Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Ø  During the last three weeks we have Heard parables about the vineyard. 
o   The workers who received the same salary even having worked different number of hours.  
o   The two sons to whom their father asked to go to work in the vineyard.  
o   Today it is about the vineyard itself.  
Ø  With these parables the Lord wants to reach the heart of the leaders of his people Israel, leaders who supposedly represent the authority of his Father on earth. 
Ø  With this parable the Lord wants to win again the heart of those men for whom he will give up his life on the cross. 
Ø  Maybe we have to apply all of this to our own life, the life of our community and to the Church.  
We may consider three parts in this passage:   
  1. The song of the vineyard addressed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem   
    1. The vineyard that his friend has planted   
    2.  Vineyard which his friend has cared for, he has surrounded it with all sorts of protections and tender love.  
    3. And however he has not found any good fruit in it. 
  2. The owner of the vineyard asks the inhabitants of Jerusalem 
    1. What else could I have done for my vineyard that I have not done? 
    2. Why does it give bitter fruits instead of grapes?  
  3. The owner says that he knows what he will  do  
    1. He will remove its protection, the fence    
    2. It will be trampled down by all, it will be  food for animals   
    3. It will be like a ruin    
    4. He will not take care of it as he has done until now  
    5. And he will say to the clouds not to rain over it.    
  4. As a conclusion the prophet Isaiah says     
    1. This vine is the house of Israel, the people of Judah, both his  cherished plant
    2. He wanted to find  judgment, justice and wisdom and did not find any of these  
    3. Instead he found violence.  
 RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 80, 9,12,13-14,15-16,19-20  
A vine from Egypt you transplanted
You drove away the nations and planted it
It put forth its foliage to the Sea
Its shoots as far as the River.
Why have you broken down its walls
So that every passer-by plucks its fruit
The boar of the forest lays it waste
And the beasts of the field feed upon it?
Once again, O Lord of hosts
Look down from heaven and see
Take care of this vine
And protect what your right hand has planted
The son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you
Give us new life, and we will call upon your name
O lord, God of hosts, restore us
If your face shine upon us, then we shall be saved.
*      In the liturgy of this 27th Sunday we read four verses of  psalm  80.  
*      In the first the psalmist speaks to God to remind him that he drove a vine out of Egypt, and how much he cared for it.   
*      In the second one the psalmist asks God why he has changed , why he has abandoned the vine. 
*      In the third the psalmist asks God to come and visit us, come and cure us, take care again of us.  
*      The fourth is the promise made to God in the name of the vine, promise of conversion, of change of life.    
GOSPEL  Mt 21:33-43
Ø  Jesus tells the leaders of his people this parable, and they understand that it is addressed to them. 
Ø  This parable is very much like the first reading from Isaiah.    
Ø   When the time comes to collect the fruits, the owner sends his servants, but the tenants mistreat them and even kill some of them.   
Ø  Then the owner of the vineyard sends his son, and they also kill him out of the vine, like Jesus who will be killed outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem.   
Ø  Jesus switches from agriculture to construction, from the vineyard to the cornerstone which the builders rejected.   
Ø  The stone rejected and which becomes the cornerstone  
Ø  I tell you that the Kingdom will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce fruits 
Ø  Everything that we read in the Eucharist or in the Bible is there for us, even though the authors did not know us, but the Father who inspired them knows us. 
Ø  This is the same message that we have been receiving for the last two weeks, salvation is given to us freely, but we need to take good care of it, because we may lose it.  
SECOND READING    Phil  4:6-9
Ø  Paul says to his community, do not worry for anything at all    
Ø   Tell to God your petition, your need and then remain at peace, accept the peace of God  
Ø  Peace which according to Paul surpasses all understanding  
Ø  Then Paul invites his community, each member of it to keep on doing what is good   
Ø  And the peace of God will be with us.   
The more we went into that immense sea of waters the more my spirit plunged into the immense sea of God , when I looked at myself  within the heart of my God  and Lord more clearly than in a mirror. God was so pleased in this way of considering his infinite greatness that often times He made me feel the tenderness of his most holy arms with which His holy Majesty pressed my soul within his sacred heart. This was the cause of that inalterable peace I enjoyed that the fact of not getting bored in the trip so long and so difficult. The immensity of the sea reminded me of the immensity of God and those skies so wide brought to my mind the immense spaces of the glory of the saints. The narrowness of the ship, the creaking of the woods  and the continues noise  of the pumps, which never stopped day and night, reminded me first, of the tightness of the poor condemned souls in the narrow prison of hell. And the creaking of woods and the continuous noise pf the pumps brought to my mind   and the cries and the gnashing of teeth with the confusion of the condemned suffer. The Lord granted me the grace that none of these things made me suffer in considering heavens and hell. Blessed be God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ who pays so abundantly the graces which he himself gives. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters 159.
No one who hasn't experienced a major earthquake can have the slightest idea of what it's like. It's not just the moving or heaving of the earth and the sight of utensils and furniture sliding from one end of the room to the other. If that were all there was to it, then anyone who has sailed on rough seas has seen the like happen on a ship. But there is a great deal more to an earthquake than that.
Horses and other four-footed animals are the first to sense the quake; it's awful to see them freeze in their tracks, their legs braced like table-legs, so that all the beating and goading in the world couldn't budge them. Then all the birds --chickens, turkeys, doves, parrots, parakeets, etc.—begin cackling, shrieking, crying, thrashing about, and flailing their wings. Next there is a deep, subterranean rumbling, and everything begins to sway, and you can hear the creaking of timbers, doors, and walls and the sound of pieces falling from buildings. This is accompanied by a change in the electrical field that throws compass needles completely off.
St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 530-31 
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo)  2007
LA BIBLIA, traducción tomada de la página web del Vaticano.
SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.     

Thursday, September 25, 2014


ü  Next Sunday’s Gospel offers to our consideration another situation which makes us think. 
ü  It makes us realize that the life of faith, of fidelity to God and of following of Jesus is not something I have once and for all, but I have to work on it all my life long.  
ü  It is not something that I know intellectually without transforming it into action. 
ü  I think that these readings are an invitation to be always ready.   
FIRST READING   Ez 15:25-28
o   God confronts his people that complains against the Lord saying that the Lord’s ways are  not fair. 
o   Last Sunday the readings challenged us to think about what is fair or just
o   Here God asks his people and invites them to give their own answer, who is in the way of salvation?   
o   This question is also for us.    
o   To have been born in a family who practices the faith, in a nation where we can freely practice our faith, it is not something that was due to me, it is a free gift from the unconditional love of God. It is not something I inherit but something I have to work on.  
o   But there are other human beings who have lived in the midst of violence, without knowing God, without freedom but who follow the inner law that the Lord has put in each one of us. 
o   Who is in communion with God?    
o   This coming Sunday the readings invite us to think seriously how do we look at the others, how do we live our faith, our relationship with God.    
o   We are invited to realize that salvation, the relationship with God is not a question of knowledge, good reflections and wonderful words, but of good actions, of a behavior who imitates God.    
RESPONSORIAL PSALM   PS  25: 4-5. 6-7. 8-9
Your ways, O Lord, make known to me
Teach me your paths
Guide me in your truth and teach me
For you are God my savior.
Remember that your compassion, O Lord
And your love are from of old
The sins of y youth and my frailties remember not
In your kindness remember me
Because of your goodness O Lord.
Good and upright is the Lord
Thus he shows sinners the way
He guides the humble to justice
And teaches the humble his way.
*      This is a psalm of supplication and of trust.
*      It is an alphabetical psalm, because there is one of the characters of the alphabet at the beginning of each line.  They were written in this fashion for teachers, to help them to teach their students
*      We discover in this psalm several wisdom themes: the way, the teaching, the human teacher which gives way to the divine teacher who shows the way… covenant themes: on the part of God as faithfulness, on the part of the human being as respect, reverence, hope.   
*      This psalm written for the school to teach in an academic environment helps us to live our life of love for God.  
GOSPEL Mt 21:28-32
Ø  Apparently it is a very simple parable, if we are not aware of its real message we look at it as if it was a story for children.   
Ø  But is that so? 
Ø  This parable is not addressed to children but to the religious leaders of the people of Israel, to the high priests and escribes who think that they know more than the rest, they consider  themselves better than the others, they have the monopoly of Israel’s religion.    
Ø  When we read this parable we understand immediately the message, but do we realize that it is said also for us?
Ø  Matthew told this parable for the members of his community, and thus it is also for us, especially those of us who are in some kind of leadership within the church
Ø  The conclusion that Jesus says is surprising: the prostitutes and tax collectors…
Ø  Jesus likes to mention these persons considered impure, and he has enough freedom to do it, and in this way to challenge us.
Ø  Also in our church we have differences of classes, divisions, like there were in Israel 
o   The pure, those who know and teach all the laws and requirements to be holy, and look at those considered “sinners” as separated, marginalized not fitted  to be with the pure.  
o   The other group is formed by those who are marginalized: the homeless, those with aids, the homosexual,  the prostitutes … 
Ø  Jesus says that they will be first, like the son that said no and goes, because on listening to the work of John they changed their ways. They did the father’s will like the son that said no and finally did it.    
Ø  Are we not scandalized by this words of Jesus? Are we not indignant on hearing them? If this is not so it is because we read this parable   without paying attention to its real content. 
Ø  The Gospel is full of examples of people who were   marginalized, considered sinners , people that said no to God and  later on  changed and said yes:   Zacchaeus, the sinful woman, the Samaritan, the centurion, the Samaritan woman…
Ø  What a simple parable, yes, but full of questions for all of us! 
Ø  I copy here something I have read in a book by Jose Antonio  Pagola:
When we do not want to be with you, God makes himself near and welcomes you    
In the darkest spot of you night you are not alone 
In your deepest humiliation you are not abandoned 
There is no place for you either in our society or in our heart   
But you have a especial place in the heart of God   
Ø  Again we are faced with the paradox of God’s unconditional and free love. Love that we want to master according to our mind, but we cannot, his love is totally free.  
Ø  What is just, fair for God?   That was last week’s  question
Ø  Today’s parable is another way to explain what does it mean: the last will be first and the first will be last.    
Ø  To which one of the two groups do I belong? In reality we all belong to the group of the sinners, if we accept this we will be able to understand this parable, and also the ways of God and we will be thankful.     
SECOND READING    Phil  2:1-5
Ø  Paul asks his community of Philippi to be of the same mind 
Ø  Not having divisions among them    
Ø  To do nothing out of selfishness    
Ø  But being humble regarding others as more important than themselves.  
Ø  What a program! That Paul gives to his community, to all of us, to our communities.  
Ø  To live considering and really believing that the others are more important than we are
Ø  How many difficulties would disappear from our communities, how different they would  be, how different would  our society be, how much peace and joy in our human relationships there would be.   
 At last, “Rosalia” was restored, and we left this port of Lanzarote where we had received so many graces of God. They fixed the holy cross made of the blessed palms in the main mast together with a miraculous medal because it was by miracle that we arrived to that island, and we hoped to reach our desired destination. So we left that port, the ones who left happier that the ones left behind since all of them cried as if they lost a great treasure.
The memory of the dangers from which God had delivered us manifested more and more my hope in God. This hope that the Lord has placed in my heart from my childhood has delivered me from so many dangers. My hope in God made me so happy that, when I lost sight of the Canarias islands, my heart rejoiced, because not seeing earth anymore, I was left only with my hope in God.
Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters  157-58.
The havoc wrought by the Cuban earthquakes was truly dreadful. The people were terrified, and my vicar general sent for me to come to Santiago as I was needed there. I left the mission at Bayamo and went to Santiago,  where I was appalled at the sight of the ruins; one could hardly move through the streets, for all the wreckage and debris. The cathedral was a total disaster. To give some idea of the power of the tremors that hit that great church, I will describe just one detail. At the ends of the cathedral's facade there were two matching towers, each of which had four corners topped by macelike finials. One of these finials was dislodged and thrown through one of the bell tower windows. Imagine the arc that finial had to describe to break through one of those windows. The episcopal palace was a wreck, and so were all the other churches, more or less. Public squares were converted into chapels where Mass was said, the sacraments distributed, and sermons preached. Nearly all the houses in town were in a state of greater or lesser disrepair. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 529. 
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo)  2007
LA BIBLIA, traducción tomada de la página web del Vaticano.
SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.