Friday, February 28, 2014


ü  The first reading and the Gospel invite us to trust in God.  
ü  Both sacred authors choose images of a tenderness and beauty  
ü  After listening during two Sundays the demands of the Law, now Jesus invites us to rest trustfully in the hands of the Father that, not only makes rain fall and sun rise on good and bad, but he also takes care of all his creatures even the flowers and the birds.   
FIRST READING   Is 49:14-15
v  Isaiah presents Zion, the holy city, as a woman who complains that “her Lord” has forgotten her, has abandoned her. 
v  And th Lord answers her using an image so tender that she will not doubt anymore about the love of her God.   
v  The tender love of a mother is what almost all of us have for sure in the first years of our life and throughout of our life.   
v  In her arms the baby  feels secure and at peace, they reassure him  or her that they are not abandoned.   
v  The author says that such is the love of God for all of us. 
v  And he adds something else to give us full peace and security, and in this way conquer our love: Even if a mother could forget and abandon the baby she has conceived in her womb I will never forget you, never abandon you.   
v  We need to hear this words, but more than hear we need to believe them and abandon ourselves in the arms of our God like a baby in her mother’s arms. 
v  God is described in different ways in the different books of Scripture, especially like a father, but also as a mother. From him we, human beings, have learned to be father and mother, we have received from him the capacity to have love and tenderness.    
RESPONSORIAL PSALM  62: 2-3. 6-7. 8-9

Rest in God alone, my soul 

Only in God is my soul at rest
From him comes my salvation
He only is  my rock and  my salvation
My stronghold, I shall not be disturbed at all.
Only in God be at rest my soul
For from him comes my hope
He only is my rock and my salvation
My stronghold I shall not be disturbed.
With God is my safety and my glory
He is the rock of my strength: my refuge is in God
Trust in him at all times, O my people
Pour out your hearts before him

*      This psalm has the same tone as the first reading and the Gospel that we will see. 

*      God is hope, salvation, refuge, saving rock. 

*      There is an invitation to trust, to pour out our soul before God

*      We all are in need of pour out our heart in someone, the sacred author says that we can do that with God since he is our refuge.   
GOSPEL , Mt 6:24-34
Ø  Today we will rea done of the most beautiful pages of Scripture
Ø  In the first reading Isaiah invited us to trust, and he uses the tender image of a mother.   
Ø  Matthew takes us by hand and invites us to look the creation who surrounds us with all its beauty, and he helps us to realize what God is doing, and that maybe we have given for granted.   
Ø  In the past Sundays Matthew presented Jesus teaching and unfolding the deep  truth and demands  of the Law  
Ø  Today he says to us that we cannot serve two masters God and money. Maybe we could rephrase this saying that we cannot serve God in large case and god in small case, that is to say a false god an idol,   
Ø  After that Matthew invites us not to be worried and to trust  
o   He invites us to look at our life with all its needs, he mentions only some basic ones and then he asks us, what is more important life or food o clothing…. 
o   The birds do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, but the Father feeds them.  
o   The flowers of the field, he does not say the flowers that we use to decorate our churches, banquets…, no, but those flowers that we step on, those we do not pay attention to, and are not object of our profit.   
o   Jesus invites us to look at them and see their beauty, he makes us realice that these flowers do not weave but they dress up better than Solomon, because the Father clothes them.   
o   If God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, will he not do much more for us
o   And Jesus, as he asks us this question says also “men and women of little faith.   
o   Do not worry for tomorrow, when it comes it will bring its own worries but it will bring  also the presence of God in our life.   
Ø  This reading is not an invitation to do nothing, but to trust.   
Ø  Work is not only to cover our needs, work is a right of the human being called to be co-creator with his God.   
Ø  Through our work we are called to develop this gift that we have received, to be co-creators, to transform the creation that God has begun and that now he continues creating with our cooperation.  
Ø  Thus this reading is an invitation to work, to provide, to do whatever is needed, but knowing that there is  a Father who takes care of us with the tender love of a mother.   
Ø  There is another theme, that probably we will share some other day, is the sin of those who change  the human being from co-creator into an instrument of production, of profit, not respecting the dignity given to them by God.  The dignity to be the image of the creator and thus with the capacity to transform creation, and not to be used as an object.      

 After some months, that I wrote to Archbishop Claret, this most Rev. MGR. was pleased to answer my letter saying that we could go already, that we would be most welcome. That, by the moment, he could not be able to found a monastery that we could live of our work and he promised all his protection as he was sure that all our activities would be pleasing to God.
 So, we ought to sail as soon as possible – I think he said on October of that year. On the “Teresa Cubana” whose captain was for him, totally trustworthy and he would bring us with much care. I received this letter as an express call of God because, since His divine majesty had assured me that this holy man would give me a hand to found the first house of the order, I did not harbor the least doubt that this New World was the place where God our Lord  had determined to start His work. In spite of the many difficulties of a travel so frightful for a woman, nothing intimidated me always trusting in the all powerful grace of God to whom everything is subject, the earth as well as the sea.

This letter calmed all the anxiety with which the whole hell had tormented me since I left my beloved enclosure until this moment, because since this good servant of God delayed his answer so much I thought: “Who knows if this step has been permitted to be mistaken as a punishment for my sins? So, all my doubts being banished, and I myself certified of the Divine will, I did not think of anything  but to make plans for the long trip. Venerable Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, 126-127
Toward the beginning of May, 1849, I left the Islands. The bishop wanted to give me a new hat and coat, but I wouldn't hear of it. All I took away with me were five big rips in my old coat, which I got from the crowds that always used to press about me as I went from town to town. I spent 15 months in those islands and worked every day, with God's help. I had no appetite whatsoever, and I underwent a few trials, but I did it all gladly because I knew that it was the will of the Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and, furthermore, because so many souls were converted and saved.
My God, how good you are! What unexpected means you use to convert sinners. The worldly sought to discredit me in Catalonia, and yet this was the very thing you took advantage of to send me to the Canary Islands.  Thus you freed me from the prison that was planned for me and took me to those islands to pasture those sheep of your heavenly Father's flock, for whom I would gladly have laid down my life to see them living the life of grace. Blessed be your love and the great providence you have always shown me. Now and forever I shall sing your eternal mercies. Amen. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 486-87.         


ü  We will hear again words of Jesus on the Law

ü  The first reading is taken from the book of Leviticus, called so, not because it mentions the Levites, but because it is about the worship due to God, and those who are responsible for the official worship in the Temple are the priests. All of them came from the tribe of Levi.  

ü  Let us say some words on this book:    :

o   In this book we find the laws related to the worship of God and to the behavior of the Israelites in relation to God, to their neighbors and to  themselves.   

o   Jesus takes from this book something that God tells the Israelites “Be holy, because I your God am holy.”  As always Jesus explains the  true meaning of these words.

o   The book of the Leviticus begins where Exodus ends, and it continues to narrate the events at Mount Sinai

o   All the sacrifices prescribed in it are in “honor of the Lord” who is the only one who has rights over the blood of all living beings, because the blood is life, and the lord of life is the Lord.   

o   The sacrifices represent and move towards feelings of  
§  Loving respect toward God  
§  Recognition  of his lordship
§  The Joy of his presence  
§  Sense of praise
§  Communion with God and with our brothers and sisters, especially those in need.  
§  Feelings of thanksgiving and the desire to get back the friendship with God if we have lost it  

FIRST READING   Lv 19: 1-2, 17-18
Ø  This Reading from the Leviticus is about the Law  of Holiness “Be holy, because the Lord your God is holy.”   

Ø  What does it mean that God is holy? What is the meaning of the word “holy?”  

Ø  The sacred author does not give a definition of holiness, but he explains the behavior which is a consequence of this holiness

o   You shall not bear hatred in your heart against your brother.    

o   Though you may have to correct him, do not do it in such a way that you incur in sin because of him,.   

o   Take no revenge,   cherish  no grudge against any of your people.

o     You shall love your neighbor as yourself.   

o   God puts his signature at the end of  this commandments “I am the Lord.”     

o   That means that I can order all of this because I am your Lord, I have created and I have made you to love, and I know that when you do not love you are not  happy and you are not fully human as I have dreamed you, you are not my image, and I have created you to be my image among the  rest of creation.    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps  103: 1-21, 3-4, 8-10, 12-13
Bless the Lord, O my soul
And all my being, bless his holy name
Bless the Lord, O my soul
And forget  not all his benefits. 

He pardons all your iniquities
Heals all your ills
He redeems your life from destruction
Crowns you with kindness and compassion 

Merciful and gracious is the Lord
Slow to anger and abounding in kindness
Not according to our sins does he deal with us
Nor does he requite us according to our crimes 

As far as the east is from the west
So far has he put our transgressions form us
As a father has compassion on his children
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear him  

Ø  It begins with an invitation to bless, to say good things. What are we going to say?   

Ø  He forgives all your sins, heals your illnesses, crowns you with love and tenderness.   

Ø  And now the psalm says how is God, not only what he does for me, but what he does for all of us:   

o   He is kind, compassionate, slow to anger and merciful 

o   The Lord is loving  

Ø  It is surprising to see that in such a short paragraph the sacred author inspired by God says so many words that speak to us about the tenderness of God: kind, compassionate, merciful, loving.   

Ø  A question comes to our mind: having such a loving and caring God, where did we get the image of a punishing God, We may dedicate our prayer this week and our conversation with God asking him the grace to change this image of him if we have it.   Let us listen to the Pope Francis his words will help us in this process, he invites us to be kind do not be afraid to show kindness.    

GOSPEL  Mt 5:38-48   
v  Today’s Gospel is the continuation of last Sunday’s Gospel. The theme of the law.   

v  Let us listen what Jesus has to say about the law, about what was said and what he says.   

v  It was said
o   An eye for an eye …..    But I say to you “ offer no resistance to one who ius evil”  may be we could say “do not respond to violence with violence.”   

§  May your only violence be violence against yourselves, against your evil inclinations, on your lack of solidarity and of love toward the other human beings, against your selfishness?    

§  Only in this way you will conquer evil, as your master did, he destroyed evil offering his own life with love toward those who were mistreating him

o   You shall  love your neighbor adn hate your enemy.   But I say to you    

o   Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. 

o   In this way you will be true children of your heavenly Father,  who makes the sun rise and the rain come down on good and bad alike.   

o   Because if you love those who love you and greet only your brothers, what is new about that? Do not pagans do the same?   

o   These words of Jesus make us think that if we do not forgive those who hurt us, ori f we do not pray for them, we are still pagans, we behave as such, even if we are called followers of Jesus.      

v  Jesus ends with an invitation to be perfect as the Father is perfect  

o   Again I ask myself where have we got the idea that perfection means that everything is “good” according to our human standards.   

o   Without defects according to our standards, that continue to be pagan since they have been taken from the Greek and other philosophies. 

o   God’s perfection is his unconditional love, his tenderness towards all, that does not change even if I decide to continue to sin and to go away from Him, He will continue to love me and this love will lead me home one day.    

v  This gospel is a good preparation for Lent.   

*      We begin today the Reading of the second letter to the Corinthians   

*      Paul says that his word has not been yes and no, but only yea.   

*      As the word, also the life of Christ has not been yes or not, it has only been YES=AMEN 

*      And Paul says to us that our life has to be like this YES=AMEN of Christ to God the Father.    

*      God who has given us security, trust in Christ and has anointed us with the Spirit 

*      Has also plut his seal on us, he has sealed us with his seal. We seal what is our own possession. We belong to God.      

*      Paul ends this fragment saying that the Spirit with whom we have been sealed is the “first installment” of what he will continue to give to us.    


  in many occasions I will have the opportunity to speak of the marvels of grace; here I will just say that the greatest one I see in our Holy Work is that the parents gave permission to their daughters for this navigation, especially being very Christian parents, as they are, - by the grace of God – those young ladies who have come to us until now. How certain it is that nobody can resist or force God’s will!!! It is sure that this Almighty God has all the hearts in his hands and moves them when and how he wills. If these creatures would not have been chosen by the powerful hand of God, it would be impossible for their parents to give them up like sheep in the hands of wolves, as the crew used to be commonly called for being people  general vicious because of their lack of religiosity. And parents do not doubt this; rather they imagine more evil of what usually happens.    Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 125. 

After I had finished giving missions on Grand Canary Island, the bishop asked me to go to Lanzarote. He decided that his brother, Father Salvador, a Capuchin, should accompany me there to help with confessions because there were very few clergy on the island Well, it happened that the priest in question was very fat, and as it was a trip of some two leagues inland from the port to the capital, he asked me, "How are we ever going to make it? Do you want to walk or ride?"

      I answered, "You know I never ride, but always go on foot."
      "Well," he said, "If you won't ride, neither will I."
      I told him, "You can plainly see what a burden it would be for you to walk that far. I can't permit it. Since you won't ride unless I ride, then I'll ride so that you can, too."

Presently they brought us a big camel and the two of us got up on it. Shortly before we arrived at the town, we got down and walked the rest of the way into town, where I started preaching the mission. As we were saying our goodbyes after the mission, a man asked me, "Are you the missionary who preached on Grand Canary Island?" I said that I was. "Well," he said, "people here were saying it couldn't be you because that missionary said he always went on foot and you came here on camelback. That's why I heard someone say, 'I'm not going to hear him talk because he's not the missionary from Grand Canary Island.'".Saint Antonio María Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,  Autobiography 484-85


CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.

PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía  

LA BIBLIA, traducción tomada de la página web del Vaticano. 

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, Madrid 2012.