Ø This coming Sunday has a double meaning, it participates of the Epiphany, in reality the baptism is an epiphany of the Lord; and it participates also of the meaning of ordinary time being the first Sunday in ordinary time.
Ø Today the Father reveals to us who Jesus is, he is his beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased.
FIRST READING Is 42: 1-4, 6-7
Ø This Reading is taken from the first poem of the Servant. This servant may be Israel, a prophet, Cyrus or some other character of the Old Testament
Ø Some ask themselves whether this servant is an individual or a group of people.
Ø These poems open in the Old Testament new horizons, suffering has a redeeming value and opens for us the way to God.
Ø The New Testament acknowledges Jesus to be that servant.
Ø A voice, the Father’s says of the servant
o Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I am well pleased and upon whom I have put my spirit.
o He will bring justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street.
o A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench
o The islands, the faraway countries, will wait for his teaching.
Ø This voice of the Father continues speaking, but now to the servant
o He has called him for victory and justice
o He has grasped him from the hand, he has molded him and has put him as covenant for the people and light for the nations. He shall be a covenant for the people of Israel and a light for all the gentiles, those who do not belong to the people of Israel.
§ To open the eyes … to give freedom to prisoners and to bring to the light those who live in darkness
Ø Jesus is that servant, that covenant, that light for the nations.
Ø Jesus is light for all and each one of us.
Ø Jesus is our liberation, he is the one who makes us free.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM - Psalm . 29 1-4. 9-10
THE LORD WILL BLESS HIS PEOPLE WITH PEACE
Give to the Lord you sons of God
Give to the Lord glory and praise
Give to the Lord the glory due his name
Adore the Lord in his holy attire.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters
The Lord, over vast waters
The voice of the Lord is mighty
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
The God of glory thunders
And in his temple all say “glory!”
The Lord is enthroned above the flood
The Lord is enthroned as king forever
· This psalm offers powerful images of God.
· This God is he who has called the servant
· God is powerful and the whole creation sings his glory. This is so, even if man is the only creature that can give this glory knowingly.
SECOND READING – Acts 10: 34-38
v Peter is in Cornelius home, Cornelius is a pagan who has called Peter to learn about Jesus.
v Peter acknowledges that God does not show any partiality, he does not discriminate between races, colors, social and economic status. We are all the work of his hands, his children. We are the ones who discriminate,separate, and we are also the ones who go away from him.
v Peter says that everyone who acts uprightly is acceptable to God. I believe that God is happy when he sees the good we do because this is a sign that we have allowed him to guide us. We have allowed us to be guided by the light and the goodness he has given us and continues to give as he continues to create us. I believe as well that when we do not act uprightly God is sad like a good father and thus we feel uncomfortable because we act against our nature.
v Peter tells them that something wonderful has happened in Israel, from Galilee to Judea.
v What is it? Jesus of Nazareth filled with the Spirit went about doing good.
v What a beautiful description of a person, he or she went about doing good.
v May those who know us say these same words about us.
GOSPEL Mk 1:7-11
John baptizes invites the people to conversion through a rite, they are submerged into the waters of the river Jordan.
John proclaims that he is not the one they are waiting for, that there is someone greater than he
o He is not worthy even to loosen the thongs of his sandals. This was something that servants and slaves did for their masters.
o That one comes after him, he will baptize them in the Holy Spirit
Jesus comes to John like all the other men to be baptized.
Mark does not say that John refused and that a dialogue begins between Jesus and John like the other Gospels say.
When Jesus comes from the waters of the Jordan, the heavens are torn open, as if God was opening the door of his abode:
o The Spirit like a dove-freedom, peace- descends upon Jesus.
o The voice of the Father, a voice from heaven, from God’s abode speaks to Jesus and tells him “You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased.”
o We have here an epiphany of the Most Holy Trinity, the voice of the Father, the Spirit and Jesus the Son.
This is a fascinating scene:
o I ask myself, did Jesus wonder about his mission, about the will of God his Abba over him?
o Did Jesus experience the call to go and proclaim to everyone his experience of God, to give them the real image of God?
o Was he asking himself if this experience was genuine or only an imagination?
o Maybe this is to read more into the Gospel that what it says, but it seems as if the voice is giving to Jesus an answer to his questions. This voice seems to reassure him that he is not mistaken. The Spirit will lead him to the desert to prepare himself for his mission of calling to conversion and announcing the Kingdom.
Have we experienced in the depth of our heart this voice of the Father saying to us you are my daughter, you are my son, I love you so much and I am so pleased with you?
Have I felt the urgent need to proclaim the Gospel, to share the friendship I have with Jesus?
I had much to fight with the Procurator in the purchase of this house. Let the reader of these simple notes not be scandalized by the different opinions of the Procurator and mine. There is nothing to wonder; rather it is very natural because he is of very noble spirit and everything seems to him to be little for God. And, as I am of low condition, I have a very stingy spirit with God and therefore, a little seems to me to be too much, especially considering the poverty. And I, an ignorant woman, understood only what have read in the Holy Gospel, but they, who are very learned, understand better the scriptures according to the times. But Holy Obedience has solved everything; I never stepped away from it, not even a point, by the grace of God.
About what happened in the purchase of this house I spoke already in the no. 185; no need now to extend more in this point. I will only say that in this time I began to open my spirit, by commandment of the Lord to Rev. Fr. Paladio Currius, my present spiritual director. . (Venerable María Antonia París, foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 191-192)
During that first round of visits and missions we took the trouble to keep a count of all the articles we distributed Journey to Baracoa, First visitation and found that we had given away 98,217 books, either gratis or in exchange for the bad books that people brought in and we destroyed--and there were very many of these bad books. We also gave away 89,500 holy cards, 20,663 rosaries, and 8,931 religious medals. After the first visit we no longer kept track of these things because we ordered such large quantities from Spain, France, and elsewhere that we distributed them throughout the diocese and beyond. May it all redound to God's greater glory and the good of the souls redeemed by Jesus Christ.
My first pastoral letter, written and signed on September 20, 1852, was addressed to the clergy. This letter was reprinted and expanded to include declarations on the following: (1) clerical dress, (2) duties of vicars forane, (3) duties of pastors and other priests, (4) arrangements for pastors and assistants, (5) style of life, (6) chaplains, (7) marriage regulations, (8) marriage dispensations. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 545,546,547)
CLARET, Antonio María, Autobiografia
PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Convivium Press 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,