Monday, November 18, 2013


  • On this Sunday we will celebrate and honor Jesus as  King of the Universe.  
  • The liturgical year began with the baptism of Jesus and ends with the celebration of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe.        
  • The young carpenter from Nazareth went to the river Jordan with the other men from his town to be baptized by John, and afterwards he begins a dangerous and unorthodox  preaching according to the religious, civil and political authorities of his people.    
  • This young man hears the voice of the Father who after his baptism tells him "You are my beloved Son."   
  • This young man after his death and resurrection has been established Lord of  the living and the  dead. It has been revealed to us who he really is.    
  • He is the Son of the eternal Father, the Second Person of the Trinity, the creating Word of God, though whom all things were made .
FIRST READING : 2 Sm 5:1-2
ü  This passage narrates how David was established as king over Israel.  

ü  King David is highly exalted and praised in the Scriptures. He is presented  as a friend of God, a holy  man but also a sinner. A warrior against the neighboring peoples to defend his own kingdom, and at the same time the tender singer of the wonders of God. Although a sinner he is also  considered to be a just man.

ü  Of his appointment as king of Israel we find several texts in the Scripture:    1 Sm 16:1-13; 2Sm 5:1-3; 1Cr 11:1-3; Sal 78: 70-72.

ü   A mutual covenant is made  between David and the people.  

ü  Before closing the covenant, the agreement,  they remind David that in the time of Saul he, David,  was the one that won the victories.   

ü  David, who was taken from the flock of his father by Samuel to be anointed king over Israel,  hears the elders of his people telling him that he has to be the shepherd of his people.   

ü  As a shepherd he will be also a leader.  What a beautiful image of a chief who is a shepherd, like Jesus has been.   

ü  The leader or the chief according to the Scriptures is a shepherd, someone who takes care of his people, serves his people, does not overpower his people but he gives his life for his people

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  122:1-2.3-4.4-5
I rejoiced because they said to me
We will go up to the house of the Lord
And now we have set foot
within your gates,  Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity
To it the tribes go up
the tribes of the Lord  

According to the decree for Israel
to give thanks to the name of the Lord
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David 

ü  This psalm sings the fascination of the pilgrim as he or she  approaches the holy city of Jerusalem. 

ü  The city has the external beauty of its construction, its buildings, which captivates the heart of those who visit it.

ü  And the city has also an inner beauty given by the peace and justice which is administered at its doors.    

GOSPEL  Lk 23:35-43
*      We read what happened between the criminals who were crucified with Jesus and Jesus.   

*      The chief priests insult him, the soldiers make fun of him, of his life, his preaching

*      They tempt him, if you are who you say you are, save yourself.   

*      If we remember a little what we read at the beginning of Lent, Jesus was tempted by the evil spirit. When Luke finishes to narrate the temptations of Jesus he says that the devil left him for a time. 

*      Now on this cross, to which he is nailed, now that he has lost his strength, that he is seen as a failure, now when he experiences the deepest abandonment from everyone even the Father, it is the moment for the devil to come back and tempt him again.

*      And he does it by means of the people who surround him at this dark hour, the darkest hour of human history. 

*      One of the crucified men he has on each side tempts him, you can, why don't you do it? Why don't you save yourself and us?   

*      This is the same temptation as the temptation of the bread in the desert , if you are the Son say to this stones ... why don't you use your power for your own good and ours ?

*      But the other man who is suffering the same condemnation rebukes his companion, and reminds him that they are punished because they did evil things but this man is innocent. 

*      How true it is  that even the worst criminals and sinners have the possibility to abandon the evil they do and come back to what is good, they have the possibility of conversion, they only have to be willing to.   

*      This man does not understand quite well, how this young man from Nazareth can be a king, but he believes it.    What did he see in that young man completely disfigured  on the cross, that allowed him to discover in him the Lord of the kingdom he preaches.  

*      How really true it is that God immediately welcomes us into his arms the moment we go back to him.    

*      Today you will be with me in paradise.    .

*      Happy thief, who faithful to his "trade", stole paradise, the heart of our Redeemer

*      I transcribe below something very beautiful that I have read in a commentary by Gianfranco Ravasi:  
            Luke in  the event of the two criminals narrated only by him, makes the kingdom shine, the kingdom that is inaugurated by this crucified man in a Spring day in Jerusalem.  The only words that Jesus could pronounce like a whisper have as its climax the symbolic word of Persian origin "paradise" which literally means "garden of delights" which is put in parallel with the word "kingdom" pronounced by the thief. The image is taken from the oriental world with its palaces surrounded by fascinating parks and rich fountains and   exuberant vegetation, this image in the lips of Jesus transport us to the first page of the Scripture, the Garden of Eden, from where man was expelled and where he goes back now with the guidance of Jesus Christ. Man has found again peace and the fullness of life, harmony and happiness.      

v  In this  liturgy, being a solemnity,  the three readings have the same theme, which is the kingship of Jesus Christ.        

v  The first paragraph is an invitation to give thanks to the Father for having granted us to participate in the inheritance of the saints.   

v  The Father has freed us from the power of darkness and has introduced us into the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption of our sins.  

v  These words complement and explain what Luke has narrated about the Crucified Christ.   

v  The second paragraph describes who is this Son in whose kingdom we are introduced

Ø  He is the visibility of the invisible God.  

Ø  He is the first born, the first in everything that exists

Ø  For Him, through him and in  Him all has been created.   

Ø  Everything finds its cohesion in him.    

Ø  He is the head of the Church    

Ø  He is the first raised from the dead   

Ø  The fullness of being resides in Him.    

Ø  And by Him everything finds reconciliation, making peace in his blood, that means in his life given out of love.   

v  This is a really beautiful description of the kingship of Christ, which Luke describes through the story of the thief, the companion of the dying Jesus.  Jesus  until the end of his life is found among those that are discriminated against, the little and poor and sinners.     

v  All  that we will read this coming Sunday is an invitation to find again in the depth of our heart the answer to the question Jesus asks us: Who do you say that I am? Who am I for you?  


My companion was suffering seeing how the Lord was having me so forsaken in this affair and she was very amazed to see how I was throwing myself in the hands of His Divine Providence. She only said: “Who knows where we shall end? In what house will they place us? I was very sorry to see her so anxious because, on my part, I was not suffering since I was already used to these plans of God: throughout my whole life he always led me this way. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiografía 110. 

If hell's persecution was great, heaven's protection was far greater. I experienced the visible protection of the Blessed Virgin and of the angels and saints, who guided me through unknown paths, freed me from thieves and murderers, and brought me to a place of safety without my ever knowing how. Many times the word went out that I had been murdered, and good souls were already having Masses said for me. May God reward them.  Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 464. 


CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
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.
La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo . Luis Alonso Schökel.

Friday, November 15, 2013


  • Today's theme speaks of the end, this same theme will be taken again during Advent.  
  • We may see it also as a way to make us understand the emptiness of luxury, riches.  
  • It is an exhortation to be always ready for the coming of the Lord, to wait for him with love and enthusiasm. 
v  This book is found at the end of the Old Testament.  
v  But what we consider a name is only a title which means "the messenger"
v  The author is unknown 
v  From some words and expressions in the text we deduce that it was written in the V century before Christ, and before the reformation of Ezra and Nehemiah between    480 y 450 B.C.
v  The temple has been rebuilt and worship takes place in it again.  
v  The author denounces the worship the priests offer in the Temple, it is empty, without  surrendering to the Lord, on a routine basis.    
v  He sees in the spiritual purification of the worship the strength and the source of renewal. 
FIRST READING :  Mal 3:19-20a Ordinary Time 
ü  The day comes blazing like and oven, and on that day the proud and all evil doers will be stubble. 
ü  When the Lord is present he destroys in us everything that is pride, vanity, lack of love.  We feel like the tree without the branches of our vanity, without the roots of our false security in ourselves
ü  The day of the Lord is neither  a day of destruction of the human being, nor of fear, it is the day of the blessing by means of which our Father God cleanses us from all our impurities which do not allow us to reflect our Father's kind face. 
ü  It  is like a tender  mother which cleans and dresses up her little child who has get him or herself dirtied playing.   
ü  The day of the Lord is a day of blessing, which each one of us should wish present in his or her life to be able to eliminate from ourselves all that keeps us apart from Him and from one another
  RESPONSORIAL  PSALM 98: 5-6. 7-8. 9
Sing praise to the Lord with the harp 
with the harp and melodious song
with trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King the Lord  

Let the sea and what fills it resound
the world and those who dwell in it
let the rivers clap their hands
the mountains shout with them for joy 

Before the Lord for he comes
'for he comes to rule the earth
he will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity 

Ø   This psalm is an invitation to the whole created world to sing with joy the presence of God in its midst.

Ø  And it is also an invitation to sing because the Lord governs with justice, he brings justice among us.  

Ø  Those of us who thirst for justice among us, who long for the differences among us to be eliminated because we are all brothers and sisters children of the one and only Father, we are invited to join the song of joy of creation.   

Ø  Also those of us who long for that creation: plants, animals and everything in the created world be respected and taken care of, since they are also the work of our Father we are all invited to rejoice with the presence of the Lord.  

Ø  But this will only  happen when we love him unconditionally, above everything and everyone, when we trust in him, knowing that his love is without end.  

GOSPEL  Lk 21:5-19
*       Some are fascinated to see the beauty and the riches of the temple, and they say it aloud. 

*      Jesus, as always, will surprise them, he says that a day will come when  all that beauty will be destroyed.   

*      The material aspect of the temple, its stones will be destroyed, and also  its spiritual centrality in the worship of the people of the Old Covenant.    

*      They might have thought that this was not possible, since the temple was the real presence of the God among his people, it was the security in his protection over them.   

*      And they want to know when this will happen  

*      Jesus does not satisfy their curiosity, and does not give any concrete answer, it is enough for them to know that it will happen, when, it is not for them to know.   

*      After that he tells them not to believe anyone who will come in his name, but instead to hold fast to faith in his words and in the Father's love, in the word he says to us in the sacred book of life and in the sacred book of the Bible.  

*      What he has said to them is not imminent, but yes there will be natural phenomena which scare us: hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and many others, but this is not the sign of the end. 

*      there will also be wars, hatred among peoples, but this is not the end. 

*      even more, they will be persecuted by their own relatives, they will be handed over to tribunals, condemned to death, but this is not the end. 

*      Jesus in these words eliminates the distance in different moments in time, because he speaks of the destruction of the temple which happened in the year 70, and also he speaks about things that have happened along the human race journey through history, and are still happening.  

*      It is as if he was looking at a large canvas with threads of different colors which make up to work of art. When the work of art is finished we do not know when each one of the threads was introduced in the canvas, neither what part of the work of art was made first.  

*      We call this speech of Jesus scatological, which means it speaks of what will happen at the end.  

*      The end will be beautiful since it will be the instauration in creation of the kingdom of God, a kingdom of justice and equity.   Then finally we will be one family, a family of different peoples who will love and respect each other, and all together we will experience the fatherly embrace of the Father of Jesus, our Father God

*      But while we wait for this to happen, Jesus invites us to be perseverant in seeking the good, persevering in the way which leads us to him, and persevering in seeking and welcoming all our brothers and sisters to journey together.    

*      Come soon,  Lord Jesus!!!      

SECOND READING  2 Tes 3:7-12v  The author of this letter invites his community to live from its work, to not be a burden for anyone, not acting like busy bodies.     

v  He reminds them how he lived among them, how he worked to take care of his needs, to give them an example, maybe he wants to say to teach them with his own way of life.   

v  And he adds that he could have asked them for help, since the laborer is entitled to receive its recompense, as we read in another letter of Paul

v  Those who are busy doing nothing, he urges them to eat their bread working quietly, but if they do not want to work, it is very simple  they should not eat either.  

v  But he says something that we need all of us who are on the other side of the pendulum, who work too much, so much that we do not have time to really live our life.  

v  He says "work quietly," I think this is an invitation for us, an invitation to seek a healthy  equilibrium between working to earn our food and to enjoy and cultivate the values of human relationships, especially in the family. 


Thus the Dominican Fr. Master Gatell and the Doctor Most illustrious D. Jose Caixal now Bishop of Urgel, who was that time a canon in the Cathedral of Tarragona, decided on my departure from the convent.
 I left with my companion on January 28, 1851 (at this time of writing, it is just six years ago. Who could tell me then the many things I have lived!), not knowing where we would go, nor what would happen to me, not even in what house we could stay at the moment . (Such abandonment in his divine providence is what the Lord wanted from me in this occasion). Because from the beginning I told my confessor that, in case it is decided that I leave, in no way did I want to go home because I no longer consider it mine  from the day I left it to enter the convent, the house of my Heavenly Father. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, 108-109

Because I always went on foot, I would fall in with mule-drivers and ordinary folk, and so I had a chance to talk with them about God and instruct them in their religion. This had the added advantage of helping take our minds off the road and giving us a great deal of consolation. Once when I was traveling from Banolas to Figueras  to preach a mission, I had to cross a river that had a large boulder in the middle.
A large plank led from one side to the boulder, and another led from the boulder to the other side. I was crossing the river with some other people during a heavy gale. The wind blew so violently that it carried away the plank in front of me, as well as the man who was standing on it, and threw both into the river. There I was, stranded on that boulder in the middle of the river, leaning on my walking stick and fighting the blast, until a stranger waded the river, hoisted me on his shoulders, and carried me to the other side. I continued my journey but had to fight a wind so fierce that it blew me off the road more than once. Anyone who has traveled through Ampurdan knows what a wind races through the place--enough to make the sandy hills of Pegu shift their place. .Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 460.  

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
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.
La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo . Luis Alonso Schökel.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


  • We are approaching the end of the liturgical year, and the Church invites us to reflect on the reality about the last events  in our earthly life.  
  • Somehow the question for us today is: how is my faith in the resurrection of the dead?   
  • Do I really believe that I will be raised up  like Jesus is risen?  
  • Nobody asks me if I understand the question , they ask me if I believe what I say every Sunday standing among the members of the congregation "I believe in the resurrection of the dead and in the life eternal." Am I conscious of what I am saying or do I just repeat words without any meaning for me? 
v  The second book of the Maccabees is not the continuation of the first, some chapters in both books overlap 1Mc 3-7 and 2Mc 8-15 have many similarities.  .

v  These two books tell us how Israel fell under the influence of the Hellenistic culture, and how did the people deal  with this situation. Some remained faithful to the traditions and beliefs of their fathers, others let themselves be assimilated into the new culture that surrounded them.

v  We are talking about a period of history that reached its highest point in Athens during the V century before Christ.    

v  Up to that time Israel had experienced the influence of the kingdoms from the East, that is from the Middle East.   The influence of the Greek culture puts Israel and other peoples under the influence of the Western culture. 

v  These two books tell about the resistance of the faithful of Israel to be assimilated into the Greek culture. The author reflects  on several points of interest for the faith of Israel and for our faith too. We also live surrounded by a foreign culture different from the culture of our fathers, and we also experience its influence, which questions some aspects of our faith. Let us see some of these points:   

·         Israel by its behavior changes the blessings from God into curses. The evil the people suffer is the consequence of its own behavior, the consequence of the choices of each person. Either we chose to be with God, or we chose to be far from God, ignoring his presence in our life.  

·         Martyrdom, that is the possibility for the human being to be faithful to the rules and demands of his or her faith up to the point of giving up his or her own life.  

·         Martyrdom is the consequence of the fidelity and love of God, and the faith in the life after death.  

·         Thus faith in the resurrection of those who have died in the Lord.  

v  The books of the Maccabees are among the "Deuterocanonical books" that is the books which the Catholic Church considers revealed and which are not accepted by the Jewish faith and by the other Christian traditions. 

FIRST READING:  2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14
ü  This part of the book of the Maccabees tells us the story of seven brothers and their mother who preferred to die instead of eating pork, because the law of God forbade it.   

ü  Maybe we think that it is a nonsense to die instead of eating pork, because there is nothing wrong about eating pork, God has made all things right and good.  

ü  But the point is not to eat or not to eat pork, but to be faithful to our faith in God. In a word it is about clinging to God because we love him, and thus for his love we prefer to be faithful up to the point of giving up our own life. 

ü  As one of the  psalms says "because your love is better than life"  

ü  For us, living in a very pragmatic culture, it is difficult to put faith first above our wellbeing even our life. 

ü  One of the young men that is tortured confesses his faith in the life after death, even more, he confesses his belief in the resurrection "you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever. It is for his laws that we are dying."   

ü  Another one of the young men says "It is my choice to die at the hands of men with the hope that  God will give life to me again."  

ü  This reading calls us to look into our inner being and ask ourselves how is our faith and love for God, do we love him to the point of being able to give up our life for him? It is certainly truth that martyrdom is a gift and a call from God, by ourselves we cannot suffer it, but we can ask ourselves about how is the thermometer of our love.  

Hear O Lord a just suit
attend to my outcry
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit. 

My steps have been steadfast in your paths
my feet have not faltered
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God.
incline your ear to me; hear my word.    

 Keep me as the apple of your eye
hide me in the shadow of your wings
But I in justice shall behold you face
on walking I shall be content in your presence.


Ø  The author of this psalm tells his faith and love for God, repeating in some way the theme of the first reading.     

Ø  In his words we sense a deep trust in the love God has for him. 

Ø  His words are like fire which can help us to light up again the fire under the ashes of our daily worries and responsibilities.   

GOSPEL Lk 20:27-38
*      Some Saducees, that is the group that did not believe in anything but what can be touched and seen, nothing else was true for them thus they did not believe in the resurrection after death. 

*      They make fun of Jesus who speaks of the reality of life after death, and they present to him a situation which they invented which shows their lack of faith in anything spiritual, we may even say that this story is really disgusting  

*      Apart from the theme of life after death which they do not believe in, their story shows their lack of respect for women, whom they see as an object of their fulfillment of the law, not as a person.  

*      Jesus answers them saying that in the future life no one will be taken or given in marriage, because they will life forever.

*      He reminds them that God is the God of life, and makes them realize that this is a belief of Israel even from the time of Moses "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."  

*      In some way Jesus wishes that they return to the faith they say they profess, that the faith in the resurrection is not a novelty but something which has existed from the beginning.   

*      This gospel, even not being attractive, can give us the opportunity to see if we really believe that our God is the God of life, the God who calls us to live forever from the moment of our conception in our mother's womb, more than that, since the moment when God thought of us, and God is eternal. God thought of us and loved us because his name is Love.   

SECOND READING  2 Tes 2:16-3,5
v  The author of this letter asks God to strengthen his readers in every good deed and word

v  He asks them to pray for him so that 

·         the word of God which he preaches may speed forward and be glorified as it did among them  

·         God may protect him from the  evil one.  

v  He adds that he is sure that the word preached among them will continue to be fruitful  in them. 

v  He ends this section of the letter asking God to lead them to the love of God and grant them the same  endurance of Christ.   

v  This may also be our prayer.     


Our Lord bore up this complains of this ungrateful creature, being pleased that I empty the cup but without consuming the gall, because as I had to count on him alone in so many situations, over the sea as upon the earth, he wanted to test my trust in his divine providence beforehand, and permitted me to go out without any other hope than to hope against all hope in His infinite providence and in his great goodness, sure that he would guide  my steps toward the desired goal of my eternal happiness.. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 107. 

During that whole seven years, I was on the go from one town to another. I traveled alone and on foot. I had a canvas-backed map of Catalonia that I always carried with me, and on it I would mark the distances I traveled, as well as any resting places. I would walk for five hours in the morning and another five in the afternoon. Sometimes I had to walk through rain, other times through snow, or under the broiling sun of a summer's day. Summer caused me the most suffering because I always wore the same cassock and raincoat in summer as I wore in winter--and it got very hot. Furthermore my shoes and heavy woolen socks caused my feet to blister so badly that I sometimes had to walk with a limp. The snow also gave me a chance to practice patience, for when high snowdrifts covered the roads I couldn't recognize the landscape, and in trying to cross the drifts I would sometimes get buried in snow-filled  ditches. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 460. 

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
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.
La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo . Luis Alonso Schökel.
The Catholic Study Bible -New American Bible.