Tuesday, November 20, 2012


«  We have reached the last Sunday of the liturgical year cycle B. In the liturgy we will celebrate the kingship of Jesus 

«  We began the ordinary time with the solemnity of the Baptism of Jesus. After being baptized in the Jordan River by John the voice of the Father was heard saying “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.”   

«  Jesus hears the Father telling him that he is his Son; the Father in some way confirms the vocation of Jesus as the Messiah. After this event Jesus begins to announce the Kingdom.   

«  During the liturgical year we have seen Jesus heal  and teach, forgive, discuss with the religious authorities of his people, in a word Jesus has lived a fully human life, showing to us the unconditional love of the Father for us.   

«  At the end of this journey through the life of Jesus, the Church puts in front of our eyes this same Jesus, whom we have seen so vulnerable sometimes, as King and Lord.  

«  Even being King and Lord he has not lost his tender love, on the contrary  his kingship is made of love and tender care for all. 

«  To have more information about the meaning of this Sunday we may go the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 671.   

FIRST READING: Daniel 7:13-14 
Ø  Last week we explained   some aspects of the book of Daniel. Today we are going to concentrate our attention to the message on chapter 7.   

Ø  The Reading introduces a character the “Son of Man”, title which Jesus assumed very frequently in the Gospel of Mark. 

Ø  It is a title of sovereignty, of authority because he has been given:  

o   Royal power and dominion   

o   All the peoples and languages will respect him, and will bend before Him. 

His dominion is foreve, his kingdom will not pass away. 

Ø  I transcribe here the translation of the commentary of Luis Alonso Schökel:

o   In our time, the believer cannot be satisfied with simply waiting for a celestial being that will appear to judge the modern oppressors, and the oppressive structures of power.  

o   In and from his or her faith the Christian  convinced of the liberator, consoling and, full of hope value of the Word and of the Project of Jesus, has to transform his or her struggles and efforts into an active  prophecy.      

o   The times have changed, but God is the same, he does not change his point of view.   

It is our decision to do good works of justice, solidarity and fraternity in the midst of this world divided and governed by the forces of evil.   

*      This psalm belongs to the IV book of psalms (90-106)  

*      It is a hymn to the divine kingship of the Lord.

*      His power holds creation. 

*      The commandments of the Lord are faithful and true. 

*      His house is adorned with holiness.   

*      The kingship and the power of God are his holiness, his love and his tenderness toward all he has created.   

GOSPEL OF JOHN  18:33-37
§  The encounter between Jesus and Pilate is narrated by John in a series of little scenes. 

§  The one we are going to read this coming Sunday is the second.

§  It takes place into the palace of Pilate. 

§  During the interrogation Jesus declares that he is King, but not a King of this world. In some way he not only declares that he is king, but that he is also divine, since his kingdom does not belong to this present world.  

§  He is a King who gives witness to the truth.  What truth? The truth of God and of the truth of the human person.   

§  Only he who accepts the truth is able to hear the voice of the Teacher.   

SECOND READING : Revelation  1:5-8
ü  This passage belongs to the first chapter of the Book of Revelation. 

ü  After an introduction and a greeting to the Churches, the author of the book of Revelation describes, in a poetic and beautiful way,  who Jesus is

o   The faithful witness   

o   The first born of the dead, and ruler of the kings of the earth.  

o   He loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood. 

o   He has made us into a kingdom, priests for his God and Father

ü  He comes over the clouds; these words remind us of the Son of man in the book of Daniel.

ü  Every eye will see him, even those who pierced him. 

ü  Now it is Jesus who identifies himself 

o   I am the Alpha and the Omega 

o   The one who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.  

When God our Lord had decreed from eternity that I would leave the convent, His Divine Majesty disposed, for my greater affliction the coming of the royal permission to accept profession. It has more than 15 years that it was forbidden by the government and almost ten since I was a novice, eagerly expecting the happy day of my profession. A moment of true anguishes!  
His Excellency, Mgr. Claret, already consecrated a bishop was at the point of sailing for his diocese. Since God our Lord gave me a such a firm  certainty in the words this servant of God told me when he came to talk  with me, as I have said – doubting that the work would become a reality – I was unable to remove  from my memory how could it be  to profess in that convent if it was God’s will for me to go on with the work His Divine Majesty had entrusted to me.  Venerable Maria Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 94-95
My God, you know that, despite all my proposals and resolutions, I must have failed against the holy virtue of modesty. You know whether or not someone has taken scandal at my failure to observe this virtue. Pardon me, my God. I give you my word that I shall put the Apostle's words into action and strive to let my modesty be known to all men;  and my modesty will be that of Jesus Christ, as the same Apostle exhorts us.  My Jesus, I give you my word that I shall also imitate the humble St. Francis of Assisi, whose modesty was a sermon in itself; who converted people by his good example. Jesus, love of my heart, I love you and want to draw everyone to your most holy love. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,  Autobiography 389. 
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography 
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras-Año B. San Pablo 2005.
Schökel, Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
Sagrada Biblia. Official Translation of the Conferencia episcopal española.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


«  The end of the liturgical year is near.  
«  The readings this week have an apocalyptic tone. 
«  Let us try to discover the real meaning of the images presented both in the Old Testament, and in the Gospel. 
«  Let us “remove the sandals” from our feet, as God said to Moses, because we are on holy ground, where God comes to us through signs taken from nature.   

FIRST READING: Daniel 12: 1-3 
Ø  The book of Daniel has characteristics which are unique: 
o   It begins in Hebrew  
o   From 2:4 to the end of chapter 7 it is written in Aramaic.  
o   Then is turns  again to the Hebrew from chapter 8  to 12:13.  
o   The Greek translation has passages   which are not found in the Hebrew-Aramaic text: the prayer of three young man in the furnace  3:24-90; the story of Susanna ch.13, Daniel and the idols  ch. 14. 
o   The Church has incorporated them among the canonical books, while the Jews and the Christian denominations from the Reformation do not consider them canonical.  

Ø  The message of this book, like the message of the book of Revelation in the New Testament, is  about hope. After the sufferings of the present time, which in that time were domination of Antioch IV and his   profanation of the Temple, the Kingdom of God will be established.  

o   During the time of waiting the earthly kingdoms are called to acknowledge the sovereignty of God, and also to respect the right to profess our own religion. All of this will happen on due time, nobody knows the date.   

o   To the people of Israel God asks them to be faithful like the three young men in the furnace. 

o   As we advance in the Reading of the book we realize that to be part of the kingdom of God will not coincide with being part of the Jewish people, because some of them abandon the covenant. 

o   Not even being distinguished  persons assures that they are just (story of Susanna)

o   The apocalyptic hope of Daniel is not against the loyal cooperation in the worldly affairs, Daniel works in the court of the King of Babylon. 

Ø  The literary style is very interesting  

o   Apocalypse means Revelation, a revelation that has to be done in order to understand the meaning of the texts. 

o   The messages are brought by angels, or by persons who have gone to heaven and come back as messengers    

o   To describe the coming or the presence of the Most High God, the authors describe awesome natural phenomena. 

o   The good and the evil are represented by real or fantastic animals.   

Ø  To understand the message we need to go deep into the meaning of the signs, only then we will be able to discover the real meaning.   

Ø  We may say that the text is written using a symbolic language. 

Ø  Today’s Reading

o   In verses 1-3 we find the biblical foundation for the resurrection of the dead. 

o   For many commentators these verses are the high point of the revelation in the book of Daniel.   

o   They are also an answer to the question on justice. Those who are good suffer in this world, while the evil men usually prosper. The book of Daniel says that God will reward his faithful ones and that an everlasting punishment will come upon the evildoers.  

o   We do not know when these wonderful things will take place, its time is hidden behind numbers and enigmatic words.   

o   Peace and security come from the knowledge that this is the Word of God, and God is always faithful.   


*      God is my lot. These words remind to us the distribution of the promised  land among the Tribes, the Tribe of Levi was not allotted any land, God is its inheritance.   

*      The cup has the meaning of joy, the cup of blessing, of salvation; but the cup means also suffering, will you be able to drink the cup I am going to drink?...as Jesus asked the two brothers James and John.  

*      The joy in the Lord is so great that the whole person is involved: soul and body.  

*      You showed me the path of life, and You  will never abandon me.   

*      Thus I will rejoice in your presence for ever.   

GOSPEL  MARK 13:24-32

§  Mark describes Jesus pronouncing this speech.

§  In those days, what days? The days when the things Jesus is telling us will happen. There is not an exact chronological date.   

§  As in the Book of Daniel, Jesus speaks of tribulations.    

§  A commentator says: the sun will not give its light anymore, neither the moon, the stars will fall. All of this will happen because their light is not needed anymore, our light will be the Lamb, as we read in the Book of Revelation.  

§  When these things happen it will be the Second Coming of the Lord, described as the coming of a Son of Man over the clouds with power and majesty. What a wonderful description of whom Jesus is: true God and true man, at the same time.   

§  His servants the angels will gather the chosen ones from the four corners of the earth. This means all. No one is lost, all are present to Him.  

§  Jesus invites his disciples to read the signs of the time as they read the signs from nature.  He gives the comparison of the fig tree, when its branches sprout leaves we know that summer is near.   In the same way when we see the things which are told to us in a symbolic language, happen, it means that the second coming is near. His words will never pass away.   

§  What a consoling gospel, full of hope for all, but in a very especial way for those who are suffering!

SECOND READING : Heb 10:11-14.18

ü  Every priest performs his ministry every day, offering a sacrifice which cannot save. 

ü  He has offered only one sacrifice and He is seated at the right hand of the Father, this means that Jesus is God as the Father.   

ü  He waits for the moment when his enemies will be put beneath his feet. His enemies will give him the honor they did not want to give to him during his mortal life, and not even afterwards during our human history.   

ü  He has consecrated those who are his own by means of his only sacrifice.   

ü  He consecrates us, to make us his own for ever. All called to this consecration.  


Now that I have said something about how much God our Lord is pleased by a disinterested heart, this great king of heaven and earth has protected, guided and governed me since the moment His powerful hand took me out of the convent of Tarragona (which was my first heaven) until he brought me to this new world, Santiago, Cuba city, with so great security in the midst of so many and imminent risks that only your infinite power, my God could save my life. Venerable Maria Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 93.    

I understood, my God, how important it is for a missionary's effectiveness that he not only be beyond reproach, but appear so to everyone because people pay more attention to what they see in a missionary than to what they hear him say. This is why it was said of Jesus, the model of missionaries, "He began to do and teach.''  Doing comes first, then teaching. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 388. 


CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía  en Escritos
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras-Año B. San Pablo 2005.
Schökel, Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
Sagrada Biblia. Versión oficial de la Conferencia episcopal española.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


«  Last Sunday the Lord Jesus answered the question made by the Pharisee about the most important precept of the Law. “You shall love the Lord your God… and you shall love your neighbor…”  It is a commandment with two parts.

«  Today Jesus will say to us that the poor widow has given more than anybody else. 

  FIRST READING : I Kg  17:10-16
Ø  The two books of Kings are the continuation of the First and Second Books of Samuel.  

Ø  In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the LXX(seventy) and in the Latin translation called the “Vulgata” they are called III and IV Kings, because I and II Samuel are called I and II Kings. 

Ø  These books are part of the Deuteronomistic History, which goes from the entrance into the promised land to the exile in Babylon (587 BC) They are called by the Jews “Former Prophets” 

Ø  The author or the authors  of the books write after at the end of the exile.  

Ø  The theology is the same as in all the other deuteronomistic books: 

o   Monotheism. The God of Israel is the only one. If we remember the first Reading of last Sunday we could perceive that Israel means that God is unique different from all the other gods=idols. But they accept that other peoples have their own gods. 

o   The Messianic Hope, in the Southern Kingdom= Kingdom of Judah we have the promise of the Emmanuel which will confirms the promise made to David that his dynasty will be always on the throne of Israel.

o   In the Northern Kingdom= Kingdom of Israel they legitimacy is based on the fact that  they are the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.  

o   The exile considered as the punishment for their infidelity to the Covenant. 

«  The reading for this week belongs to the so called “Cycle of Elijah” chapters 17-19.

«  We encounter the great and terrible Prophet Elijah  who performs his prophetic ministry in the Northern Kingdom, denouncing the infidelity of the Kings and the People as well. 

«  There is a great drought and it is related to the words of Elijah who has asked God to stop the rain until Elijah shall ask God to send it. 

«  Elijah has asked for the rain to stop, as a punishment for the people.   

«  Their culture would attribute to God anything related to the natural phenomena which were considered as the weapons of God. 

«  The scene is situated in this reality of poverty due to the drought.  

«  Elijah arrives at Zarephath of Sidon obeying the voice of God.    

«  Elijah speaks with a poor widow. He asks from her food and water. The woman does not have any food, only a little bid for her and her son, and after eating they will wait for death.  

«  Elijah insists that she give food to him and he assures her that the food will last until the drought is over. 

«  The woman believes in the words of the man of God, and the promise becomes a reality.  


ü   Psalm 146 is a hymn to God, the creator of the universe and the defender of the poor.   

ü  God

o   Heals the brokenhearted

o   Gives bread to the hungry   

o   Gives freedom to the captive  

o   Gives sight to the blind  

o   Loves the just and protects the stranger 

o   He sustains the widow and the orphan 

o   Raises up those who are bowed down

o   Thwarts the way of the wicked   

o   God reigns, and his way to reign is 

o   To protect, to care, to serve his creature with tender love. 
GOSPEL Mk 12:38-44
«  This gospel Reading has two teachings of Jesus: One about the falsehood of some Pharisees; the other about the true discipleship.

«  In the first part Jesus says:  beware of the scribes, they look for places of honor in the streets and at banquets. They want people to believe that they are superior, different from the rest.  

«  These same men who want to be honored, instead of willing the honor only for God, take advantage of the needs of the poor.

«  In the second part Jesus is in front of the treasury of the Temple and sees the people putting their offering of money into it. A poor widow comes and puts two  little coins.  

«  Jesus, who has eyes to see the truth in each one of us, says that this poor widow has offered more than anyone else.   

«  He calls his disciples and teaches the lesson about love and trust in God. A lesson about the poverty mentioned in the first beatitude.   

o   This widow has given more than the others. We may imagine the surprise of the disciples.  

o   She has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.  She could have given only one coin and keep the other, but she gave everything.

o   While the others have contributed from their surplus wealth.

«  How happy we should be if we accepted the invitation of Jesus to be poor, to have a heart free from the little or the much we have, and share it with who is in need.    

SECOND READING : Heb 9:24-28
ü  We continue to read from this beautiful letter about the priesthood of Christ Jesus.  

ü  Christ has entered into the real sanctuary, heaven itself. 

ü  To be in the presence of God making intercession for us. He is our Redeemer.   

ü  He does not have to offer the sacrifice to God repeatedly. He has appeared at the end of time, and offers himself in sacrifice once and for all.   He will return a second time not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who await for him.

ü  In the Eucharistic celebration we proclaim his death and await his second coming. 


At many other times our Lord has given me the grace to follow him with great detachment from all things and much trust in His Divine Providence. The Lord always does this with a great feeling of gratitude and tells me with great love: “My daughter, if one could be detached from oneself, then he would know what I do for him.

These words cause such a consolation and confusion in the soul, that only the one who has at any time heard them will be able to understand. How will it be compared to this most ungrateful creature to whom our Lord has done this grace so many times? I confess, for the glory of God, that this is the grace, which gives my soul more detachment not only from all the things of the earth and from me, but even from my own soul. And this humiliation that, in these occasions, I do not know what to tell Him: only to be ashamed and to shrink as if I would like to hide not to see the Majesty of God so humiliated, giving thanks with so great love to the least of his creatures for a little service she, helped by his divine grace, does to Him.

Ah, Lord!!! What shall I say to express what happens in my soul in these moments, writing such delicacies of love? There is only one thing I can say, that, if man would know the gratitude of the heart of Jesus for the benefits received, there could be no man ungrateful to God’s benefits. And I do not die of sorrow for my ingratitude seeing such gratitude in my Lord Jesus Christ. Venerable Maria Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sistsrs, Autobiography  91-92.

 It is well known that modesty is the virtue that teaches us to do all things in a fitting manner. Because we should do all things just as Jesus Christ did, I used to ask myself in every situation, and still do, how Jesus would have acted. How carefully and with what purity and rightness of intention He did everything: preaching, eating, dealing with all sorts of people, praying! Thus, with the Lord's help, I resolved to imitate Jesus Christ in all things so as to be able to say by my actions, if not in so many words, "Be imitators of me as I am of Christ.".Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,  Autobiography 387.  

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.