Wednesday, April 30, 2014



Ø  On the third Sunday of Easter the liturgy, through the readings,  invites us to see how a follower of Jesus lives the resurrection. This coming Sunday we will have two readings from Luke, one from Acts, and the other from the Gospel. 

Ø  Raymond Brown in his book A Risen Christ in Easter Time, explains that  Luke puts the two volumes of his work within a geographical framework. 

o     The narrative begins in the Temple of Jerusalem (Lk 1,5-8. When Zecchariah,  John Baptist’s father  offered the incense) and the narrative ends in Rome (Acts 28,28) with an evangelization oriented towards the gentiles.   

o   The connection between both, the story of Jesus of Nazareth  and the story of the Holy Spirit who guides  the Church is  “all the things that have  happened in Jerusalem” which are the passion, death, resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit.    

§  The passion and death  Lk 22-23  are narrated in the first volume  of Luke’s work: the Gospel 

§  The sending of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2) is found in the second volume of the work: The Acts of the Apostles. 

§  But  the resurrection, being so central for our faith, is narrated twice. We find the  apparitions of the Risen Lord at the end of the Gospel and at the beginning of the Acts.(Lk 24;  Acts 1,3-9)   

o   The Gospel begins in the Temple of Jerusalem  (1, 5-8) and ends also in the Temple of Jerusalem (24,53)

o    Acts begins in Jerusalem and ends in Rome (28,28); from there the Gospel  will be preached to the whole world.     

In the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah describes how the nations invite themselves to go up to Jerusalem to receive instruction from the Lord, because from Zion will come the Law and from Jerusalem the Word of the Lord.  (Is 2,1-3). According to the Work of Luke, the  Good News of Jesus,   begin  in Jerusalem and from Jerusalem they   are preached  to all the world.    

FIRST READING  – Acts 2: 14. 22-28
«  In the book of Acts we find this text after the coming of the Holy Spirit in Pentecost. 

«  However, the liturgy of our Church offers this text on the third Sunday of Easter because, in his proclamation, Peter announces the Paschal Mystery of Christ, which we celebrate during Easter Season. 

«  The first verse introduces the proclamation 

«  Verses 22-24 are the kerygma or first  proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. 

«  Peter is presented  here as a prophet  in the style of the Old Testament prophets. He denounces “you crucified him” and announces “but God raised him up.” 

«  Peter tells the people:

o   That Jesus is the gift that God had done to them and that they did not know how to appreciate it

o   That Jesus is the fulfillment of the promises made by God to his people Israel.

«  On reading these texts It is consoling to realize that God always fulfills his promises and that none of us is able to prevent them for being fulfilled, God is always faithful.

«  Jesus is the great gift from God not only to his people but to the whole human race, but we continue to crucify him in the millions of our brothers and sisters who suffer because of our lack of love, our ambition, our avarice and our indifference. Aas St Peter puts it “you have crucified him” and we could rephrase this sentence saying: you continue to  crucify your brothers and sisters today.  



Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge
I say to the Lord “My Lord are you”
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup
You it is who hold fast my lot. 

I bless the Lord who counsels me
Even in the night my heart exhorts me,
I set the Lord ever before me
With him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. 

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices
My body, too, abides in confidence
Because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld
Nor will you suffer your faithful one
To undergo corruption. 

You will show me the path to life
Abounding joy in your presence
The delight at your right hand forever. 

Ø  What a beautiful psalm, we perceive in it the trust that its author had and his/her complete abandonment in the hands of God.

Ø  The liturgy puts these words in the mouth of Jesus

Ø  O, if we had these absolute trust in our God and Father!

Ø  Jesus has taught this during his life

Ø  May we be able to say to God the Father as Jesus did “my heart rests in you.”  


We continue to read the First Letter of Peter which we began on the Second Sunday of Easter. 

Ø  The Father judges us according to our own behavior.

Ø  Peter invites us to live during our earthly life, as a sojourn in a strange  land, remembering that we have been liberated from our old ways of life, not by money, but by the blood of the lamb. 

Ø  During the first Passover celebrated in Egypt before leaving the country; the blood of the lamb,  that had been sacrificed, and was going to be eaten during the Passover meal, smeared on the doors would be a sign for the angel to spare the household members. Peter uses this image to remind us that the true lamb whose blood saves and redeems us is the blood of Christ the true lamb, sacrificed on the cross, and raised from the dead by the Father. 

GOSPEL LK  24,13-35.

*      This passage is the image or representation of the journey of faith  of the disciple of Jesus.

*      And also of the Eucharistic celebration (Word and Body of the Lord) 

*      It presents to us the journey of faith based on Scriptures, which the Lord clarifies for us on the way   (vv.17; 25-23)

*      Journey of faith  that has its ups and downs    (vv. 21-24)

*      Their heart was enkindled as the Lord was speaking  to them, but they were not aware of it,  until   the breaking of the bread    (v.33)

*      Faithful to the precept of hospitality that God had given in the law, they invite the foreigner to stay for the night since it was already dark. (v.29)

*      The action of Jesus together with the fire that had been enkindled in them on the way, through the words of the traveler, prepared their hearts to recognize him in the “breaking of the bread.”  (v.30)

*      When the man on the road joined them, they were tired and sad; now after discovering  that the man on the road was Jesus, the same Jesus whom the women saw  they got the strength to go back to Jerusalem.

*       When they arrived all the others told them that the Lord was risen indeed, because Peter had seen him. 

*      Let us reflect and meditate: 

o   When we come to the Eucharistic Celebration, do we allow the Lord to enkindle our heart with his love?   

o   Do we listen to his Word with the same attention that we had the first time we listen to it? . 

o   Do we receive the Bread of the Eucharist, his body and blood, with the same enthusiasm and joy of the first time. 

o   Do we ask the Lord to explain to us the meaning of what is going on in our life, in our  family, in our community, in our society, in our world?  Do we listen to what he says?

In this occasion, when I needed this hope so much, the Lord enlivened it in my soul to such a degree that it was reflected in my body, and people around me in those last days were amazed to see the calm with which I acted  in everything, a clear sign  of the peace  that my soul enjoyed  in that occasion when all was a motive for disturbance and fear, but for those whose faith is dead, and hope more in powerless men than in God who rules and sustains the whole world with just an act of his will. And neither the earth nor the sea with all the elements will ever surpass their limits without the divine disposition. (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 136)
Overwhelmed by the nomination, I had no desire to accept it because I considered myself unworthy and incapable of such a great dignity, for which I lacked both the necessary knowledge and virtue. Even after prolonged reflection on the matter, I concluded that, even if I had the required knowledge and virtue, it would be wrong for me to abandon the Religious Library and the Congregation, which were just coming into being.  Therefore I forcefully rejected all the overtures of the Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Brunelli, as well as those of the Attorney General of Spain, Don Lorenzo Arrazola. When both of these gentlemen, the Nuncio and the Attorney General, saw that they were getting nowhere with me, they decided to work through my superior, the Bishop of Vich, whom I always obeyed blindly, and he, in turn, formally commanded me to accept. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 495.)
BROWN, Raymond, A Risen Christ in Easter Time.
CLARET, Antonio María, Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography.



Monday, April 14, 2014



«  We have reached the end of the long journey of Lent, Holy Week and Easter Triduum. 

«  It is the great Solemnity of the Resurrection of Jesus.  

«  For 50 days the Church will continue to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, his victory over death and sin. 

«  This is certainly true of each  Eucharistic Celebration, but more during the Easter Season. 

 FIRST READING  – Acts  10,34. 37-43
-          Peter is now at Cornelius home, Cornelius is a gentile. 

-          In his dream Peter heard the voice telling him to kill and eat from some of those animals who were considered impure by the tradition of Israel. Peter does not understand why he has to  eat  impure meat. He does not want to eat, he refuses for three times. Then som body knocks at the door where Peter is, they are the people Cornelius sent asking for Peter. 

-          Peter goes to Cornelius’ and preaches about Jesus. He had preached that same sermon before, but to a Jewish audience, now it is gentile audience.  

-          He explains all that had happened in all over Judea about Jesus of Nazareth, beginning in Galilee.   Galilee is home for Jesus and for his disciples, after his resurrection he will summon them to Galilee.  We too need to return to the place of our first encounter with the Lord, it is not a physical returning to a given place, but a spiritual returning where we feel at home with the Lord.  

-          He goes on telling them how Jesus went about doing good, how had been anointed by the Spirit. 

-          He explains how he was condemned to die on the cross, but God raised him on the third day. 

-          Peter tells Cornelius and his household that whoever believes in Jesus will be granted the forgiveness of sis. 

-          This is the reason for the Incarnation, reconcile us with the Father forgiving our sins, which he takes on him. Jesus has come to give life to us reveling the Father, but we do not like that kind of God who is always loving, forgiving, welcoming; because he calls us to do the same.  

-          In this account about Cornelius we see the first fruits of the redemption among the gentiles.  

Instead of the second Reading we will reflect this week on two gospels.

-          The Gospel of Matthew about the resurrection which we read on the Easter Vigil, 

-          The Gospel of John which we read on Easter Sunday.   

GOSPEL – Matthew 28,1-10
Ø  In the passion narratives the three synoptic Gospels are very much alike 

Ø  However the resurrection passages present great differences. 

Ø  None of them has the intention to explain the resurrection, since it transcends our physical experience, what the do is to proclaim with enthusiasm the fact of the resurrection and they confirm it with several stories of apparitions of the Risen Lord.  

Ø  In all these apparitions se found the following elements: 

o   The identification of the one who appears. 

o   His identity with the historical Jesus. Showing a close connection between the death and the resurrection of Jesus. 

o   He has a body

o   He is real

o   His relationship with the disciples; and the personality of some of the witnesses. 

Ø  Matthew organizes the passage we will read at the Easter Vigil  in three different moments:  

o   The message of the angel to the women. 

o   Jesus appears to the women.

o   The mission of the apostles  

o   Let us see what is the message of Matthew: 

§  The women go to see the tomb. When we read the Passion on Palm Sunday we left the three Maries seated in front of the tomb, now Matthew mentions only two.) 

§  Matthews says that when the angel descends to the tomb and moves the rock that closes the cave, there is an earthquake, as he said when Jesus died on the cross. These are descriptions of Theophanies or Chritophanies.  

§  The empty tomb   

·        Two messages come out from this empty tomb:  

o   The one from the women made messengers of the resurrection to the male   disciples. There are sent by the angel and also by Jesus.

o   And the one from the guards who go to the high priests to inform them of  what has happened.  

o   The fact is that the tomb is empty, the explanations given by both groups are different.  

o   What happened then about the resurrection of Christ, continues to happen nowadays. 

o   The resurrection is a fact that cannot be verified, it has to be accepted in faith.   

o   If faith is absent, then the resurrection becomes a fable. 

o   But for us Christians the resurrection is the foundation of our faith, as Paul says in 1Co15,14.17. 

GOSPEL – John  20,1-9
-          Mary Magdalene is the first witness of the resurrection.

-          She finds  out that the stone  has been moved away. John does not say that Mary enters into the tomb, but that she ran to inform  Peter and the other disciple …  about the tomb.  

-          Her word is accepted and Peter with the other disciple start  out their way to the tomb.  

-          The other disciple which the evangelist identifies as “the beloved disciple, o the disciple who was a dear friend of Jesus.” 

o    This disciple arrives to the tomb before Peter

o   But he does not enter he waits for Peter who enters first.   

o   When he can enter the author of the Gospel says that he “saw and believed.”   

o   What did he see?  The empty tomb.    

o   What did he believe?  The resurrection     

§  Luis Alonso Schöekel, a Bible scholar, says that more than believe, what the Greek verb  says is that he began to believe. 

§  This belief is still very weak, it is the faith of a beginner, because it rests on the experience of empty tomb, not yet in the word of Jesus.  Our faith has also grown from a very small concrete fact, but later little by little this faith has become adult and strong, there is no more need for concrete material or spiritual experiences, but it is based on faith alone.

§  The Gospel passage ends saying that they went home, their faith was too small for drive them  to go and preach the good news.    

-          On the other hand the women of Matthews Gospel have a stronger faith since their reaction is to go and tell.  
Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful  praises!
 A lamb the sheep redeems: Christ who only is sinless
Reconcile sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous
The Prince of life who died reigns immortal.
Speak Mary declaring  what you saw wayfaring
“The tomb of Christ, who is living. The glory of Jesus’ resurrection, 
Bright angels attesting, the shroud and napkin resting
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen!
To Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining
 Have mercy, victor King ever reigning!
  Amen, alleluia.  

v  In the great solemnities the Church has a sequence which is recited or sung before de Reading the Gospel.  

v  They are a masterpiece of poetry and music.   

v  As we read this sequence of Easter we realice that it tells us the mystery of our redemption.   

v  Mary Magdelene is asked about what she has seen on the way  

v  She confesses her faith in the resurrection, I have seen the Risen Lord who invites his own to meet him in Galilee

v  Galilee  

o   Concrete geographical place, but also a place in the geography of the spirit.  

o   Place of the first encounter.    

o   They have to go back there to encounter a new the enthusiasm, the joy, the energy and the strength to proclaim what eye has not seen and ear has not heard.  

o   Encounter that will  make them able to proclaim that our God has saved us, that he is in our midst, that he walks with each one of us and will be with us until the end of history.  

o   Galilee, place where Peter will be able to confess his love to his friend and Lord, after having experienced the depth of human misery denying to know the one he loved so much.  

v  Yes, let us also  go back to our Galilee, each one knows it, and there we will meet the Risen Lord, our love and our hope.   

Dear daughters, love one another, as daughters of love that you are.   Who have gathered you in this holy company, is it not love?  My daughters, love your sisters….Venerable María Antonia París – Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters  – First Constitutions in Writings p. 458 
My Lord, You are my love, my honor, mi hope, my refuge.  You are my life, my glory, my purpose, my teacher, my Father, my love. St. Anthony M. Claret – Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters.