In the third Sunday in Ordinary time we move forward one more step in the progressive knowledge of Jesus.
o In the baptism in the Jordan River the Father says to Jesus that he is his beloved son.
o During the wedding at Cana of Galilee the abundance of water changed into wine by the word of Jesus, and the cooperation of Mary and the servants, is a sign of the Messianic times. According to Isaiah in the messianic times there will be an abundance of rich foods and good wines flowing from the holy Mountain.
o Today Jesus tells us that he is the fulfillment of the great jubilee of God, that he is the Messiah prophesized by Isaiah.
THE BOOK OF NEHEMIAH
«The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were a single literary work that was taken apart sometime in history.
«It is also considered possible that these two books together with the two books of the Chronicles formed a single work.
«If we look at the end of Chronicles and the beginning of Ezra we will see that they are a repetition
«The books of Ezra-Nehemiah narrate the return from the Babylonian exile. This return entailed the restoration of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple.
«These two books present the facts not in a chronological order, but in an order that responds to the importance of the event from the point of view of the message:
o Return from exile (Ez 1-6)
o Memories of Ezra (Ez 7-10)
o Memories of Nehemiah (Neh 1-7)
o Renewal of the Covenant (Neh 8-10)
o Book of the memories of Nehemiah (Neh 11-13)
«These two books Ezra and Nehemiah were accepted into the canon of the Scriptures before the two books of the Chronicles, maybe because we may find the contents of Chronicles in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings.
«Israel was a nation that distinguishes itself from the other nations by its customs, laws, faith in one God who had spoken to Abraham and had made a covenant with Moses, but with Ezra and Nehemiah we have the birth of Judaism. Judaism is based on four pillars:
o The Hebrew race as a sign of identity which is transmitted only from parents to children.
o The law as a way of life and as a manifestation of the fidelity toward God.
o The land which was given to them, the chosen people, by God himself.
o The Temple of Jerusalem as the dwelling place of the God of creation.
FIRST READING Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Ø Ezra reads the book of the Law to all who can understand. This book of the Law is probably the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew text.
Ø This event takes place the day before the feast of the tents which takes place at the end of summer.
Ø This Reading of the law involves a certain solemnity:
o Ezra stands up
o He opens the book in a way visible to all.
o Ezra blesses God and the people respond Amen, yes we praise you our God.
o Once the Reading of the Law is over, the religious and civil leaders invite the people to rejoice, to celebrate eating and drinking, and not being sad.
o Because the joy in the Lord is their strength.
o Each Sunday we are invited to the feast that Jesus himself prepares for with his bread and with his wine, in his community, the community of faith to which we belong.
o This celebration is prepared for us by the Lord through our mentors in the faith, the priests of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 19
YOUR WORDS O LORD ARE SPIRIT AND LIFE
This psalm is a hymn to the Creator and to the Law.
The responsorial psalm is taken from the second part: the Law
It sings the beauty of the Law and it says “it gives rest to the soul” “rejoices the heart” “gives light to the eyes”
GOSPEL Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21
ü We begin with Jesus his itinerant ministry of the proclamation of the good news.
ü The liturgy invites us, to read again the beginning of the Gospel of Luke.
o He says that what he is about to narrate to us comes from the tradition of the communities of the followers of the Teacher.
o Because he has done a thorough research of the facts he is going to narrate.
ü Then we go to chapter 4 and we listen to Jesus.
ü He goes to the Synagogue as he used to do, thus when Jesus returns to his town, he goes to the Synagogue on the Sabbath (Saturday) as any good Israelite.
ü It seems that it was customary to invite those who were visiting, in the case of Jesus he is not a visitor, but he has been outside the town for a while.
ü They give him the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah. He unrolls the scroll and reads chapter 61,1-2
ü He reads solemnly: the Spirit
o Is upon me …
o He has sent me to heal, to console, to free…
ü And Luke adds a quotation from the Leviticus
o To proclaim the year of grace…
ü He finishes the Reading and sits down and begins his “homily” saying:
o Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.
ü Let us see what is he trying to tell them:
o The first part of the Reading is from the book of Isaiah
§ It announces the mission of the Messiah, of the one who is to come, the one who will have the fullness of the Spirit upon him.
§ His mission will be to restore everything that is not whole, to do good to everyone according to his or her needs:
§ To bring good news to the poor, that really need to hear a good word.
§ To proclaim freedom to those who do not have it. How great is the lack of freedom that we have! He will give back to us the freedom that God meant us to have.
§ To restore the sight to the blind. In how many different ways we are blind!
§ To free the oppressed, does anything or anybody oppress us? what does oppress our brothers and sisters?
§ And this is what we call the year of grace, the Jubilee Year explained in Leviticus 25:8
§ It is the Jubilee year, the year of grace because it is the year of the great pardon.
ü This is the way in which Jesus begins his ministry according to the Gospel of Luke proclaiming in some way that he is the Messiah and that he is also 0ur Jubilee.
ü John Paul II in the document “Towards the Third Millennium” says that Jesus in the Synagogue of Nazareth describes his ministry as the accomplishment of the Jubilee Year.
SECOND READING 1Cor 12:12-14, 27
We continue reading the First letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
Today Paul explains to his community what does it means to be a Church.
Last week he said to us that there is one Spirit who distributes his gifts among us for the service to the community.
Today he teaches us how to be a Church using a comparison with the human body.
Paul did not know the biology that we know now, but he has left to us a wonderful description
The body has many parts, this is so obvious that it does not need any explanation
o And these parts have to work together and not separated from each other, or against each other. Because when this happens we are sick.
And from this conversation on the body of Christ Paul speaks about Christ
o Because we have all been baptized in the same Spirit
o We have received the same baptism through which we have become part of the Church. In this community of faith there is no distinction between race, sex, social status… We are all equal through our baptism.
o The consequence is very obvious, as the body,, although it has many parts is one, in the same way those who have been baptized, even being many, are only one body.
o Each one of us needs to feel part of the body of Christ, the Church.
One night while praying and in bitter tears, pleading to our Lord that by the merits of His Passion and death to have mercy on the necessities of His church which at that time were many, our Lord told me and pointing at Mgr. Claret as if I saw him between our Lord and me.” This, my daughter, is the apostolic person whom you have asked me for so many years and with so much tears”.
His Divine Majesty showed me the grace He poured on that holy soul for the preaching of the gospel, and our Lord told me that there was no other remedy for the peace of the church. I did not know that person. Only a few days before I heard that a certain chaplain by the name of Monsen Claret began preaching with much zeal about the honor due to God and the salvation of souls. It seems to me that have been at least eleven or twelve years ago. . María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 19
Ever since I lost the desire to become a Carthusian--which God had used to uproot me from worldliness--I not only thought about becoming holy myself, but I was continuously trying to imagine what I could do to save the souls of my neighbors. Hence I prayed continuously to Jesus and Mary, offering myself to them for this purpose. The lives of the saints, which we read daily at table, and my own spiritual reading all contributed to this. But what moved and stimulated me most was reading the Holy Bible, to which I have always been very strongly attracted (Is. 61, 1). Saint Anthony Mary Claret. Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 113.BIBLIOGRAFÍA
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía
MUÑOZ, HORTENSIA y TUTZÓ, REGINA. París y Claret: dos plumas movidas por el mismo Espiritu. Llamados a renovar la iglesia. Misioneras Claretianas 2010.
SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española