Tuesday, January 27, 2015


-          Jesus fulfills what Moses says in the book of Deuteronomy, “a prophet like me will the Lord raise for you…” 

-          Mark’s Gospel continues to present Jesus in his first days of ministry after his baptism.   

-          Paul in his letter to the Corinthians wishes that the community be without worries
o   It has a central place in the religious history of Israel. His central nucleus is the Law, a law that is preached.   

§  The book is a reflection on the deep meaning and value of the law.
§  It is an exhortation to follow the law as faithfulness to the will of God, as an expression of the people’s love of God. 

§  In its present organization the book is presented as the words that  Moses, close to his death, addresses to his people before the entrance into the promise land.  (Dt 1,1;9,1)

§  The book is formed by three speeches of Moses and an appendix  

FIRST SPEECH   Deut 1:1-4,43:
A look toward the past – The exodus from Egypt and
 the journey through the desert   

SECOND SPEECH   Deut 4:44-28,68
Central part = The Code of the Covenant
The entrance in the land, some images from the 

THIRD SPEECH  Deut 28:69-30,20 – looking to the future 

Ø  The book of Deuteronomy is like the introduction to the historical books: Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings.   
Ø  It is also related to some prophetic books: Hoseah, Jeremiah   

We find in the book of Deuteronomy 5 great themes: God, the people, the land, the law, the sanctuary. 
v  Only one God, main dogma of Israel’s faith, which gives meaning to all the other themes   
v  One nation – Israel = People that belongs to God in an especial way. God gives to this people:   
o   The land, and with the land all the other gifts.   

o   One sactuary, where Israel goes up to worship God.    

o   The Law to live in society and to be happy.   

Ø  DEUTERONOMIST LANGUAGE History , exhortation  and Law
o   The Law is the central part. The law is based on history and is taught by means of exhortations.   

o   History  intertwined with exhortations.   

o   And the exhortations are mixed with history. 

o   We find in this book a variety of Little units which makes us think about diverse authors.  

o   It seems that it was written by several authors, although it is attributed to Moses because it is the Book of the Law, like the wisdom books are attributed to Solomon and the psalms to David. 

o   The date is between 622 B.C. in the time of King Josiah, as they were repairing the temple they found the Book of the Law which seems to be the book of Deuteronomy, not in the present form but only the central nucleus and  586 BC date of the destruction of Jerusalem and deportation to Babylon.  

FIRST READING   Dt 18:15-20.
«  God will give to Israel in future times another prophet like Moses who will speak to them  

«  This will happen in response to the petition of Israel on Mount Horeb.

«  They said that they did not want to hear the voice of God, they did not want to see the great fire which accompanied the theophany of God.  

«  This prophet will tell them the Words of God with complete faithfulness.    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Sal 95,1-2;6-7; 7-9
*      This psalm especially the verses we will use this coming Sunday is an exhortation to 
o   Worship God 
o   Listen to his voice.

Come let us sing joyfully to the Lord
Let us acclaim the rock of our salvation
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving
Let  us joyfully sing psalms to him.   

 Come let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel before the Lord who made us
For he is our God
And we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. 

Oh, that today you would hear his voice
“harden not your hearts as at Meribah
As in the day of Massah in the desert
Where your fathers tempted me
They tested me though they had seen my works.” 

GOSPEL MARK  1:21-28  
§  On the Sabbath Jesus goes to the Synagogue and preaches. People are astonished on listening to the wisdom of his words.  
§  Jesus begins in a way that provokes the enthusiasm of the people   
o   Among those present in the assembly there is a man possessed by an evil spirit  

o   The evil spirit confronts Jesus, and says that he know him. Jesus orders it to be silent. 

§  In the Gospel of Mark the disciples never understand what Jesus says.   

§  But the evil spirits know who Jesus is 

o   Those present at the Synagogue ask, what does that mean? A doctrine completely new and taught with such authority?   

o   Jesus has brought something new, his teaching is complete newness, Have we discovered the newness of Jesus? Or instead we try to combine what we know which makes us comfortable with a little bit of Jesus’ newness? But it  does not help us.  

o   The words, the deeds of Jesus, his own person are a challenge for us.   

SECOND READING : 1 Cor 7:32-35
ü  This Reading continues last week’s theme. Do not be troubled, why? Because everything passes away, but God’s Lord remains forever.  

ü  Paul considers that those who are not married are free from the worries that those married have.  

ü  He does not want to put any restriction to our  personal decisions, he only wants to alert us that above our decisions in relation to marriage, the love of God is an absolute priority.   

ü  In this fragment Paul does not discriminate the woman, since he speaks for both man and woman, putting them at the same level.

In this occasion our Lord deigned to console me telling me to consult with this good Fr. Currius and to do what he would tell me; and that this Father would be for me; what St. John of the Cross was for St. Teresa. And later on, our Lord has told me other things about this servant of his that are already noted down in the other papers about all that he had to help in this work, and everything has literally been fulfilled until now.
In this occasion our Lord consoled me much and, since then, I surrendered to him the key of all my secrets with the only purpose that he might guide my soul on the ways of virtue.  (Venerable María
Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 197-98).

Curates were earning a mere pittance. Those of Santiago were receiving only 33 duros, plus votive offerings, half of which went to the bishop and a so-called sacristan, who did nothing. During my stay in office, curates received 700 duros on commencing, 1,200 on promotion, and 2,000 on termination. They also received 200, 400, and 700 duros, respectively, for church expenses on these occasions.
      I also raised the salaries of canons and provided them with a very well appointed and well endowed chapel. I brought in good musicians and organists from Spain, and some magnificent services were held.
I insisted that canons, pastors, and other priests make a ten-day retreat each year. I also insisted that they always wear the cassock and imposed a fine of ten duros for noncompliance. Only one failed to comply. I had him appear in lay garb and made him pay the fine.   (St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 552-553).

CLARET, Antonio María, Autobiografía.
GARCÍA LÓPEZ, Félix, “Deuteronomio”, en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento I, Casa de la Biblia Salamanca-España 1997.
PARÍS, María Antonia , Autobiografía PÉREZ HERRERO, Francisco, “Evangelio según San Marcos”  en Comentario del Nuevo Testamento, Casa de la Biblia.  Salamanca-España1995..

Friday, January 23, 2015


Ø  Jesus begins his ministry of proclaiming the good news.  

Ø  He keeps calling collaborators to help him in his mission.   
Ø  The book of Jonah is found among the prophetic books, although he is not a real prophet.

Ø  This book was written to counteract the nationalism of Ezra and Nehemiah, who promoted hate toward the foreigner, to everyone not belonging to the “holy and chosen” people.   

Ø  In the past this book was considered by some a historical one, while others thought it was an allegory. The idea of that book being historical has been discarded because it has some details difficult to reconcile to real life.   

Ø  Nowadays most of the commentators consider this book like a parable, a book belonging to the wisdom literature

Ø  The time of this story is after the return from the Babylonian exile, during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, between the V and II centuries BC. During the time in which the book of the Ecclesiasticus had been written.   

Ø  The message of this book is a reaction against the belief found and promoted in Israel that salvation was only for the chosen people. Also against the idea that God was a judging and vengeful God.  This is an offense against God who is love and compassion.   

Ø  The choosing of Nineveh is not without purpose, Nineveh was a sinful and cruel city, incarnation or representation of all that is bad, the city ruled by cruel kings.   

Ø  The book of Jonah wants to offer us the following possibilities:   

o   The oppressor is able to change his life.   
o   The acceptance on the part of Israel to accept that God is merciful toward all, even toward their oppressors.     
o   The message is more difficult when we realize that Jonah is sent to Nineveh, not to have the city convert to the religion  of Israel, but it is a call to conversion within their own religion. 

Ø  The book has two parts,  the two calls that God makes to Jonah: 
o   First call  cc,1-2 (Jonah does not want to do what God asks him, he flees )
o   Second call  cc. 3-4 (Jonah does what the Lord asks him to do)   

Ø  This book is a work of art of the Hebrew literature.  

FIRST READING  – Jonah  3: 1-5.10
v  The Lord comes to Jonah a second time, Jonah has already learned that when the Lord calls we need to respond to him.   
v  He receives a mission, something to do for a city, the city of Nineveh.  
v  It is a sinful and corrupt city, and also quite large.   
v  Jonah makes the decision to do what the Lord is asking.   
v  And he proclaims the message as he has understood it, probably he has translated the word in his own way to understand God “if you sin you will be destroyed.”
v  Jonah is completely sure that the people of Nineveh will not listen to the message, and will follow their own mistaken ways.   
v  But the reality will surprise Jonah, all the inhabitants of Nineveh, rich and poor, powerful and humble old and young repent and do penance. 
v  How often we are like Jonah when we think that persons and communities cannot change, and the Lord always surprises us allowing us to experience something different. 
v  And the city is not destroyed as Jonah had announced.   
v  The way the author of this book portrays God is very interesting: God sees, God repents, changes, and acts differently.   
v  We are all witnesses in our own life of this behavior of God
v  Maybe we do not have a theological explanation for this, but in many places of the Scriptures the authors describe God negotiating, changing, let us remember the conversation  of Abraham over the sinful cities, “and if only 10?... only 5?...”     

  RESPONSORIAL PSALM  : Sal 25:4-5. 6-7. 8-9
*      Psalm 25 is a psalm of supplication and trust.  
*      It has 3 parts:     
o   Invocation and petition     vv. 1-7
o   Wisdom reflection   vv. 8-15
o   Final petition vv. 16-22

*      This psalm has a concentric structure: the first part and the third one have the same themes and vocabulary. 
*      In this Sunday’s liturgy the responsorial psalm is taken from the first and second parts.   
o   Petition to the Lord that he may have compassion and do not remember our sins.  
o   The last stanza tells us who God is and how God acts.    

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 you compassion O Lord  
And your love are from of old  
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.  

GOSPEL  Mk 1:14-20
ü  Mark continues to describe the Jesus’ activity. 
ü  We find two interesting things in this passage:    
o   John is arrested and Jesus goes back to Galilee.   
o   Why? Because he is in danger, and his hour has not come yet? 
o   Or, maybe he is doing what he said, if they persecute you in one place, go to another, and continue to proclaim the good news? 
o   Whatever it might be Jesus is now in Galilee.   
o   In the way Mark describes Jesus’ activity we perceive the urgency of the proclamation.

ü  What does he proclaim?   
o   This is the time of fulfillment
o   The kingdom of God is at hand
o   Repent and believe in the Gospel

ü  What time is this? Will it be the time in which Israel, and the whole human race, even without knowing it, have been waiting for the redeemer, someone sent by God to heal us? 

ü  What is this kingdom? Looking at how Jesus acts, we see that it is a kingdom in which God is compassionate, merciful, patient, who waits for, and wants the conversion of the lost. 

ü  Repent, convert? Change your ways,  instead of turning you back to God, walk toward him, look at your Father’s face, He is  always  waiting for you. 

ü  At the same time that he announces, he keeps calling, inviting other young men to follow him… I will make of you fishers of human beings.   

ü  These men, rough and used to difficult work, know how difficult the trade of fishing is, and Jesus is telling them that they will be fishers of human beings.   

ü  How  would   Jesus' look be on those men? How would   his  words be in order that they followed him  with such readiness?

ü  The Gospel gives us only a synthesis of the whole process of leaving everything behind and following Jesus. I am inclined to think that they had a conversation with their closest relatives, those that lived in the same house with them, and told them know their decision.   

ü  They leave behind all that has been their life up to now, to begin the adventure of following that rabbi who has seduced them with his words, and with his look but most of all with his love.   From  him they will learn how to love.

ü  Have we experienced in our life his look over us, his Word calling us in the depth of our being to cooperate and  receive a mission from him?   

SECOND READING  1Cor 7:29-31
«  This is a difficult text for us to understand properly.  

«  Is Paul saying that the realities of our present life do not have any value? … as not weeping, as not …  

«  If the New Testament is the proclamation of salvation, of fulfillment, of joy, Paul cannot say to us that the other human beings are not important.   

«  If I believe that the good things that I have come from God, how is it possible not to fully enjoy them?  

«  What is Paul telling us? Maybe he is telling us that there is something which is absolute, rather someone who is absolute, and everything else is valuable in relation to him.    

«  From his words we understand that he gives for granted that we weep, rejoice, buy, use the realities of this passing world, of the present time, but his advice is, always look at the Kingdom that will come after this temporal reality.   

«  I believe that we will be able to enjoy what the Lord has prepared for us in heaven, in the measure we have been able to enjoy what he has given us in this present life.   

«  Why? It is the same God who gives to us the present  things and promises the future, those of the Kingdom.   


 In this occasion many important things came to me that I, by myself did not dare to determine and I had  no one to consult with, because with my director, MGR. Caixal, it was impossible for he was so far, and here the only one I had, the Archbishop ignored everything leaving it all in the hands of the procurator as I said in the beginning.

This detachment of my prelate has been for me a martyrdom, tormenting me day and night. My only recourse was to cry, asking the Lord to take care of His Holy Will. O, who will be able to count the tears my eyes have shed!  Only God who knows even the number of the hairs of the head is witness of my suffering.  (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 195-96).


Despite the fact that I had visited and given missions in all the parishes of the diocese during those first two years, I kept on doing so even afterwards. The Council of Trent demands that the pastoral visitation be made every one or two years; during my six years and two months in office, I visited every parish in the diocese four times.

During my time the salaries of the cathedral and parochial clergy were adjusted and raised; my own salary was cut. Previously the Archbishop of Cuba had received a salary of 30,000 duros, plus parochial stole fees of 6,000 duros; in my time I had it reduced to 18,000 duros, minus all stole fees.(Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 550-51)


CLARET, Antonio María,  Autobiografia  
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Convivium Press 2011.
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. Desclée de Brouwer, 2011
PARIS, María Antonia Autobiografia 
RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras: doble comentario a las lecturas del domingo, San Pablo 2005.
SCHOKEL, Luis Alonso,  La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo,