Ø We begin today the ordinary time, which according to a liturgy professor is not so ordinary.
Ø During this year we will journey with Jesus in his mission of Messiah and Redeemer.
Ø The author of the Gospel of Matthew, Gospel which we will read during this year, writes to a Christian community of Jewish origin.
Ø He wants to help his brothers and sisters to discover in Jesus the Messiah whom the prophets were presenting to us.
Ø However today the Gospel will be taken from the Gospel of John. John the Baptist points out to Jesus as the Lamb of God.
Ø This three words "Lamb of God" has a deep meaning for a Jew, the lamb which was immolated and eaten on the night of the Passover of the Lord, the night of their liberation from the slavery in Egypt.,
Ø Lamb which prefigured the true lamb who would take away the sin of the world and give the true freedom to every human being.
FIRST READING - Is 49:3,5-6
v This reading is taken from one of the Servant Poems. .
v Servant who has been seen as the faithful servant of Yahweh, could be the people of Israel, one of the prophets, and following the theological reflection of the new people of God, the new Israel, the Church, is Jesus
v The text has words coming from God, and words coming from the Servant. It is not a dialogue, but an inner reflection, a conversation from the heart.
v The Lord says to the Servant:
You are my servant through whom I show my glory.
We may ask, what is the glory of God? Is it his power, his greatness or on the contrary it is his love, tenderness, we may say even his weakness, his ability to become vulnerable?
The servant speaks and acknowledges that God has formed him in his mother's womb, has given him the mission to bring his people back to the love of his God.
He continues saying that he has been glorified and God is his strength.
How has he been glorified? In living and accomplishing the mission given to him in his mother's womb.
God speaks again to the Servant and says that he will not only help the tribes to come back to God, but his mission will be wider, universal, he will be the light of the nations.
so that the salvation that the Lord offers may reach to the ends of the earth.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM - Ps 40 2-4,7-8,8-9,10
HERE AM I LORD, I COME TO DO YOUR WILL
I have waited, waited for the Lord
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry
and he put a new song into my mouth
a hymn to our God.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not
but ears open to obedience you gave me
Holocausts or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I "Behold I come."
y confiarán en el Señor.
In the written scroll it is prescribed for me
to do your will, O my God, is my delight
and your law is within my heart.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly
I did not restrain my lips, as you O Lord know.
· This is a beautiful psalm in thought and in words.
· The psalmist says that he has waited trustfully for the Lord, who put in his mouth a new song.
· And on hearing him sing the song many will fear and trust in the Lord.
· Then he speaks to his God and says that God does not want sacrifices or holocausts.
· But the psalmist realizes that he has received ears to listen
· and discovers that the sacrifice, the holocaust pleasing to the Lord is to listen attentively and answering to what he listens. His response is "Here I am."
· What I have to do is found in the book of the Law, the psalmist says that he loves this will of God written in the book, and says "your law is in my heart."
· He ends saying that he has not kept his lips in silence but that with joy he has proclaimed the joy and the justice of the Lord to the great assembly
· Is the justice written in the book of the new Law, the Gospel, what our lips proclaim with joy to our brothers and sisters?
GOSPEL Jn 1:29-34
§ Although we are in cycle A, and we should be reading the Gospel of Matthew, today the liturgy uses instead the Gospel of John.
§ John points out to Jesus as the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world
§ He continues saying that Jesus is that man he had spoken about to them, saying that he is above him, because he exists before him.
§ But this man is the reason for him to had been sent to baptize.
§ He had been told that the one upon whom the Spirit would come down, was the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
§ I John have seen and testify that this man is the Son of God.
§ Is our life a testimony of our faith in Jesus son of God?
SECOND READING 1Co 1:1-3
· We begin today to read in the Sunday Mass the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
· Paul is aware that he has received a call to be an apostle of Christ Jesus.
· Together with Sosthenes he writes to the church, the community of the faithful who live in Corinth.
· Community that has been sanctified in baptism and called to be holy.
· The letter is not only addressed to the Corinthians, but to all of us who in some place of the world invoke the name of the Lord Jesus.
· This letter is thus addressed to us the church of Miami, of Madrid, of Rome, of Milan, of Kimwenza, of Mysore, of Indonesia, of Japan.... all called to be holy as the Father in heaven who makes the sun shine on the good and the bad, who makes the rain fall on the just and on the sinner as well.
· All called to be servant in the way of the great Servant Jesus.
Here, once more our Lord put, as of what I can understand, before the eyes of my soul, because with my bodily eyes I did not see anything, His most Holy Law and Evangelical Counsel.
I was very attentive, overwhelmed to what was happening, and it seemed to me that I was reading the Holy Law of God, but without seeing any books nor letters; I was seeing it written, and I was understanding it so very well, that it seemed to me it was imprinting in my soul but in a particular way the book of the Holy Gospels, which till then I had never read, neither the Sacred Scripture (O.T). After, by God’s grace, I have read something and I have seen it written word by word, as our Lord taught it to me from the holy tree of the cross. It seems to me that the words I understood were coming out from his host holy mouth.
Beside what I saw in these sacred letters (without seeing anything with my bodily eyes as I have said above) an interior voice in the depths of my soul, was explaining me their meaning and the way to practice (…) To my understanding I saw everything in Christ Crucified who, as he was teaching me the divine letters, was explaining me their meaning. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 4-6.
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.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía