechumens will celebrate the scrutinies, which are penitential rites to help the catechumens in their journey towards the Sacraments of initiation. 


Ø  In chapter 15 there is another scene about water, in that scene they cannot drink because the water is bitter.

Ø  In chapter 17 the people are exhausted and thirsty, they want water.

Ø  They do not attack Moses, but God.  They think that God is not able to take care of them in the wilderness.

Ø  Their concept of God is very primitive; God is he who solves all the difficulties. As the people of Israel walk the journey of faith, they will learn little by little who God is. The prophets will tell them that  God wants to have a loving personal relationship with the People and with each one of the members of the people of Israel. Still more, God wants to have this relationship with each human being.

Ø  Moses asks God, and God, as always, answers like a loving and caring parent.

Ø  Take the elders, so they will be witnesses of what I will do and struck the rock with the rod with which you struck the river.

Ø  And water flows in abundance.

Ø  The last sentence of this Sunday’s reading tells us the real meaning of the quarrel, they doubt about God

Ø  Do you doubt also? 


If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart

Come let us sing joyfully to the Lord

Let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation

Let us greet him with thanksgiving;

Let us joyfully sing psalms to him.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart

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.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart

Oh, that today you would hear his voice

Harden not your hearts as at Meribah

As in Massah in the desert,

Where your fathers tempted me

They tested me though they had seen my works.

If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart 

  • The first stanza is an invitation to rejoice and acclaim the rock who saves us
  • In the second stanza the psalmist invites to kneel, to worship our God
  • And the third one God himself tells us to listen to his voice.   

 SECOND READING – Rom 5:1-2. 5-8

«  In the preceding chapters Paul has explained how do we reach salvation

«  In the chapters, which will follow after this reading, Paul will concentrate in explaining what salvation is.

«  In this fragment of his letter, Paul switches from the word faith to the word life.

«  The word life has a physical meaning in Rom 7,1-3

«  Apart from those two verses, life has a variety of meanings which we know through   the words used by Paul:

o   Peace, in the sense of the Hebrew word shalom, which is the fullness of all that is good and the absence of anything bad. The true shalom will be reached only in Heaven.

o   Grace, gift. We called grace the gift   to participate in God’s life during our earthly journey.

o    Hope, which enables us to continue with joy our journey even among the hardships of life.

o   Love which God has poured out into our hearts.

o   The Holy Spirit whom the Father has given to us.

o   The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ who died for us when we were still sinners.

GOSPEL:  John 4:5-42

ü  In his journey from Jerusalem to Galilee Jesus had to pass through Samaria.

ü  At the town of Sychar he stops and sits at the well Jacob had given to his sons.

ü  He is tired, hungry and thirsty. His disciples had gone to the town to buy food. 

Dialogue with the Samaritan woman:

*      The woman comes to the well at noon, this is not the normal time to come to the well, but maybe her life was not accepted by the other women, thus she used to come at noon when nobody was there.

*      Jesus says “give me to drink ”

The woman answers, “You are a man and a Jew, I am a Samaritan woman. (A man was not supposed to speak in public with a woman and much less with a Samaritan woman. Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans)

Jesus says: if you knew whom it is that is asking for a drink, you would ask him instead.  

*      The woman recognizes something different in this man: Sir, you do not have a bucket…. Jesus is willing to drink from the woman’s bucket. This is truly, what the Son of God has done; share our bucket-our life becoming human one like us.

Jesus tells her that anyone drinking the water from the well will continue to be thirsty; he can give her living water, which shall become a spring within her, leaping up to eternal life.

The woman wants this water, but she is still at the material level, if this man gives her that kind of water she will not have to come back to well every day.

Jesus wants to take the woman a step further, “go tell you husband and come back here”

*      The woman is drawn to the light although she is still reluctant, this man knows her life. How much she has been looking to satiate her thirst of love, always in the wrong place.

Jesus tells her you are right you have had 5 husbands and the one you have now is not yours.

The woman says “Sir you are a prophet”

She engages in a conversation over the place of worship, maybe she is embarrassed by what Jesus has told her, she still fights against the light, which is given to her.

The true worshiper will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, because God is Spirit.

The woman now talks about the Messiah

Jesus makes to her the greatest revelation “I who speak to you, am he”

*      About the five husband there here an interesting symbol. In the Bible the woman represents always her people. Here the woman who speaks with Jesus represents the whole people of Samaria and her husbands are the symbol of the 5 idols of the Samaritans.


The scene is changed now.

  • The disciples come back; they do not ask although they are surprised to see Jesus in conversation with a woman.
  • The woman leaves her bucket, she does not need it any more, she has finally found peace and reconciliation within herself, she already has the fountain of water promised by Jesus, her joy is complete. She wants to share it with the people of her town “come to see a man who has told me the things I ever did, could he be the Messiah?”
  • Meanwhile the disciples want Jesus to eat, Jesus, as he did with the woman talking to her about the living water,  he speaks to the disciples about another bread, the bread of the will of the Father. (In the first temptation he answered “not only of bread…. But the will of God.)
  • He explains to them that they have been sent to reap what others had worked. In the Church, each one has its own mission given by the Lord, and all together we do the will of the Father.
  • The people from the town come and on listening to Jesus, they believe in him.



The more we went into that immense sea of waters the more my spirit plunged into the immense sea of God , when I looked at myself  within the heart of my God  and Lord more clearly than in a mirror. God was so pleased in this way of considering his infinite greatness that often times He made me feel the tenderness of his most holy arms with which His holy Majesty pressed my soul within his sacred heart…. The immensity of the sea reminded me of the immensity of God and those skies so wide brought to my mind the immense spaces of the glory of the saints. Venerable María Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 159. 

Fire that always burns, love that is always on fire and is never lukewarm, enkindle in me the fire of your love, so that I may love you. I love you, Jesus, with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength. I would like to love you more and that all love you. I would like to love you for me and for all your creatures. Most Holy Virgin Mary, grant me the grace that all be saved and no one  be condemned.  St. Anthony M. Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Prayer.   



Wednesday, March 1, 2023



v  On the First Sunday of Lent we contemplated Jesus tempted , and at the same time how he affirms the dominion of God over all, we shall submit only to Him. 

v  Next Sunday we will have a glance to the glory of Jesus, the Son the beloved,  whom we have to listen to. 


«  In the Liturgy of the First Sunday of Lent, the first Reading was taken from the 2nd and 3rd chapters of the Book of Genesis. 

«  The first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis are not historical, they did not happened in the way they are narrated.  

«  However they are also historical in the sense that they try to explain the process of creation, the reality of sin and temptation.

«  Using a symbolic language full of images they transmit to us a theological reflection on these realities.  

«  In the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Lent, the first reading is taken from chapter 12 of Genesis. 

o   From chapter 12 on there is a change in perspective in the book of Genesis 

o   The first 11 chapters show us the work of God, who gives without measure and looks for men and women over and over again.

o   At the same time these chapters also tell us how men and women respond to the generosity of God by sinning and following the temptation of Paradise “you will be like gods”. Men and women turn away from God, their creator, to follow their own ways of sin and corruption. 

o   In chapter 12 God intervenes again, doing something new. Like in creation when God called man to existence now he calls another man Abram. This man will accept the call and will obey the God of the Mountain, as he calls Him, “El Shaddai” אל שדי. The God of the patriarchs, which is the same God of Moses  YHWH, the only God.  The translation of El Shaddai is God Almighty. 

o   With Abram a new chapter begins in  human history in its relationship with its creator.



o   The Lord tells Abram to leave the land of his kinsfolk and from his father’s house to a land that the Lord will show him.  

§  He is asked to leave without knowing the destination, with the sole trust in the word of the God who spoke to him from the mountain  

o   God makes 7 promises to Abram  

§  I will make of you a great nation 

§  I will bless you 

§  I will make your name great  

§  So that you will be a blessing 

§  I will bless those who bless you  

§  I will curse those who curse you  

§  All the communities of the earth shall find blessing in you. 

o   Abram leaves as God has asked him 

§  His reaction to the word of God is completely different from that of the first fathers: Adam and Eve, the people of Noah’s time, the people of the tower of Babel. These did not obey the word of God, Abram goes forth as God has told him, he does not know where, but he trusts the word of the Lord God Almighty

§  Thus he will be a blessing and not a curse as our first fathers were. 

§  A new adventure begins for the human race.



Ø  The letters to Timothy are considered “deutero-paulines”. The name deutero is given to a group of letters which scholars think have not been written by Paul but by some of his disciples. The letters written by Paul are called Proto-Paulines.

Ø  The Letter to Timothy seems to have been written after the death of Paul. 

Ø  These letters belong  also to the group of letters called Pastoral letters, which are addressed to Bishops: Titus and Timothy who had been collaborators of Paul in his ministry. 

«  God has called us also to a life of holiness. Holiness is to live our life according to the will of God. 

«  We have seen   the answer of Abram to the call of God. 

«  We have been called to a life of holiness in Christ Jesus. 

«  The Father has called us to this holiness of life before the creation of the world. 

«  Christ has brought  us salvation and immortality by despoiling death of its power.


GOSPEL  Mt. 17,1-9

 I will copy below two paragraphs from the Apostolic Exhortation  of John Paul II Vita Consecrata. 

In the countenance of Jesus, the "image of the invisible God”  and the reflection of the Father's glory, we glimpse the depths of an eternal and infinite love which is at the very root of our being. Those who let themselves be seized by this love cannot help abandoning everything to follow him. Like Saint Paul, they consider all else as loss "because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ", by comparison with which they do not hesitate to count all things as "refuse", in order that they "may gain Christ". They strive to become one with him, taking on his mind and his way of life. This leaving of everything and following the Lord is a worthy programme of life for all whom he calls, in every age (18) 

A whole ancient spiritual tradition refers to this "icon" when it links the contemplative life to the prayer of Jesus.  Even the "active" dimensions of consecrated life can in a way be included here, for the Transfiguration is not only the revelation of Christ's glory but also a preparation for facing Christ's Cross. It involves both "going up the mountain" and "coming down the mountain". The disciples who have enjoyed this intimacy with the Master, surrounded for a moment by the splendor of the Trinitarian life and of the communion of saints, and as it were caught up in the horizon of eternity, are immediately brought back to daily reality, where they see "Jesus only", in the lowliness of his human nature, and are invited to return to the valley, to share with him the toil of God's plan and to set off courageously on the way of the Cross.(14)


 . “The Principal aim of the religious of this order is to work with all diligence in the Lord, in keeping  God’s lawn,  and the utmost fulfilment of the evangelical counsels, and, in imitation of the Holy Apostles to work until death  in teaching every creature the holy Law of the Lord.

                Our form and manner of life:

        - requires that all those persons who wish to be enrolled  be crucified to all  the things of the world.

    - our Institute also requires daughters stripped of all their disordinate affections and passions, so       that they can follow the footsteps of Christ our highest good.

        - requires them to die to themselves, so that they live only for justice and holiness, and that they       should earnestly strive to be faithful servants of our great God, as Saint Paul says:

        • in vigils, fasting and labor;

        • in chastity, knowledge and kindness;

        • in prudence and joy in the Holy Spirit;

        • in sincere love;

        • in truthful words.

-          and as they journey  to their heavenly homeland, they strive to teach and to make the same path easy for others  with the arm of justice and example on the right hand and on the left,

        • whether honored or dishonored,

        • whether in adversity or prosperity,

        - seeking in everything and through everything:

       • the conversion of all consecrated persons to the service of God.

      • and the conversion of the whole world.

      - for the greater glory of God and of His most holy Mother



JOHN PAUL II. Vita Consecrata. 1996.