Monday, September 30, 2013


·        If it delays wait for it, it will surely come. How wonderful, comforting and reassuring  are these words which we will hear this coming Sunday. We hear these same words on  one of the weeks before Christmas in the prayer of Lauds, but there instead of saying wait for it, it says wait for him (Jesus). Yes he will come!   

·        In the Gospel we will hear the petition of the Apostles "increase our faith." If you have faith the size of... 

·        Timothy is invited to stir into flame the gift he has received from God on the imposition of hands, when he was consecrated for the ministry.   

Ø  In the commentary to the Biblia de nuestro Pueblo  Luis Alonso Schökel says that  Habakkuk is a prophet without a country and without a last name.   

Ø  But this almost  anonymous prophet has a powerful message for that time of oppression and violence in which Israel finds itself. Israel is between two powers -Assyria and Babylon-  that take turns in oppressing it. We are in the  years  622-612 B.C.

Ø  As the prophet contemplates so much violence and injustice in his time he cries out to God a very daring question "How long, O Lord? ... but you do not listen. 

Ø  We also have these two questions of the prophet: how long...? Why?  

Ø  When God answers the prophet is able to help his people to look toward a new horizon with trust, perseverance and hope in the Lord. 

Ø  The great message of this prophet, who  in words of the scholar Luis Alonso Schökel is called the watchtower of  history is "the just one because of his faith shall live."   

FIRST READING  Hb 1:2-3;2:2-4
ü  Habakkuk cries out to God "How long O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen. 

ü  And, "why do you let me see violence, injustice, crime, ruin... if I cannot alleviate it? Why do you keep being  silent?   

ü  Finally God answers, he answers when it is the right time. When the people and its  prophet are ready to accept the vision which the prophet has to write down.  

ü  The message of the vision is true and will be fulfilled, however they will have to wait but it will surely come.

ü  During the Christmas Season there is an antiphon for the Lauds of one of the weeks that says "if he delays, wait because he will surely come" Who will come? the Lord will come, he always  comes, we need to keep vigil for him as the bride waits for the bridegroom.  

ü  This reading ends with the sentence which summarizes Habakkuk message "the just one,  because of his faith, shall live."    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 95: 1-2. 6-7.8-9

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord! 
let us acclaim the rock of our salvation!  
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving  
let us joyfully sing psalms to him!     

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.   

Oh, that today you would hear his voice 
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert
When your fathers tempted me
they tested me though they had seen my works." 

§  This psalm is an invitation to listen to the voice of God, the voice the prophet longed to hear and for a long time   did not.   

§  We are asked not to harden our heart while we wait for the Lord, because a hardened heart cannot hear the whisper of God.   

GOSPEL Luke  17:5-10
*      The Apostles ask the Lord that he may increase their faith. 

*      And Jesus answers with a comparison,  making them realize how little was their faith.

*      To do this he uses one of the exaggerations of the culture and language proper of Israel. Jesus uses this kind of language some other times, it is like an invitation  to reflect and to look for its  meaning.    

*      The mustard seed is the smallest seed, the strong roots are difficult to pull up; these are images of the meaning of faith. 

*      Afterwards he tells them a parable which has to be understood in its totality not in its details.    

*      The meaning is that who does what he or she is supposed to do, cannot wait for a reward, because he or she did his duty.  

*      Would that be that Jesus wants us to realize that faith is a gift, not something we can obtain through our efforts?    

*      The reading ends with the invitation that Jesus makes to us "we are unprofitable servants, we have done what we were obliged to do."  

*      In regards to the meaning of faith I remember two comparisons that our formator told us during our novitiate. Faith was like signing a blank check in which the Lord would write the amount..."  or    "it is like jumping into the open sea without knowing how to swim, because  there  will always be his loving hands to receive, to welcome  us.   

*      Faith can be a  trusting experience, only when there is a personal relationship with the person of Jesus or with the Trinitarian God.   

SECOND READING  2 Tm 1:6-8,13-14
v  The author of the letter invites Timothy to stir into flame his love, which ,maybe,  he had allowed it to be covered with ashes as a result of difficulties in his daily life. 

v  He reminds him that God has not given him a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power, love and self-control.  

v  He invites him not to be ashamed of his witnessing to the Lord Jesus.

v  He recommends him that with the help from the Holy Spirit he keep this treasure which already dwells in him.   

v  What is that treasure? It is the Most Holy Trinity dwelling in each one of us.    


a Dominican Father, a great servant of God, very learned and of great virtue, Rev. Fr. Tomas Gatell who was the confidant of my confessor in the matter because I had opened to him my soul many times and he had always said to me that I would not take my profession in that convent – now he was also fearful to decide in the case because my confessor left it in his hands trusting more in the great experience of this Fr. Master Gatell than in himself, and because he was also director of my companions, the one who wanted to leave with me. This father was more inclined to see it God’s will to forgo the profession and leave the convent, but the great difficulties expected frightened him so much as not to have the courage to assume the responsibility. He knew the disturbance the whole community would suffer and, no less than the community, the Archbishop since he knew well how much we were loved by all of them. He said we were going to make such a toll of the bell that it would be heard not only in the whole city but in the entire Archdiocese. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography  101.  

The right to speak out and teach the nations, which the Church received from God himself in the person of the Apostles, has been usurped by a mob of obscure journalists and utterly ignorant charlatans.
The ministry of the Word--at once the most exalted and invincible of all ministries because it has overcome the world --has been converted everywhere from a ministry of salvation into a wretched ministry of ruin. And just as nothing or no one could hold back its triumphs in apostolic times, so nothing or no one can hold back its ravages today unless it is confronted by the preaching of priests and a flood of good books and other holy and wholesome writings.Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 451-452.   

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
JENSEN, Joseph, Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets.
PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.



Thursday, September 26, 2013


·          Amos continues inviting us to live in justice and compassion towards our brothers and sisters less fortunate.  

·         We will listen to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. This parable like the words of Amos invite us to take seriously the matter of justice in our relationships.  

·         The author of the letter to Timothy   tells  him how to behave as a follower of Jesus  

Ø  Amos  is a very interesting prophet, very close to the simple persons whom the Lord chooses to give them a mission of salvation among his or her brothers and sisters. 

Ø  Amos, himself tells us that he is a farmer, a simple man, who has never wished to be a prophet, but the Lord God called him to prophesize.

Ø  He had been born in the Southern Kingdom, "Judah," but the Lord God had sent him to exercise his ministry in the Northern Kingdom "Israel". 

Ø  He lives and prophesizes in a time of great economic and political prosperity in the Northern Kingdom, a time of great wealth but also a time of great injustices.  

Ø  A time in which on some way the nation is more vulnerable, in spite of its wealth and power, because when there are internal injustices the nations are more vulnerable to the external attacks.   

FIRS READING  Amos  6:1a. 4-7
ü  This reading is taken from the "woes' section" called also "lamentations"  in chapter 5 and 6. 

ü  The reading gives us the third woe.  

ü  If we did not know that we are reading something related to many centuries ago, we would think that the prophet is speaking of our own time and society.  

ü  Amos tells the powerful, the rich men that they live in the opulence and that they are not sensitive to the suffering of those who lack almost everything.  

ü  He gives a very vivid description: they participate in banquets, they sing, they dance... in a word they do nothing useful. 

ü  They take advantage of those who lack almost everything, and they, the rich, take from them the little they have, or they do not give to them  their salary.  

ü  The consequences of this empty and selfish life will be great. When the Assyrians come they will be the first to be deported. This was the policy of the Assyrians, to take the powerful from their own  nation, so that they could not organize a revolt. But they  were  leaving  the poor of the land to care for it. 

ü  It is not difficult to see something similar in our society today. In a time of economic recession we continue to be invited to spend the little we have in futile things for the profit of the business  owners.   We are offered continually "sales" or "two for the price of one," or they make us believe that "we can buy without paying now and  without interest..."  

ü  In a word they play with our ill inclination to possess without effort, to spent money without thinking....   

ü  But I do not think that we have to look only to the world of opulence, of the businesses etc... the readings invites all of us to look at our own life and see if there is something in it  similar  to what the prophets describes. 

ü  The great sin of all those Amos is describing in his oracle, and also of the rich man of the parable of Luke is the "indifference" in front of the suffering and the need of others.   

Blessed is he who keeps faith forever
secures justice for the oppressed
gives food to the hungry
the Lord sets captives free.  

The Lord gives sight to the blind
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down
The Lord loves the just
The Lord protects strangers.  

The fatherless and the widow he sustains
but the way of the wicked he thwarts
The Lord shall reign forever
your God, O  Zion, through all generations.  

§  The psalms repeats what Amos has said, God will not forget the wrong we do to others. 

§  The psalm says it by means of song, poetry, but it is the same message, it is a call to justice and compassion = to suffer with... 

GOSPEL  Lk 16: 19-31
*      Before we begin to analyze this parable, let us look at what comes before it in chapter 16 of the Gospel of Luke. 

*      The reason to do so is because the Gospels have an inner order through which the author wants to help us to understand the message.  

*      Chapter 16 of Luke begins with the parable of the "dishonest steward"  then comes the words addressed to the Pharisees, who loved money and power.   

*      In a word we may say that this is a chapter on the need to use money justly.  

*      Let us see now the parable  

§  It is a story we know very well, the story of two human beings  

§  One is rich but does not have a name, his life is empty and Luke says that not giving him a name.   

§  The other man has a name in spite of being a "nobody" for the rich man who does not even see him. He only realizes that Lazarus exists when he needs him, when he wants to use him for his convenience.   

§  This man is called Lazarus = Eliezer which means "God helps", what a beautiful name the name of this beggar, and certainly God helps.      

§  The sin of the rich man is not that he abuses the poor man or takes advantage of him, not even a sin of "social injustice", but a sin  of "indifference"  He does not see the poor man, he does not feel his needs, he is totally indifferent.   

§  The human beings do not help the poor man full of sores, but the dogs, those dogs who are as homeless as he is, take care of his wounds.

§  These two men die like everybody does. None of us takes anything when we die: neither the riches, nor the sores... nothing. At this time we are all equals, simple human beings poor and naked before our Creator and Father.   

§  The fate these two men changes immediately: the rich man is buried, why do they tell us something which is so normal to be buried? because he is buried in the abyss of the dead, he is forgotten forever, nobody remembers him.  

§  the poor man is taken to the bosom of Abraham, which is the image of peace and consolation reserved for those who die in the Lord, who will enjoy happiness for all eternity. 

§  The reaction of the rich man, as Luke describes it, is very interesting. On one side he is as selfish as always "tell Lazarus to come to alleviate my suffering..." on the other side he is able to act moved by love for his brothers.   

§  The words of Abraham make us think "between you and us there is a great chasm that nobody can cross."  

§  Maybe this is the best description of what happens between selfishness and unconditional love.  

§  This parable does not need more explanation, let us enter into our heart and let us see in it how much of the rich man we have and how much of the poor. From there let us make our own reflection.   

SECOND READING  1 Tm 6:11-16
v  The author of the letter continues to tell Timothy how to behave as a man of God called to the pastoral  ministry. 

v  He invites Timothy to live according to the commandments and to exhort him to do it he reminds him that Jesus gave witness in front of Pilate. 

v  We know that because of this witnessing, he died, but his death was redeeming us.   

v  It is an invitation to Timothy to live a good life.  

v  Until Christ  the Lord  of Lords comes again.   

v  His is the honor and glory.   

v  This is an invitation also for us, the XXI century followers of Jesus

v  We are called to be witnesses with our life. We are called to testify  the truth of God and of our own truth.   

v  What is that truth? That God is Father and thus we are all brothers and sisters. This is the truth that leads us to justice. 

God our Lord was pleased in this occasion to make me taste the summit of affliction. I thought very seldom of the promises the Lord had made to me and, if I remember them sometimes it was for a great torments  because at once my old anguishes assaulted me – that all that my confessor told me to be the spirit of God was perhaps the evil spirit to get me out of the convent and then, to leave me unable to become a religious. This was for me the cruelest torture because I cannot explain the love I have always had for the religious life. And the devil all the more reinforced these fears in me seeing that the confessors and the good bishop Claret, who assured me of the work, did not dare to define the case. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 100. 

The Word of God brought all things out of nothingness. The divine Word of Jesus Christ restored all things. Christ told his Apostles, "Go out into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.''  St. Paul told his disciple Timothy, "Preach the Word."  Society is perishing for no other reason than that it has withdrawn from the Church's Word, which is the Word of life and the Word of God. Societies have become weak and are starving because they have ceased to receive the daily bread of God's Word. Every plan of salvation will be sterile unless there is a return to the fullness of the great, catholic Word. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 450.  

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiography.
JENSEN, Joseph, Ethical Dimensions of the Prophets.
PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
The Catholic Study Bible, Second Edition. New American Bible.



The liturgy of the Church continues to put before our eyes the teachings of Jesus that Luke left for us in his Gospel. Today Jesus teaches us a lesson which may help us in our  society: the use of riches.

Ø  This prophet lived during the VIII BC. He was born in the Southern Kingdom, Judah; but the Lord called him to do his ministry as a prophet in the Northern Kingdom. 

Ø  He has been called the prophet of the justice of God.  

Ø  Justice as the Scripture understands it, not in the way our modern states understand it. We say that justice is to give to each one what is his or hers. We also say that justice is to abide the law.   

Ø  But for the people of the Bible, justice has to do with human relationships and also later on with human and divine relationships.  

Ø  It has to do with the  mercy and the generosity that we discover so abundantly and surprisingly in the relationship of God with us.   

Ø  The just deeds of God are acts of liberation of his people from slavery.   

Ø  Jesus has manifested to us in a very clear and surprising way this justice of God, in the fact that the Son  of God personally has come to live among us in order to make us just, with the justice of God, liberating us from the greatest of the slaveries: sin.  

Ø  Thus we may truly say that the book of Amos is about justice, not the justice of God but the lack of justice of the people. 

Amos 8:4-7
ü  Amos describes the lie, the lack of truth in the behavior of those who accumulate riches, to enjoy them without worrying about those less fortunate.   

ü  He describes persons who "abide" the law, with a fake repose,  but God sees something else, he sees the lack of truth of his creature,  those persons rest because they are constraint to do it, but while they do nothing apparently, they are planning their businesses.     

ü  They not only plan their business, they also think how they will cheat, take advantage  and trick those more vulnerable.   

ü  The prophet Amos, who defended strongly the rights of all, puts in the mouth of God a sentence which terrifies us, if we take it seriously, "never will I forget a thing they have done!"  

ü  It does not frighten us, that God who "forgets and erases" all the sins we have committed, says that he will never forget the unjustice that we do to our brothers and sisters?   

ü  What will he say to our generation, to our society, in which millions of our brothers and sisters die from lack of what is most essential for the human life, while we waste money and possessions buying worthless things and making devices to kill?       

ü   Each one of us will give his or her own answer to that question.   

ü  I think that this is the purpose to choose these readings for the liturgy  


Praise, you servants of the Lord
praise the name of the Lord
blessed be the name of the Lord
both now and forever. 

High above all nations is the Lord
above the heavens is his glory
who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? 

He raises up the lowly from the dust
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes
with the princes of his own people.  

v  This psalm describes the works of the power of God, who bends towards the needy, the poorest, thus showing his mercy and justice.   

GOSPEL Lk 16:1-3
*      This is a very interesting parable of Jesus. 

*      It describes the situation of an employee, one who works for a salary, a steward to whom the master asks him to give an account of his administration, before he is fired from his job.  

*      The reason to fire him is that he has been dishonest, he has not been faithful to his master, but has used his position for his own benefit, cheating.   

*      Let us look more closely to the situation of that man: 

·         On one hand we realize that  the behavior of this man is as dishonest as the behavior of those men described in the first reading. His life  is a lie. He has the appearance of honesty and fidelity, while the truth is that he is dishonest and     a liar. 

·         On the other hand we realize also that in some way he is able to be honest sometimes. He says the truth about himself: he cannot work because he has never worked, he is not able to beg, to ask for help, but he finds the way. He will lower the debts of all the debtors of his master. In this way he will continue to be in charge, he will not be subjected to them, because he knows that they are also dishonest, as much as he is.  In a word he is blackmailing them.  

*      Sometimes as I meditate on the situation of injustice in which we live in our societies, it seems to me that it is very similar to what the parable explains to us:   

§  Those who "sell" to us, they really "buy" us instead, lowering the prices and giving two for one  

§  Then our greed makes us  blind and we do not see anymore the injustice around us.  

§  Thus we do not denounce because if we do so, it we will be left without the benefits that they offer to us.    

*      Jesus continues saying that the "children of the world", world understood as unjust society, are more prudent than those who try to live according to the values of the Kingdom.   

*      Jesus continues saying that we use what the unjust riches produce to help others,  and in so doing we will transform them in just riches if we share them  with those less fortunate than us, with our employees ...  

*      Something very interesting is that riches are presented as something we do not own we only are the stewards of it.   

*      And this is the truth, none of us owns the riches, we only administer them. The call here is to administer with the justice of God, which is the same as the truth of God.   

*      Strong message, this one, it knocks at the door of our heart strongly inviting us to live in the truth of God, in his justice which is made of mercy.    

SECOND LETTER   1 Tm 2:1-8
v  The author of this letter invites us to personal and community prayer  

v  A prayer with external movements.   

v  A prayer for those who govern us  

v  And not only pray for them for their own good  

v  But also for the good of all, so that we will be able to live in peace.   

v  The reason for this is the only mediator that we have, Christ Jesus who wants to save us.  

v  This second reading has something in common with the other two readings: peace and justice.    



I was not contented at all with this response, rather I complained to my confessor for not having forced him to answer if I would profess or not because only with that, would I be tranquil since I was not eager to go or to remain, even though not to make my profession was tearing my soul because I had been ardently desiring it not only from my ten years of novitiate but since I had the use of reason. But, as soon as this saint would have said that to leave the convent could be for the glory of God (which was to divide my soul) I would have conformed myself to God’s will for, since God our Lord made me understand the holiness of that soul and the gifts of grace entrusted to him by his divine majesty, my confidence in him was so great that I seemed to hear God’s voice through his. But our Lord was not pleased to give this consolation: he preferred me to drink the chalice up to the last drop. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 97.

The world has always striven to hinder and persecute me, but our Lord has taken care of me and frustrated all its evil designs. During the month of August, 1847, a number of bands of men called "The Early Risers" began to spring up all over Catalonia. The newspapers put it out that the leaders of these groups would do nothing without consulting Father Claret first. This was only a move of theirs to discredit my name and to invent some pretext for apprehending me and putting an end to my preaching. But God our Lord arranged matters so as to snatch me from their clutches. He sent me to preach in the Canary Islands, as I shall now relate. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 477.

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
JENSEN, Joseph. Ethical Dimension of the Prophets. Collegeville, Minnesota  2006. 
PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.