Tuesday, January 24, 2012


-          Jesus is the prophet that Moses spoke about to the people of Israel, in the book of Deuteronomy. 
-          The Gospel of Mark presents to us Jesus announcing  that the Kingdom of God is near, and invites the people to a change in life.  
-          Paul says to the Corinthians that he wants them to be without worries.   

Ø  The Deuteronomy is at the center of the religious history of ancient Israel. 
Ø  Its central core is the Law   
o   A law that is preached 
o   A deep reflection  on the meaning and value of the law. 
o   It is an exhortation to follow the law with fidelity to the will of God, as the expression of the love of God.   

o   The book is presented as the words that  Moses, close to his death, addresses to  the people, at the threshold of the promised land (Dt. 1:1;9:1) 
o   The book has three speeches  of Moses and an annex.   

FIRST SPEACH   Dt 1:1-4:43
A look to the past
The departure from Egypt and the journey through the desert  

Dt 4:44-28:68
 The entrance into the land, and some images of the exile 
A look to the future
THIRD SPEACH  OF MOSES  Dt 28:69-30:20 

o   The Deuteronomy is the introduction to the “Deuteronomic History” Josuah, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel; 1 and 2 Kings. 
o   This book is also related to some prophetic books: Hoseah and Jeremiah.    

o   In the Deuteronomy we find 5 great themes: God, the people, the land, the law and the sanctuary.   




Ø  THE DEUTERONOMIC LANGUAGE: History, exhortation, law   
o   The law  is the central part. The law has its foundation in history and is taught by means of exhortations.  
o   The law is mixed with exhortations 
o   And the exhortations are mixed with history 
o   We find in this book several little units which make suspect that it has been written by several authors.   
o   Several authors, even if the book is attributed to Moses because is the book of the law; in the same way as the Wisdom books are attributed to Solomon, and the Psalms to David.  
o   The date is between 622 B.C. in times of King Josiah, which ordered the restoration of the Temple, and in so doing they found the Book of the Law.  It seems that this book was the Deuteronomy not in the form it has now, but in its initial form; and 586 B.C. date of the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Babylonian exile. 

FIRST READING  Dt 18:15-20.
«  God will give in the future to Israel a prophet in the likeness of Moses, who will speak to them. 
«  And this will be done in response to what the people asked from Moses on the Horeb-Sinai.
«  They told him that they did neither want to hear anymore the voice of God, nor to see the great fire which accompanied God’s theophanies.   
«  This prophet will faithfully tell them the Words of God.   

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Ps  95:1-2;6-7; 7-9
*      This psalm is an exhortation to  
o   Adore God 
o   Listen to his voice    

§  Jesus goes to the Synagogue on a Saturday and preaches. The people is marveled, they are in awe at  the wisdom that comes from the mouth of the young Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth. 
§  Jesus begins in such a way that he awakens the enthusiasm of the people  
o   Among those that are in the congregation he sees a man with an unclean spirit 
o   The evil spirit says to Jesus that he knows who he is. Jesus orders him to be quiet. 
§  In the Gospel, Mark always says that the disciples did not understand what Jesus did and said  
§  But on the contrary the evil spirits knew who he was.    
o    Those present in the Synagogue ask themselves in admiration: what is this? A complete new doctrine, and an authority never seen before.  

SECOND READING : 1 Co 7:32-35
ü  Paul continues to discuss the same theme as last Sunday. He wants the Corinthians to be free of worries, why?  Because everything passes away, only the love of God remains forever.  
ü  Paul considers that whoever is not married is free from earthly worries. 
ü  He does not want to put any restrictions in their lives, but he wants them to be aware that regardless of their decision to marry or remain unmarried, the love of God is above all, and it is an absolute priority. 
ü  We can see in this passage that Paul does not discriminate against women, since he speaks to men as well as to women.   

GARCÍA LÓPEZ, Félix, “Deuteronomio”, en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento I, Casa de la Biblia Salamanca-España 1997.
LOZANO, Juan Manuel, Escritos María Antonia París, Estudio crítico,   Barcelona 1985.
PÉREZ HERRERO, Francisco, “Evangelio según San Marcos”  en Comentario del Nuevo Testamento, Casa de la Biblia.  Salamanca-España1995.
RAVASI, Gianfranco,  Según las Escrituras-Año B,  San Pablo 2005. 
VIÑAS, José María cmf y BERMEJO, Jesús, cmf.  “Autobiografía” de San Antonio María Claret en  San Antonio María Claret Autobiografia y Escritos Complementarios, edición bicentenario    Buenos Aires-Argentina 2008.

I was very attentive, overwhelmed to what was happening, and it seemed to me that I was reading the Holy Law of God, but without seeing any books nor letters; I  was seeing it written, and I was understanding it so very well, that it seemed to me it was imprinting in my soul but in a particular way the book of the Holy Gospels, which till then I had never read, neither  the Sacred Scripture (O.T). After, by God’s grace, I have read something and I have seen it written word by word, as our Lord taught it to me from the holy tree of the cross. It seems to me that the words I understood were coming out from his host holy mouth. (María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 5).
This idea of a lost eternity that began to move me so vividly at the tender age of five  and that has stayed with me ever since and that, God willing, I will never forget is the mainspring and goad of my zeal for the salvation of souls.
In time I felt a further stimulus for zeal of which I shall speak later, namely, the thought that sin not only condemns my neighbor but is an offense against God, my Father . This idea breaks my heart with pain and makes me want to run like… And I tell myself, "If a sin is infinitely malicious, then preventing a sin is preventing an infinite offense against my God, against my good Father.” (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autiography 15-16.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


«  On this Sunday we have again the theme of the call.  
«    Las Sunday it was only “come and see”, but this coming Sunday it is a call for a mission.  
«  The mission is to do as our master did, to call to conversion, to a change in  life,  because God is in our midst, his kingdom is here. “REPENT.” 
«  In the second  reading Paul tells us that the time is short.  

Ø  We find the book of Jonah among the prophetic books, although  it is not a prophetic book. 
Ø  It is a didactic story with an important theological message: the universality of salvation.  
Ø  Jonah stands for a narrow and vindictive mentality of his time. The leaders of the people of Israel taught the people to hate the foreigner.
Ø  The book of Jonah raises many questions for those who think that salvation is only for the chosen people.
Ø  We have in the New Testament a couple of parables which confuse us, like the book of Jonah confused the people of Israel of his time: the prodigal son, the workers to the vineyard.  Because all those readings speak to us about the generosity of God, his love without boundaries.
Ø  In the past this book has been considered and studied in different ways: as historical book, as an allegory, but both views were abandoned. 
Ø  At the present most of the biblical scholars consider that the story in the book is a parable to teach a truth. It is therefore a Book of wisdom.
Ø  The time of the book of Jonah is between the return from the Babylonian exile V century B.C.  and the II century B.C. because by that time the book of Jonah was already among the minor prophets.
Ø  The choice of the city of Nineveh was on purpose, this city was known for its cruelty, it was the representation of all that is evil.
Ø  The book of Jonah presents to us the possibility:  
o   Of the conversion of the oppressors. 
o   And the acceptance on the part of Israel of the fact that God is merciful toward the oppressor
o   And this message becomes harder to accept, when as we read in the book, the preaching of Jonah does not have the goal that Nineveh change its religion and accept Israel’s faith. The only thing asked from Nineveh is to repent, to change its evil ways. 
Ø  The book has two parts, which corresponds to the two calls made by God to Jonah. 
o   First call  cc.1-2 (Jonah does not want, and he does not go)
o   Second call  cc.3-4 (Jonah does what God asks him to do. 

SUNDAY’S READING   Jon 3: 1-5,10.
Ø  This Reading is taken from the second part of the book of Jonah, when God calls Jonah for the second time. 
Ø  At this time Jonah has the resolution to obey God, he has learned  his lesson. 
Ø  Jonah proclaims the message that God has given him.   
Ø  At the end of the first day, the inhabitants of Nineveh listened  to his message, repented, and began to make penance. 
Ø  The author of the book says that God sees through that. 
Ø  And God also repented. He repented from the punishment he had announced to Nineveh through Jonah.
Ø  We may draw several messages from this book:  
o   Today it speaks to us about fidelity to our mission. 
o   The people of Nineveh believes in the words of Jonah, and trusts that God might change his decision.
o   Our actions may change what God had decided to do, this might seem impossible to us, but there are several places in the Bible where we may read about this same situation, in which God changes his decision.    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   25:4-5. 6-7. 8-9.
*      Psalm 25 is a psalm of supplication and trust.
*      It has three parts: 
o   Initial invocation and supplication  vv. 1-7
o   Sapiential reflection   vv. 8-15
o   Final supplication  
*      It has a concentric structure: the first and last parts match in themes and vocabulary. 
*      The author uses also repetitions and contrasts
*      The responsorial psalm is taken from the first and second parts  

Your ways, o Lord, make known to me;Teach me your paths
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior 

Remember that your compassion o Lord and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me because of your goodness.   

Good and upright is the Lord thus he shows sinners the way
He guides the humble to justice he teaches the humble his way. 


ü  Mark presents the young man Jesus preaching the good news in Galilee. 
ü  What is the good news? It is an invitation to reform our life because in the person of Jesus the Kingdom of God is here. 
ü  It is an invitation to proclaim the Good News to help our brothers and sisters that they may allow God to transform them. He is always ready, we need to open our hearts to his presence, so he may transform us.   
ü  The Gospel of Mark is called the Gospel of the disciple, because through his entire Gospel Mark tells us how a disciple of Jesus, the Son of God,  is supposed to live. 
ü  The author of the Gospel of Mark presents the call of the first disciples in a different way than John in his gospel. Each one of the evangelists wants to let us know that the Lord called disciples to make a group. Each evangelist uses different literary techniques according to his purpose.  
ü  In the Gospel of John, that we read last Sunday, two of the disciples of John the Baptist followed Jesus,  and Jesus invited them to “come and see.”
ü  For Mark Jesus walks around the Sea of Galilee and calls two couples of brothers who are working.  
ü  These four men are working to earn a living for themselves and their families, and the call comes when they are at work, not when they are praying. The call of God comes at different times.   
ü  The Lord continues to call each one of us in our concrete situation. The Lord calls us, speaks to us in our daily life, during our working hours, and also in our prayer.
ü  According to the gospels the disciples answered at once, following immediately the Lord. 
ü  Probably they took  some time to let their families know that they were leaving them  to follow Jesus. 
ü  In the Gospel of Mark the call is repeated in different times and different situations of the person who is called. In chapter 1 Jesus calls them “follow me…” in chapter 3 from the disciples he chooses the apostles, and in chapter 6 he sends them to preach and to heal. 
ü  It happens in the same in our call. But it is more exact to say that the knowledge of the call is progressive, not the call. Because we have been called to life and to a mission before being  born.   

SECOND READING  1 Corinthians 7:29-31
«  It would seem that in this passage of his letter Paul is telling us not to be involved with anything. 
«  But I think that the text is inviting us to put the things in our life in perspective, the historical events, our work, our family.
«  For us nowadays it could be a call to slow down. We are so enthusiastic, proud and secure of our technical achievements that we think that we are invincible, that we can do anything that we want. All the new scientific discoveries are good, but we need to acknowledge that there are superior values over these, which remain forever, our relationship with the Lord. 
«  To put everything in perspective helps us to realize that we are not the owners of creation and  of our lives… that we are only stewards. The true Lord and the true master of history is the Lord. 
«  It is also an opportunity to realize and to accept the recognition of our weakness, our poverty and our defects. This will help us to see the good that is in us, and that God takes care of  us every day in all circumstances.  
«  The life span of our life, even when it is long, is very short, and we cannot waste it, we have received it to use it in doing good to our brothers and sisters who journey with us in life. 

María Antonia París was born on June 28, 1813 in the town of Vallmoll of the Province of Tarragona in Spain. The day after her birth,  June 29, Solemnity of St. Peter, she was baptized.
When she was 13 years old she participated in a mission given by a groups of Franciscan Missionaries, and since than she began to experience the call to the religious life.
When she was 28 years old in 1841 she entered the convent of the Sisters of the Company of Mary in Tarragona.
In 1842, one night as she was praying before a Crucifix for the Church that was being  persecuted in Spain,   the Lord from the cross gave her a religious experience in which she understood that what was wrong with the Church was not the persecution, but her unfaithfulness to the Gospel.  She also understood that the Lord wanted her to start a new religious order which had to be new in practice not in doctrine.
In 1851 she left the convent with another novice, to be able to start the New Order. She met St. Anthony Mary Claret who was a missionary in Catalonia and in the  Canary Isles, and he assured her that he would help her in the foundation of the New Order . Some  months after  this meeting Claret was consecrated bishop of Santiago de Cuba and went to Cuba.
Three other young women joined Antonia and her companion.  In 1852 Claret called the five of them to Cuba to help him with the evangelization, especially with the education of the girls and young women. After many months of waiting  Claret signed the document of the foundation of the New Order, the Claretian Sisters, whose official name is Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, on August 25, 1855. Two days later on August 27, 1855 Claret received the vows of María Antonia. The New Order was founded.
In 1859 María Antonia went back to Spain to establish there several communities: Tremp, Reus, Carcagente and Vélez-Rubio. On January 17, 1885 María Antonia París died in the community of Reus.
The Claretian Sisters we continue the mission started by her. We have many communities in each one of the 4 continents: Europe, America, Asia and Africa. We continue to live according to the Gospel and to proclaim it, and in so doing we contribute to the renewal of the Church.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


ü  This week is Vocation Awareness Week. The first Reading from the First Book of Samuel  and the Gospel according to John present to us two stories  of vocation. 

ü  Sometimes it is difficult to understand the call. In the process of discovering our call we need the help of somebody else. (Eli in the case of Samuel, and John the Baptist in the case of the two first disciples.) 

ü   The call entails answering the invitation “come and see.” 

ü  The second Reading reminds us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.                


Ø  The central theme of the First book of Samuel is the birth of the monarchy under the guidance of Samuel, judge and prophet.   

Ø  Samuel continues the judges’ tradition, but he receives also a new call to be the mediator of the Word of God, to be a prophet.  

Ø  The monarchy was for the Israelites an ambivalent experience.   

Ø  The author makes of these two books a work of art. 

Ø  In spite of this we find in them repetitions, incoherencies…

Ø  However, as we have said in the IV Sunday of Advent, there is also a theological thought which runs through both books. It is the theology of the Deuteronomy, which we also found in the books of Joshuah and Judges.   

Ø  All the history books inspired in the theology of the Deuteronomy are called Deutenomistic History.   

Ø  These books are not only history books but theological interpretation of the events of history. 

Ø  Yahweh-God  orders Samuel  to give a King to Israel as the people has asked. We know that Samuel did not want that Israel had a king.  (1 Sm 8,6; 8,7.22; 1 Sm 9,16-17; 1 Sm 16,1.12.)

Ø  When Israel reflects on its history it discovers the infidelity of the people to the Covenant made with Yahweh, since the time they entered the promissed land.  The people had not listened to God who spoke to them through the prophets.   

READING FOR SUNDAY  1Samuel 3,3-10.19

«  This  story  shows  to us the contrast between the religious decadence of the sons of Eli, the priest, and the new rebirth represented by the young Samuel.  

«  Samuel  is called to be the servant of the Word, to listen and to speak. He is called to be a prophet. 

«  When the Lord calls Samuel for the first time, Samuel did not know the Lord. He had never received any revelation from God.    

«  He needs the help of Eli who tells him to say “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.”   

 RESPONSORIAL PSALM  – Ps 40: 2,4,7-8,8-9,10
*      This psalm has two parts: 

o   A thanksgiving  hymn on verses 2-11 
o   A  personal  supplication on verses   12-18

*      The responsorial psalm of the II Sunday in Ordinary time is taken from the thanksgiving part of the psalm    

I have waited, waited for the Lord,
 and he stooped toward me and heard my cry 
 And he put a new song into my mouth, a hymn to our God.  

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offering you sought not;
Then said I,”Behold I come”

In the written scroll it is prescribed for me
To do your   will, O my God, is my delight
And your law is written in my heart!

I announced your justice in the vast assembly
I did not restrain my lips a you O Lord know.


GOSPEL.  JOHN 1:35-42
Ø  On the  Second Sunday in Ordinary Time in the three liturgical cycles A,B,C we read from the Gospel of John. 

Ø  At Christmas we also read from the Gospel of John from the first part of this same chapter. 

Ø  At Christmas John, the evangelist, presented to us Jesus as the Word, the Living Word of the Father. The Word who has put his tent among us.   

Ø  Today it is John the Baptist who  points out to us Jesus as the lamb of God. 

Ø  The Gospel we will read  on Sunday is a story of an Epiphany of the Lord. Epiphany means “manifestation of the Lord.”  

o   Christmas is also an epiphany, a manifestation. God making himself visible among us in the newborn baby.  

o   The baptism of the Lord is another manifestation, in which the Father sends his Spirit on the adult Jesus,  and says to us that Jesus is his beloved Son, and he  invites us to listen to Jesus.   

Ø  When the  two disciples of John heard John calling Jesus  “the lamb of God”, they followed him   
o   Jesus asks them and invites them “come and see.”  

o   And the two disciples went and saw. Afterwards they did the same thing as John the Baptist: they told about Jesus to their friends and relatives.  

Ø  Andrew one of the two disciples speaks to his brother Simon and takes him to Jesus  

o   And in this meeting Simon receives a new name, he will be called Peter which means “rock.”  
o   The change of name in the Bible is always a sign of a call, a vocation.    

SECOND READING   1 Co 6:13-15; 17,20

§  The Corinthians were mislead in their understanding of Christian freedom.  They thought that freedom had no boundaries o limitations. Paul makes them reflect on their behavior. The limits of my freedom is God himself. Paul says in chapter 3 of the First Letter to the Corinthians: “All belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God. 

§  Our body  
o   Is not for immorality  
o   It is for the Lord 
o   And God who raised up Christ from the dead, will also raise us up.  

§  Paul tells them: do you not see that your bodies are members of Christ?  Let us remember the theology of the body of Christ, the Christian community, the Church.  The Church is the body of Christ,  and each one of us is part of this body.    

§  Paul continues to say that whoever unites himself to a prostitute becomes like her, and whoever unites himself or herself to the Lord becomes spirit as the Lord. This means that we live the life of the Spirit.   

o   This reflection of Paul  reminds us of  Gn : 2,24
o   Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. At our baptism we have received the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, and guides us to the fullness of the knowledge , and the life of God.
o   The consequence of this truth is that we do not belong to ourselves anymore, we have been ransomed at a very high cost. Our service and worship of God has to be truthful and real, given with our whole being, which includes our bodies also  

o   The reading ends with the invitation: GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODIES.  


God was preparing me with so many troubles to receive the great, the indescribable joy which had to flood my soul with the arrival of the Bull from Rome on July 16, 1855, as rapidly as I was expecting and I had told the Archbishop every time he presented me so many difficulties. The fights and quarrels, tears and sighs that the foundation of this first house is costing me. Only God, who is pleased with the sighs of a heart distressed for his love, knows them. (María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 202)
I came down from the pulpit filled with the greatest fervor, and at the end of the service we left the church to go to my lodgings. I was accompanied by four priests, my attendant, Ignacio, and a sacristan who carried a lantern to light our way, since it was 8:30 in the evening and it had already grown dark. We had left the church and were walking down the broad and spacious main street. On both sides of the avenue there were large crowds, and all were greeting me. A man stepped forward, as if to kiss my ring, when suddenly his arm flew back and he brought the razor he was holding down upon me with all his might. I had my head down and was touching a handkerchief to my mouth with my right hand, and so, instead of slitting my throat as he had intended, he slashed my face across the left cheek, from the ear to the chin. The razor also caught and wounded my right arm in passing because I was holding it up to my mouth, as I said. (Wounded in Holguin-Cuba. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 575)