- We begin a new liturgical cycle and with it the reading of a new Gospel, the Gospel of Matthew.
- During this year Matthew will present Jesus as the Emmanuel.
- The Emmanuel who is where two or three gather in his name.
- The Emmanuel who receives as done to him our loving and our unloving actions.
- The Emmanuel who will be with us until the end of time.
- Today the three readings will speak to us about the coming of the Lord at the end of times, we have to be ready and watchful because with the Lord will come the restoration of everything and the destruction of all evil.
FIRST READING Is 2:1-5
ü The prophet sees in the future a time of peace and good which comes from mount Zion where Jerusalem is build.
ü Jerusalem the holy city which in the book of Revelation will be the model city which comes down from heaven, the bride adorned for her spouse.
ü The peoples will walk toward this city because in it they will find the house of God.
ü The prophet gives an idyllic and quasi heavenly description of society when it will be built according to the model of the holy city.
ü Their swords and spears will be transformed from tools of death into tools of life.
ü Nations will be sisters to each other and none will trained its inhabitants for war.
ü The text ends with an invitation to walk toward the light of the Lord.
ü All of it is a foreshadow of what happens in each man or woman who accepts the Lord in his or her life; in each nation that decides to acknowledge that God is God and thus decides to eliminate the idols of oppression.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM 122,1-2.3-4.4-5,6-7,8-9
LET US GO REJOICING TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
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
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
May those who love you prosper
May peace be within your walls
prosperity in your buildings
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say "Peace be within you"
Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will pray for your good.
ü Last Sunday, Solemnity of Christ King of the Universe, we read this same psalm.
ü The holy city whose external beauty in its buildings and other constructions, captivates the eyes and the heart of those who see her,
ü has also an internal beauty given by the peace her dwellers enjoy, and the justice which is administered at her doors.
ü The psalmist ends in the last stanza speaking about friends and brothers, he does not speak about enemies as other psalms do.
ü Finally the members of the human race we have realized that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the one and only God, and Father, creator of all.
GOSPEL Mt 24:37-44
On the XXXIII Sunday in Ordinary Time Jesus said to his disciples not to be troubled by those who announce the end of times to be near, because it will not happen so soon.
The author of the Second letter to the Thessalonians was saying the same thing to his community.
What the Lord tells us is to be prepared to welcome him, and he gives some examples taken from the flood. When it came everyone was doing his or her own thing, without worrying about other things and they were surprised by the flood like it happens to us with the hurricanes and earthquakes
The Lord says also that when he comes everyone will be doing their normal tasks, some will be working, and among them some will be ready and some not.
To help us understand his teaching he gives the example of the man who has many possessions, if he knew when the thief was coming he will be ready to protect his house.
Thus it should be with us who are waiting not for a thief but for the Lord of our life, who presumably we are waiting for.
At the end of the reading the Lord says again more clearly BE PREPARED, because you do not know when I will come to you.
And this preparation is neither to neglect our responsibilities, nor to repeat prayers like the pagans, nor kneel hours and hours in the church to "please the Lord" so that he will not be angry with us. No, this preparation is described by Matthew in chapter 25 of his gospel: I was hungry, I was thirsty.... each time you did to one of my brothers you did unto me.
SECOND READING Rm 13:11-14
v Paul, like Jesus, invites us to be vigilant
v He uses images of night and day
v When day comes we prepare ourselves for the day.
v When we realize that the Lord is present and wants to be part of our life, we leave our negative and sinful actions and we begin a new journey of life "let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the our working clothes.
v Paul gives a list of these works of darkness, of the night clothing which we have to cast off: drunkenness, unlawful and dehumanizing sexual relations, rivalries and jealousy.
v Then he invites us to change our night clothing and put on the clothing of light which is Jesus the Lord.
v At our baptism we were given a white clothe and we were told to put it on, use it, and keep it until the day the Lord will call us.
v This white clothe is the symbol of Jesus our Lord, of the life of grace, the life of God which is offered to us so that we may be able to live as children of the Father.
when he wants to grant me a grace, He always humiliates me much, at times through men, other times bringing to my memory my great sins: others leaving me in great abandonment, ands my soul completely alone. And I feel it really, as if I am in the wildest desert, without seeing or hearing any human person nor feeling any kind of consolation, human or divine, but the summit of tribulation; it seems that the Lord wants me to understand the great of his love through the extreme intensity of the suffering. Because I was never deserted by His most holy grace, and this has always given joy to my soul in proportion to my great afflictions.Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 111
In the midst of all these turns of events I somehow got through. I had some good times and some so bitter that they made me weary of life. At such times the only thoughts and words I could summon up were about heaven, and this consoled and encouraged me greatly. I never refused suffering; rather, I loved it and even wanted to die for Jesus' sake. I did not rashly place myself in danger, but I was glad when my superior sent me to dangerous places, realizing that I might have the joy of dying for Jesus Christ. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 465.
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía