Tuesday, January 15, 2019


SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE C - 2019

INTRODUCTION

·         After the Baptism of the Lord we begin the liturgical season called “ordinary time.” 
·         Christmas season is a time of epiphany, manifestation, of the Lord. The liturgy tries to answer our question, who is that child? Through the many liturgical texts.
·         Today  Jesus is at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. This event is going to be another epiphany, another way to let us know who he is.  

THE BOOK OF THE THIRD ISAIAH

«  Chapters  56-66 of the Book of Isaiah are called Third Isaiah.   

«  These chapters were written probably by several authors, but as a whole they have a unity which is structured in three parts:   
o   Chapters  56-59 and 63-66. In these chapters the prophet accuses the people to be unfaithful, and at the same time announces hope for the future.   
o   Chapters  60-62 are very similar to the Deutero-Isaiah. These chapters are full of hope and optimism.  
«  The things after the return from exile are not as the people expected  them to be:
o   There are difficulties between those who remained in the country, and those who have returned from the exile
o   Both groups consider that the people of the other group have contaminated themselves with the foreign country’s ways and religion. 
o   Those who come back want the  possessions they left behind, and those who have remained in the country consider them to be theirs.    
o   Life is not easy, and the dreams of those who have returned seem to disappear. 
o   But the prophet encourages them to continue to dream, not because the difficulties are not real, but because God is always present.

o   Nothing new has ever been done without first dreaming of its possibility. 

o   Dreams help us to discover the wonders God does in our midst.   



FIRST READING  Is 62:1-5

Ø  The prophet will neither be quiet nor rest until justice is established in the life of the people. 

Ø  Everyone will see this justice, and thus Zion will receive a new name 

o   In Scripture, the change of name means a change in the life of the person, and that a new mission is given to him or her.   

o   It I s as if they say that the person has been made new. This passage is about the Zion that comes back from exile, which will meet again with the Zion that remained in their land.    

Ø  You will not only receive a new name but you will be   

o   A glorious  crown 

o   And a royal diadem

In the hand of the Lord.

Ø  The new name that you will receive will not be anymore “Abandoned” but  

o   Your new name will be “My Beloved”  

o   Because God will marry you, for he delights in  you  

o   Thus your land will have a husband

Ø  In the next verse the author talks about the theme of the newly wed. 

o   The husband rejoices with his wife 

o   God says that this is the joy he experiences over his people, over each one of us.  



RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Psalm  96

R. (3) Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
 among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
 give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth;
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.



*      Psalm 96 sings the divine kingship.     

*      We are invited to sing a new song, the cause of joy and of singing is that THE LORD IS KING.  

*      Joy because the false gods are not God.  

*      The court of this King is formed by  

o   Honor and Majesty   

o   Strength  and beauty

     

GOSPEL  Jn 2:1-11

ü  The gospel is taken from John 

ü  Jesus makes his glory to be seen by his disciples and they believe in him.    

ü  John does not say that Jesus performs a miracle, but that he has made a sign, which will help the disciples to know him a little bit better, and thus be able to believe in him.   

ü  When we read this gospel, we always try very hard to understand the conversation between Jesus and his mother, the way he speaks to her. The conversation was probably longer, but John tells us only what he needs to convey the message.   

o   Mary sees a need, she knows her son. She says “they do not have wine”   

o   Her words made us think because they could mean simply to acknowledge the fact that there is no more wine, but the answer of Jesus means something else.  

o   Jesus seems to say to her, that this is not their concern. “My hour has not come yet.”  

o   What Mary says after this answer of her son, is still more surprising “do whatever he tells you” Has he not say that this does not concern him?   

o   And the water is changed into wine.    

ü  Let us reflect on some aspects of this gospel:  

o   The scene is a wedding feast, the dearest and greatest of all the celebrations of the human beings.  

o   There is not enough wine. What does that mean?  Wine means joy and celebration. The prophet Isaiah saw the messianic time as a time in which there will be an abundance of many things among them wine.     

o   Jesus speaks of his hour. What hour? The hour of his giving himself up for our salvation. It seems as though, through the voice of Mary Jesus perceives in his heart the voice of the Father, telling him that the hour to proclaim the good news is already here. At his baptism the Father has called him his beloved son.  

ü  Let us take our Bible and let us see what the Gospel of  John has  before the sign at Cana 

o   John the Baptist and the people who are at the Jordan  see the Spirit under the sign of a dove come upon Jesus

o   Afterwards Jesus begins to call his disciples, each one called in a different way according to his personality,  and each one has also his own way to respond to the call.  

o   Now that he has called them, he goes with them to the wedding feast. With the sign of the water changed into wine they start to believe in him, to trust him, to have faith in him.  

o   They need faith to be able to follow him.    

Below you will find two liturgical text which may help us to pray during this week 

ü  The first one is taken from the preface of Epiphany according to the   rite of St. Ambrose:

o   Beginning with his extraordinary birth your Word reveals to the world your divine power through multiple signs: the star that leads the magi, the water changed into wine and in the baptism in the Jordan the proclamation of the Son of God. Through these saving manifestations it clearly appears to our eyes your will to give yourself to us in your beloved Son.” 

ü  The second text is taken from the antiphon before the Benedictus of the Lauds of Epiphany.

o   Today the Bridegroom claims his bride, the Church, since Christ has washed her sins away in Jordan’s waters; the Magi haste with their gifts to the royal wedding; and the wedding guests rejoice, for Christ has changed water into wine. Alleluia 



 SECOND READING   1Cor 12,4-11

*      The community of Corinth was very enthusiastic about the extraordinary gifts which allowed them to perform “great things” 

*      Paul tells them that there are many gifts, but one same Spirit   

*      The Spirit is the greatest gift that we have received. The Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. He distributes the gifts as he wills, and to whom he wills.  

*      According to this message each gift, goes with a particular service to the community.  


 CLARETIAN CORNER 

 After the many times our Lord had told me – as I said above, that Fr. Claret would arrange the first houses of the order and the other many times that His majesty revealed to me in spirit the sanctity of that soul, the Lord provided this servant of God to come to the convent to talk with me. (I think my confessor had given him notes to read. The confessor willed me to explain everything, as he would be questioning it. But I felt so ashamed to say that God has communicated this work to me because I did not understand anything about communications or revelations; so, I only told him that the Lord had made it known to me that he desired to arrange our order to observed in it His most Holy Law and the evangelical counsels. With these few words the Lord permitted that we understand each other and, immediately, without giving place to further explanations, he told me not to hesitate, that it would be done so. And, when I told him that God was in a hurry to do it soon and that our Lord had told me that he had to go to Rome to procure the permission of His holiness, he replied that the fruit was already ripe  but not yet in season, that I could rest leaving the care to him. And then, with one of those jokes that he used when speaking, he said: “Now, I know already that you are here.”

       María Antonia París. Foundress.  Autobiography 61.
I have already pointed out that some people act like hens who, having laid an egg, begin to cackle and so lose it. This is much like the case of some ill-advised priests who, after they have done some good deed or heard confessions or given a sermon, go around looking for little tidbits to satisfy their vanity. They talk complacently about what they've said or how they've said it. Just as I myself am disgusted listening to such talk, I can well imagine that I would disgust others if I were to do the same. So I resolved never at all to talk about these things.  Saint Anthony Mary Claret. Founder.  Autobiography 401.



  




Monday, January 7, 2019


SUNDAY OF THE  BAPTISM OF THE LORD -  2019

Ø  This Sundays is at the end of the Christmas-Epiphany cycle and at the  beginning of the Ordinary time.  

Ø  The baptism of the Lord, is an epiphany of the Lord, as well as the Magi and the Wedding at Canna.  

FIRST READING   Is 42:1-4. 6-7

God speaks of his servant whom he loves, his chosen one

ü  Upon him he has poured out his Spirit.   

ü  Thus he will  bring justice to the nations not crying out, not shouting,

o   He will not   make his  voice heard in the streets   

o   He shall  not break the bruised reed  

o   And a smoldering wick he shall not quench 

ü  He will have patience, he will know how to wait for each one’s  appropriate time 

ü  He will have mercy and compassion,  

ü  Until justice is established on the earth.   

ü  The coast lands, the far distant lands, will wait for his teaching  

ü  What a beautiful description of the mercy of our God.  

ü  The Reading continues. In the first part God speaks of his servant, in the second part God speaks to his servant. 

ü   I have called you for the victory of justice

ü  I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people,

ü  a light for the nations, light to help the nations to see justice, that is the kindness and mercy of our God

ü  I have put you to open the eyes of the blind, to open the eyes whose light has gone out

o   It may be the physical light, but also the spiritual light

o   The servant has the mission to help us to  see as God sees

o   To see ourselves, to see the other  companions of the life journey, as God sees us.

o   This light will give freedom to prisoners

§  …to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

§  But especially to those of us who are prisoners of their own passions, their own darkness, their own fears, their own sinfulness, their own weakness.



 Responsorial Psalm:    Ps 29: 1a y 2. 3ac-4. 3b y 9b-10

R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
R.
The Lord will bless his people with peace

v   In the first verse we are invited to praise God in his temple.  

v  The other two are a description of the voice of God.  

v  Through our voice we let others know us.  

v  The voice of the Lord is strong it can be heard over the noise of the flood waters.   

v  This voice is all powerful as God is powerful, this voice is his powerful Word that in the fullness of time became a baby, to reach us.    

o   But this thunder is the cry of a baby in need of his mother   

o   This thunder is the voice of the humble man, the carpenter of Nazareth.   

o   This thunder is the voice of the missionary teacher who bends over any human need, who embraces all those who have gone stray, all those in need of having their dignity respected.   

o   This thunder is the soft but strong Word, which resounds inside every man and woman, calling us to the conversion of  heart.  

o   This thunder that calls us to be moved by the suffering of our brothers and sisters.    

o   Thunder that calls us to be merciful as the Father is merciful, whose voice is heard over the flood waters. 

SECOND READING  Titus 2:11-14. 3,4-7

*      This letter is addressed to a “brother”, it can be also anyone of us 

o   The grace of God has been manifested to save us and it has taught us…  

o   This grace, this kindness of God is Jesus, who speaks to us and teaches us the way that leads us to salvation. 
o   He has done this, giving himself for us, so that his love, which is as powerful as the voice of God over the flood waters, may conquer us, may help us to learn where is our real good. 
*      The author of  the letter says that He has saved us revealing to us the kindness of God  
o    He has done this not because we deserve it, but because of his mercy  
o   Mercy which has also a meaning of fidelity, fidelity to the promises   
o   All of this, the salvation, has been accomplished by the Most Holy Trinity who has made us anew through our baptism, by the mediation of Christ, our Lord.  
o   This grace which we have received at our baptism makes us heirs
*      Again mercy, mercy which recreates and saves, that does not allow to die the flame which is almost extinguished, but revives it.  

GOSPEL – Luke 3,15-16. 21-22

Ø  People are expecting the Messiah, and looking at John they start thinking that he might be the one announced by the prophets  

Ø  John tells them that he is not, that the Messiah is someone greater than he, whose baptism will   be not only of water but also of the Spirit and fire.   
o   Fire which destroys, fire which purifies, fire which burns inside not only what is bad, but which is the strength which leads us to act what is good with passion.  
Ø  Jesus is waiting to be baptized with the rest of the men there present who confess their sins  
Ø  He does not have any sin; on the contrary, He comes to take away the sin of the world “this is the lamb of God who takes away….”   
Ø  Maybe he has gone to the Jordan with other young men of his hometown; he has gone attracted by the same strength, the same fire, the same light that made him stay in the Temple when he was a teenager.   
Ø  Strength and attraction to Yahweh whom he experiences as Abba.   
Ø  And at his baptism  the Father reveals his Son, his beloved in whom he is well pleased.  
Ø  Jesus hears the voice of the Father which resonates inside as a thunder, as light, as a brilliant fire that enlightens his whole life.   
Ø  Yes, what you experience inside is true, I am your Abba, and I have a mission for you: to  say to all, that I love them,  that my fatherly heart is moved  by mercy when I see the misery, the suffering, the sin  of my children.     
Ø  Yes, communicate to your brothers and sisters who  I am, and do this loving them as I love them.  
Ø  Yes, you are my beloved son, the only begotten, share your sonship with all, seek them, carry them on your shoulder,   cure their wounds, dry their tears, do all of this even if they do not listen to you, even when they take your life without knowing that you are giving  them eternal life.     
Ø  You, who are God like me, love them with a human heart so that they may understand that I am the true Love.   

CLARETIAN CORNER
 


 Let the one who reads these notes not wonder to see them so disordered, because I never thought that I had to write such things. So, I started with such confusion and shame that I had not been able to do it in order. That’s why many things, which have to be at the beginning, are in the middle and others, which are to be in the middle are at the end. They will also miss the dates, because of my own carelessness but not for lack of truthfulness, since by the grace of God, I have always abhorred lies.  Let it be for the glory of God and of the most Blessed Mother.    Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress, Autobiography 232.

The matter of canonries is not so carefully scrutinized. I'm not suggesting that Her Majesty or the Attorney General have themselves ever been implicated in simony, but God knows whether or not office-hunters have made deals with or offered presents to some members of the circle that surrounds them, and surely these could not pass God's scrutiny. For this reason I have never meddled in this business of soliciting canonries. Would  God that all priests sought to be the last and the least among their brothers, as our Divine Master taught us. The best canonry is to love God deeply and save souls, so as to obtain a place of distinction in the glory of heaven. There can be no doubt that it will stand a priest in better stead to have been a missionary than not to have been a canon. Let him choose now what he would prefer to have chosen at the hour of his death. St. Anthony Ma. Claret, Founder, Autobiography 631.  

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, San Antonio María. Autobiografía 631.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía 232.





Text Box:

Sunday, December 16, 2018



CHRISTMAS 2018

Today we want to read in silent prayer and contemplation the Gospels of the birth of Jesus which are read at Christmas.   

Christmas invites us to let the mystery of God, made vulnerable, surprise us. 

Christmas invites us to be silent and to allow the Presence of our Creator and Redeemer fill us.    

Christmas invites us to discover His presence in each human face, especially in the children and in the most vulnerable.    


Gospel of the Midnight Mass – Luke 2:1-14

This Gospel has two different scenes. Let us contemplate each one of them.  

The first scene is the birth of Jesus:  

v  Luke puts the birth of Jesus in the context of the history of his time. He mentions  names and events,  that we can find in any History book. Luke wants to tell us that Jesus is a real human being, not a figment of our imagination.   

v  There is a census, something that all of us are familiar with, because every some years we have a census taken in our country.  A census is always about counting people. How interesting it is, to realize that behind the data of the census there are realities that we do not know, joys and sufferings in the lives of those counted, as it happened with the census of Quirinius.   

v  Joseph belongs to David’s family. According to the way the census was conducted, everyone had to go back to his or her place of origin to be counted.  Therefore, Joseph had to go to Bethlehem the city of David. He goes there with his wife who is with child, at a very late stage of her pregnancy.  

v  The time to give birth came as they arrived in Bethlehem. I leave it to each one’s imagination, especially of the women who have given birth, what this moment means for a woman. Then we may look to Mary and try to discover her feelings.   

v  There is no place for them at the inn. This can be understood in several different ways:  

o   There is no place because they are poor   

o   There is no place because the inn is full.   

o   There is no place because they do not want to be disturbed by a woman in labor.     

o   There is no place, because the inn is full of people and this is not an adequate setting for a woman to give birth. Giving  birth requires privacy, intimacy, sacredness.   

o   And the innkeeper, that I am inclined to look at as a good man, offers them the cave where the animals take refuge at night. There they will be able to be by themselves. 

v  And Luke says very briefly” the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn  son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes.”  

o   An the time came for her, the hour that every pregnant woman expects with joy because she is going to see for the first time the face of her baby;  but at the same time she is overcome by anxiety, she does not know what will happen to her, especially when it is the first child, as in the case of Mary. 

o   Joseph helped Mary to give birth to her son. I like to imagine Joseph, the just man, the good man, with tears in his eyes as the mystery was enfolding in front of him. Tears of thanksgiving and emotion on seeing the face of the Son of God made the Son of man. He would have to be the father of the son of God, his God who had asked him to change the plans he had for his   life with Mary, and thus cooperate in the work of the salvation of the human race.  

o   Mary sees, kisses, and feeds for the first time her baby, who is the Son of the Eternal Father. 

o   I believe that it is impossible for us to understand the fullness of this mystery, so full of joy and suffering at the same time.  Let us contemplate in silence, admiration and unconditional love this mystery.   

Let us contemplate the second scene of this same gospel: There are some shepherds watching their flock during the night.  

v  They live in the fields; they do not live in houses, not even in stables.  They take turns in keeping their flocks.    

v  Shepherds were considered people of not good standing in society: they were poor but they were seen as liars, as thieves, people who had to do many things in order to survive.     

v  To them the angel of the Lord is sent to announce the good news of the birth of the Son of God among us. An angel had also been sent to Mary, to Zechariah, to Joseph.   Let us analyze the message, because it contains several of the dearest  themes of  Luke:    

o   Be not  afraid.  Fear is the natural reaction of the human being in the presence of the Mystery, of God or of his messengers. Jesus will repeat these same words to his apostles on Easter Sunday evening.      

o   I have good news to proclaim to you, which will be the cause of great joy.   The joy of the presence of God in our life, in our society, in our history.  God is always a cause of joy. In the Old Testament, Zion was invited many times to rejoice because “your King comes to you.”  

o   Today, it is the “now” of salvation. Luke uses several titles to describe the child who has been born and who is the cause of joy: Savior, Messiah, and Lord. Jesus is all of that and more, but this is the paradox of God’s work, so different from our works and our parameters, our King comes as a poor and vulnerable baby.    

o   Poverty, although Luke does not mention the word poverty, he says that the baby was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lay in a manger. These are signs of poverty.  God could only be born in poverty, because riches most of the times are void of meaning, and of truth. Real poverty is the same as truth.  

o   Praise,   many more angels join the first angel and they sang “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE… to men and women of good will.   Praise and peace, two words that we find more than once in  Luke’s Gospel. After the annunciation Mary sings, in the evening of Easter Sunday Jesus greets his own saying: PEACE.   

Let us continue now with the Gospel of the Sunrise Mass. 

Gospel of Luke 2:15-20

It has been said that Luke was a painter, and that he painted the portrait of Mary; but some commentators say that the best paintings of Luke were painted with his words, not with brushes.    

The gospel of the Midnight Mass had two scenes. The gospel for the Sunrise Mass has also two different scenes: the shepherds, and Mary.   

v  The shepherds decide to do something about the good news they have received, they go to see the truth of what has been told to them. 

v  Because they go, they see.  What do they see? A newborn baby in a manger, Joseph and Mary.  We have here another of the themes cherished by Luke, faith.   He does not mention the word, but the scene speaks more eloquently than words. They see a baby and they recognize  in that vulnerable baby, as vulnerable as any other baby, the Messiah and  Lord.   

v  The shepherds made know the message that had been told about the baby.   

v  The first scene ends here.     

The second scene is about Mary.   

v  Mary kept all those things, reflecting on them in her heart. 

o   She kept them, these are her memories. The memories of everything that had to do with the baby:

§  At the annunciation; the reaction of her parents, of Joseph and  of the people of Nazareth. 

§   The journey to Bethlehem, during which both Joseph and Mary could share their experience about the baby that was in Mary’s womb. The birth, the shepherds… All of these are her memories.

o   She cherishes them in her heart, meditates on them. Luke does not say that Mary understands, she cannot understand them, they go beyond our human understanding. But she cherishes them, and believes because she trusts in the God who has made the promises to her. Faith is to trust he who has called us to life and has given us his salvation.   


Mass of the Day – Gospel of John 1:1-14

Ø  The Gospel for this Mass is taken from the Prologue of John’s Gospel.  Luke has painted, described for us four different scenes related to the birth of Jesus.   

Ø  John leads us into the mystery, he removes the curtain, this is the meaning of revelation, to see what is behind the curtain like in a theatre. He helps us to discover the mystery hidden behind the events and the different characters. 

Ø  In the two former Masses Luke has narrated the birth of Jesus, called Messiah and Lord.   

Ø  The Church, the community of the believers and followers, led by the Spirit sent by Jesus to her, has deepened into the theological meaning of the events related to the birth of Jesus.  Let us hear what John has to say

o   In the beginning  was the Word… and the Word was God.   If we go to the first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis the first words are “In the beginning…God created… and God said … God says his Word and the abyss becomes a wonderful and beautiful creation.   

o   John continues his theological reflection and says that the Word existed from the beginning, that without him nothing came to be.  The darkness did not recognize him.  Darkness, our own and   that of our society, and  of our world  cannot understand and accept his light.    

o   John proceeds and says that the light, the Word,  was in the world, but the world did not acknowledge his presence. 

o   He came to his own and they did not welcome him. Sometimes we think that these words are said of the people of Bethlehem; but I believe that we need to enter into our heart, and to discover, in how many ways we do not welcome him into ourselves. Only in this way we will be able to understand the dreadful mystery of the human heart that can refuse to recognize and welcome his or her Creator.  

o   To those who did accept him…   According to some commentators  verses 12 and 13 refer to the virginal birth of Jesus, and also to our baptism.  

o   And we reach now the climax of the prologue AND THE WORD BECAME FLESH  

§  The creating Word, the Word who is the Eternal Father’s Son 

§  Became flesh. Flesh means the condition of the sinful and vulnerable human being. Without having any sin, because God cannot sin, he becomes like us, to be able to nail to the cross, as Paul says, our flesh and in so doing to give us his life, the life of the Father’s Son.   

§  He made his dwelling among us, in some translations he “put his tent among…” This sentence makes us think of the nomads, the pilgrims who do not stay in a same place forever.  We are all pilgrims in this world. He puts his tent and lives like anyone of us.     John Paul II in the document for the preparation of the Third Millennium wrote:  he loved with a human heart, he worked with hands of a man, talked… he was and is one of us.    

§  This gospel ends with the words that John will repeat in his I Letter. He is fascinated in awe by the truth of what they had experienced living with Jesus “and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”   

§  THIS IS THE BABY WE CONTEMPLATE IN BETHLEHEM WITH MARY AND JOSEPH, SURROUNDED BY ANIMALS, GREETED BY THE SHEPHERDS AND PROCLAIMED BY THE ANGELS:      

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND ON EARTH PEACE TO MEN AND WOMEN OF GOOD WILL.