Monday, May 12, 2014


As the Easter season moves towards the Ascension,  we read from the farewell discourse of Christ in  St. John’s Gospel chapters 14 to 17.
FIRST READING – Acts 6:1-7

Ø  Jesus  said to his apostles that the Holy Spirit  would remind them all his words.  In this reading from the Acts,  these words of Jesus become real.  

Ø  This passage is like an image of what the Church has been doing during her journey through history, whenever she is confronted with new problems or issues she has to discern the new situation in order to be faithful  to the  Lord.  

Ø  Those who have the mission to guide the Church, the pastors, will have to look at the problems,   difficulties or   new situations which confront the Christian community ,   discover  and try to understand the voice of the Spirit.

Ø  All the groups in the Church will have to do the same, under the guidance of their pastors.  

Ø  And also all the members of the Church will have to do the same if they want to be faithful to the words of Jesus.   

Ø  Chapter 6 of Acts presents a very concrete situation.  There are differences among them, they did not take care of all the poor in the same way.  

Ø  At the beginning the first community of the followers of Jesus was formed by persons converted from the Jewish faith. They took good care of their widows and orphans. That was not difficult, since they had been doing that long before in response to the law of Israel.   

Ø  But now there are also other widows who come from other countries, speak other languages.   

Ø  The community is too large now, and the apostles cannot take care of all the needs that the community has. They decide to look for help among the men of the community. A new ministry is born in the Christian community: the deacons whose main mission will be to take care of those in need. 

Ø  They choose 7 men deeply spiritual and prudent, faithful to the teachings of the Lord.  

Ø  The first community of the young Church that the book of Acts presents as a model has its problems too.  

Ø  There are two groups, those who want to continue with the old way of the Jewish traditions. We could call them conservatives.  

Ø  The second group was formed by persons converted from the pagan world. They were open to new ways in the interpretation of the teachings of Jesus.  

Ø  Faced with this situation the community of the believers, the Church,  has to listen to the voice of the Spirit of Jesus who will remind her the words of Jesus “love one another as I have loved you….” 

Ø  This will give birth to the local or ecumenical councils. The pastors assembled in council will look at the different problems that the Church experiences in different times, and they will look for answers listening in community to the Spirit of Jesus. 

Ø  Let us reflect on our community, our apostolic movements and see if we are faced   with  problems similar to those of the first community of Jerusalem.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM. Ps 33: 1-2. 4-5. 18-19

Exult, you just in the Lord
Praise from the upright is fitting
Give thanks to the Lord on the harp
With the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises 

Uptight is the Word of the Lord
And all his works trustworthy
He loves justice and right
Of the kindness of the Lord the earth is full  

See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him
Upon those who hope for his kindness
To deliver them from death
And preserve them in spite of famine 

*      This psalm begins with an invitation to praise the Lord, even using musical instruments. 

*      The reason for this invitation is that the love of the Lord fills the earth.  Trully if we look around us especially now that spring begins and life comes back to the sleepy earth, we see the beauty of the wild flowers. All this beauty is the fruit of God’s unconditional love for all of us, God who has created all this beauty for our delight. 

*      Another reason to acclaim our God is because he cares for us “his eyes are upon his faithful ones. This image reminds us of the mother who watches over her child while he or she is joyfully playing, because the child knows that the mother is there with him or her. 

*      This is our God, always with us, let this thought fill us with peace and trust. 
SEGUNDA LECTURA – First letter of Peter
Since the second Sunday of Easter we are reading from this letter. What do we know about this letter?  

ü  If we read the first verse of the letter  

ü  We know that Peter is the author of the letter 

ü  That he writes for the elect, the baptized-consecrated, from a very large region of Asia.  

ü  And let us go now to the last chapter 5,12, Peter says to us that the letter has been written by Silvanus. This means that Sylvanus has been the secretary who has write down what Peter was dictating

ü  The addressees are people from different countries who live all over the region. It is a letter addressed to migrant persons, who work and live far from home and from country. People discriminated against by those who are in a better economic position. People considered like objects of production, not as persons. Men and women who work to produce and thus increase the wealth of the owners, who have forgotten that we are all equals.   

ü  This reality might as well explain the central theme of the letter, the sufferings of Christ that give meaning to our own sufferings. 

ü  The verb suffer and the word suffering is repeated over and over throughout  this entire  letter. 
«  The message of this fragment of the letter of Peter is very rich. 

«  Peter describes the Young Church, the community of the believers as a temple and each one of us is one of the  stones. This  is a beautiful image, the more beautiful the stone the more beautiful the temple. 

«  This passage also reminds us the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman. Jn 4,23-24.  

«  In the book of Revelation there is another image of the Church as the Holy City which is at the same time the bride of the Lamb 21,10-27. 

«  Peter describes Jesus as the cornerstone. The cornerstone holds the building together. 

«  Jesus is this stone. This stone is of value for those who have faith 

«  But it is a stumbling  blog for those who oppose it ( Is 28,16). 

«  These words remind us the words of Simeon when Jesus was presented in the Temple by Joseph and Mary 

 Lk 2,34-35

«  Peter tells us that we are a priestly nation consecrated to proclaim the wonderful works of God. 

«  Let us discover in our life the marvels God has done in the past, is doing now and will continue to do  for us.   
GOSPEL  Jn 14:1-12
*      Jesus says to his apostles and to us “do not let your hearts be troubled.”  

*      He also invites them to believe in God and in Him.  

*      Heaven is presented as a home with many rooms which Jesus himself prepares for each one of us.  When we expect someone to visit us to stay for some days, we prepare the room and everything so that person feels at home.  Let this powerful image that John offers to our contemplation help us to dream, to imagine the beauty of heaven, our home; knowing that Jesus prepares an eternal room for us with the Most Holy Trinity.  

*      There are two other images in this text  

ü  Jesus is The way to go to this “home”  
He is also the truth and the life.  
 The way to discover the truth in order to have abundant life.

ü  Whoever sees Jesus  sees the Father   
Jesus is in the Father and the Father in him.
The words of Jesus are the words the Father says to him. 
The works Jesus does are the works the Fathers does in him.   

The passage began  with the words of Jesus “do not let your hearts be troubled,”  and ends with these powerful words which will help us “not to be troubled”:


It terrified all those who knew about this very long travel in the hands of unknown men – which we were not even, introduced to the new captain because of the sudden change before we embark, as I said above, and I did not know if this one would approve of our previous arrangement with the other. Blessed be our Lord always in everything, for permitting the devil to make trouble in all in order that a greater glory could be given to His Divine Majesty later.
We were so well protected under the vigilance of this good captain (I do not know if a man or an angel), but I will say better, under the care of my heavenly father  who had promised me so many times  that he would be  with me in everything. Thus, this divine Lord was so much with me that by his infinite grace inspired such respect in all the crew from the first day up to the last. They always dealt with us with such veneration that it seemed they had under their custody holy bodies rather than creatures in flesh. So great was the veneration and respect they had , that it made them act always composed and orderly in everything, in words as well as in actions so that I am certain I did not see or hear not just bad words but even the least impoliteness. Who cannot admire here the infinite power of God’s hand? (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 138-139.)
During these days, God our Lord made me understand some very special things for his greater glory and the good of souls. My election was proclaimed in consistory, the Papal Bull from Rome was delivered to Madrid and duly dispatched, and it was brought from Madrid to Vich by two exemplary priests, Fathers Fermin de la Cruz and Andrew Novoa. Meanwhile, I prepared myself by a retreat of several days, during which I drew up a plan of life that I would follow in my new assignment.  Thus prepared and. disposed, I was consecrated in Vich, as I shall describe, God willing, in Part Three of this work.
October 6, 1850--the feast of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian order I had once wished to join --was also the first Sunday in October and the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, which has always been one of my favorite devotions. On this day I was consecrated Archbishop, together with Don Jaime Soler, Bishop of Teruel, in the cathedral of Vich. The local ordinary, Don Luciano Casadevall, was the consecrating bishop, assisted by their Excellencies, Bishops Dominic Costa y Borras  and Fulgencio Lorente,  of Barcelona and Gerona, respectively.
(Saint  Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the  Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography  498-499)
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
 PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía.
 SAGRADA BIBLIA, versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.

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