Thursday, October 23, 2014



*      The readings for this Sunday put in front of our eyes the greatest of the commandments.  

*      In the time of Jesus the people of Israel had already understood that the greatest commandment had two parts: love of God and love of  the human being, which is the image of God.    

Before reflecting over the Reading let us say a word about the book  of Exodus.   

v  Exodus means exit, this is the name that the book has in the Greek translation.   

v  In the Hebrew Bible it is called   Semot = names” because the book begins with a list of the sons of Jacob who migrated to Egypt.  

v  In this book we find the beginnings of the people of Israel:  

o   Its physical birth as a nation: the liberation from Egypt, the crossing of the sea.”  

o   Its spiritual biryt “the covenant on Mount Sinai.”  

o   Between these two events  we have the desert. The desert has always been seen as the place of the temptation and,  of the encounter with God.   

o   This meaning continues to be true in the spiritual life, in the journey of faith of each person in search of God.    

v  The theology of this book is rich, it presents several important questions such as: liberation, covenant, theophany, law, sanctuary.   

v  The God of Exodus is the God who speaks to Moses, the God who hears the cry of his people and comes down to liberate it and introduce it into a land abundant in honey and milk.  He is the Liberator God.      

FIRST READING  Ex 22:20-26
Ø  Today’s Reading begins with the words “Thus says the Lord”  

Ø  What does he say?  He says that he sees, hears and listens to the suffering of the poor and he also sees the behavior of those who hurt their brothers and sisters.   

Ø  He says   that the evil we do will,  come back to us.   

Ø  Than he says how we have to behave in some  concrete situations. The reading presents to us three categories of persons whom God protects  because they are more vulnerable and he wants us to do the same:  

o   The alien who lives in our land,  the reason is because “you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.   This is really interesting when we see how we treat the aliens among us.   

o   The widow and the orphan, the two categories of the most vulnerable and abandoned persons in that society.   

o   The poor who only has a cloak to cover himself during the day and also during the  night.    

 RESPONSORIAL  PSALM  Ps  18: 2-3; 3-4; 47,51 

I love you, O Lord, my strength
O Lord my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. 

My God, my rock of refuge
My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold
Praised be the Lord, I exclaim
And I am safe from my enemies.  

The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your King
And showed kindness to your anointed.  

v  The Lord is invoked by the psalmist as rock, fortress, shield, stronghold, saving power.   

v  And the Lord continues to be so for each one of us, and for all our families and communities.  

GOSPEL  Mt 22:34-40
Ø  The Sadducees had asked Jesus a question on the resurrection because  they did not believe in it, and Jesus answers them in such a way that they could not ask him anything else. 

Ø  Their opposite,  the Pharisees, want also to ask Jesus a question to get him in trouble.  

Ø  Their question is “what is the greatest commandment of the Law”? 

Ø  Jesus answers with the very same words that are found in the Torah:  

o   The first: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart… (Deut 6:5)   

o   The second, is as important as the first one: You shall love your neighbor as yourself  (Leviticus 19:18) .

o   The whole  Law (Torah) and the Prophets (the remaining books of the Old Testament)  depend on these two commandments.   

Ø  Jesus reminds them that the whole law is concentrated in the words we find at the beginning of the commandments in the book of Exodus: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the place of slavery.”    

o   The Lord is our  only Lord because he has created us, and he has saved us. 

o    The rest of mankind, men and women who are our neighbors, are the image of God who has created,  liberated and saved us.   

o   We do not love the Lord if we destroy his image. We keep with love and respect the pictures of our loved ones, in the same way we have to respect and love our neighbor.   

SECOND READING  1 Tes 1:5c- 10
ü  Paul continues to praise the community of Thessalonica. 

o   In imitating the behavior of Paul they have imitated the Lord.   

o   Can we say the same thing, that those who imitate us imitate the Lord?   

o   He says also a paradoxical thing, but which is true in our relationship with God: you have received the word with great affliction, but at the same time with the joy of the Holy Spirit.  

ü  In turn the community of Thessalonica has become an example for all the people and the communities in Macedonia and Achaia.    

o   How they welcomed Paul and the Word he proclaimed to them.   

o   How they turn away from the idols to believe in the true God.   

o   How they await the Son of God, whom God raised from the dead and who will come again from heaven, Jesus who has liberated us from the coming  wrath.   muertos y que  vendrá desde el cielo, Jesús que nos libera de la ira venidera.

ü  Paul and the communities waited for the immediate return  in glory  of Jesus. They were convinced that the second coming would take place in their life time, but it has not been so, and we continue to wait for his return.    

ü  Certainly he will come again, but maybe while we are looking up into the sky, like the apostles after the ascensión, we are missing the opportunity to encounter the Lord who comes to us in humble appearances in the poor, the marginalised, the abandoned and vulnerable of any kind with whom we partake our life and whom, so many times, we do not see.  

ü  They are close to us, in our families, in our communities, in our society and in all of them the Lord is waiting for our love.   


Because the disorders caused by the earthquakes, the archbishop came from the holy visit on console the extremely afflicted people. On this occasion he came to visit us on the same day of his arrival, September 3.

He received us showing his great pleasure and told me that he planned to come again to deal purposely with our affairs. My companion and I were very happy thinking that he was very eager to deal with the matter, but God our Lord willed to fulfill the promise he had made to me many years before, when he wanted to console me saying one day that Fr. Claret would give me a hand  for the foundation of the first house, and then, added that he would be the one to make me suffer most. That is why His Divine Majesty willed that I remember his promise since the first conference. .Venerable María Antonia París, foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,  Autobiography-173.
During the first two years, despite the earthquakes and the cholera epidemic, we managed to visit all the parishes in the archdiocese. In every one of them a mission was led either by myself or my companions, and in rural parishes with a very large territory, several missions were given. Every two or three leagues we would hold a mission in one of the many large tobacco sheds. We would set up an altar, a pulpit, and a confessional with the help of some chairs and gratings we brought along for that purpose.
Throughout those first two years it rained a great deal. On one occasion it rained for nine months without skipping a day; and there were days when it rained through the night as well. This made traveling difficult, but I and my companions kept on going and the people kept on coming. We were all happy and in good spirits, although we sometimes lacked even the necessities of life. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the  Claretian Missionary Sisters.  Autobiography 538-539. 

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
SAGRADA BIBLIA, Traducción oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, 2012.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014


ü  The Lord is  the only God
ü  The human being is the image of God.   
ü  All and everything subjected to the only Lord.  
FIRST READING   Is 45:1.4-6
o   Cyrus II the Great, King of Persia, has left a permanent footprint in the Bible.  
o   Due to his way to govern he is called Messiah in the book of Isaiah, being the only non-Jewish person to whom this name is given.   
o   Cyrus is famous also for his laws that respected the citizens, the different customs and laws of the countries under his domination.   
o   In this Sunday Reading the Lord says to “his anointed one” Cyrus.   
o   God opens the doors before him, makes the way easy for him and leaves the locks  unlocked.   
o   This said of a pagan king, but one who has known how to listen to the inner law which God has given to each one of us.   
o   God says to Cyrus that he has called him for the sake and love of Israel, in spite of him (Cyrus) not knowing the true God.   
o   God is the only God, there is no other, nobody is equal to him.   
o   He is the one who arms Cyrus so that he can accomplish the mission he has been called to do by God.    
o   Thus the peoples will acknowledge that I am God.   
o   What a comforting it is to realize that God calls whom he wants to give him or her a mission, and that all of us have the capacity to respond, either those who know him or those who do not know  him
  RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 96:1.3.4-5.7-8.9-10
Sing to the Lord a new song
Sing to the Lord all you lands
Tell his glory among the nations
Among all the peoples his wondrous deeds.
For great is the Lord and highly to be praised
Awesome beyond all gods
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought.
But the Lord made the heavens.
Give the Lord you families of nations
Give the Lord glory and praise
Give the Lord the glory due his name
Bring gifts and enter his courts.
Worship the Lord in holy attire
Tremble before him, all the earth
Say among the nations the Lord is king
He governs the peoples with equity.
ü  This psalm is a hymn to the kingship of God.   
ü  The whole of creation and the human race are all invited to sing the greatness of God. 
GOSPEL  Mt 22,15-21
v  The Gospel that we read this Sunday is the continuation of last  Sunday Gospel. 
v  In the rejection of the king’s invitation to his son wedding, the Pharisees and priests understood clearly that Jesus was talking directly to them. 
v  Jesus continues in his effort to win these men back to God, so that they may acknowledge what God is telling them through the ministry of his son, Jesus.   
v  What a terrible power does the human being have, he or she can reject his or her creator and Father and fight against him, while God the Father is giving life to them
v  The Gospel says they left and together they were looking for ways to catch him with his own words.  
v  Finally they know what they have to do, they have to ask about the payment of the taxes to the Roman Empire.   
v  Is it lawful to pay the census taxes to Cesar, being as we are the chosen people, since  our king is God.  
v  These men in their hatred against Jesus, in their willingness to maintain their power do not expect to hear what Jesus will ask them.   
v  He asks for a coin and asks this question: whose image is this and whose inscription is this?  
v  Cesar’s they answer him, than give back to Cesar’s what is his.   
v  If you use this coin which belongs to Cesar you will have to give it back to him.  
v  But you will have to give not to God what is his.   .
v  Jesus does not put at the same level Cesar and his Father, he wants to remind them that we are all the image of God which is engraved in our whole being, thus we belong to no one else, but God.  
v  I do not have to choose between God and Cesar, because Cesar belongs also to God.  
v  What a wonderful way to remind to us that we carry in us the sacred image of God, we are this image.   
v  This is what we read in the first book of the Bible, when God talking to himself says “let us make man in our image…”  
v  We are this sacred image, each man no matter who he or she is, is the image of God. 
v  This truth is what has to move us to proclaim with our life and our words the gospel, the good news that God, the Father of Jesus, is also my Father and Jesus my brother. 
SECOND READING    1 Thes 1,1-5b
*      This letter is the first written document of the New Testament.   
*      It was written around the year 51, twenty years after the ascension of the Lord  Jesus,  when Paul was in Corinth.    
*      It was a very young and enthusiastic community whose basic beliefs can be perceived through the contents of the letter:
o   The Trinity    
o   God as Father  
o   The mission  of Jesus: Messiah, his death and resurrection, his future return.  
o   The three virtues: faith, hope and love.   
Let us see the message of this Sunday’s second reading:
Ø  Paul and his collaborators greet, at the beginning of this letter, the community of Thessalonica
Ø  He encourages the community reminding them the good Works they do: 
o   Their works of faith, love and hope in Jesus Christ the Lord.  
o   He invites them to remember how they were chosen. 
o   Because the gospel did not come to them only in words but in powerful works of the Holy Spirit
o   Since those who proclaim to them the gospel did it with enthusiasm in such a way that they could convince them.   
Ø  This letter is also for all of us, followers of Jesus from the XXI century.  
Ø  As we read this letter it is a good opportunity to look at our own community and see all the good and positive works that are done among us: what God does and we accept, thus being able to change  our lives. 
o   As the community of Thessalonica, we have also been summoned by the preaching of those who proclaimed the gospel to us, and those who continue to proclaim it now.   
o   Our faith, hope and love have grown also, and continue to grow.  
Ø  Thus we may ask ourselves, do we proclaim to others with enthusiasm this same gospel which has been proclaimed to us? Do we invite them to participate in our community of faith? 

In the room where they received us there were ten chairs and a table in the dining room. In the kitchen there was a chocolate pot and a frying pan. I was so happy seeing the house so empty, my sisters!” this was the furniture of this our first convent. On the next day they brought us food from the house of the parish priest of the most holy trinity, to whom the Archbishop had entrusted and recommended us.
Later on, we retained only one maid and we did everything with the grace of God who very soon provided us with work to earn our living with the sweat of our brow without bothering anybody else. It was a great grace of our Lord to keep our lives with so much work in so poor conditions and lacking almost all the necessary things. Everything was contributing to make heavier even the work which in itself was already hard, especially for us who are not used to do it and, above all, in so heavy a climate and the most oppressive seasons. The grace and strength God gave us was so much that I can say with all sincerity that the four of us worked more in a year than thirteen of us in four years. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 164-65
The quakes lasted from August 20 to the end of December, with a few brief interruptions--although there were days on which there were as many as five tremors. We offered prayers of supplication, and all the canons and other priests went in procession to the esplanade along the seashore where an outdoor chapel, made of posts covered by a large awning, had been set up. In the morning everyone gathered here, the authorities as well as the townspeople, to sing the litany and a votive Mass of supplication.
I preached a mission, exhorting all to penance, telling them that God had treated some of them as a mother treats a sleepy-headed child of a morning. She shakes his cot to awaken him and make him get up. If this fails, she has to nudge him bodily. This, I told them, was what God was doing with his children who were oversleeping in their sins. He had shaken their cots, beds, and houses. If they still weren't awake, He would strike their bodies with a plague of cholera, for God our Lord had given me to understand that this is what He would do. Some of my listeners resented this and grumbled about me, but in scarcely a month's time a frightful epidemic of cholera broke out. There were streets in which everyone died within two days.. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters, Autobiography  534-35.