Friday, February 6, 2015


*      The first Reading which  is taken from the Old Testament, and the Gospel both speak of the reality of suffering. Job looks at suffering from a negative perspective without hope, the Gospel shows Jesus healing and giving back hope to those who suffer.   

*      The second reading is the continuation of the previous weeks’ readings. Paul offers the Gospel freely.


Ø  It seems that in ancient times there exists a man with this name, but the book as such is like a parable that speaks to us about the mystery of human suffering, maybe the theme is wider, it is about retribution and the justice of God.   

Ø  The process of the composition of the book:  

o   At first it was a legend, written in prose, about a man called Job who suffered much. (Introduction and conclusion)  

o   Later on the main body of the book was added to these two parts: the dialogues with the Friends, written in poetry. This section raises a question  on retribution which is  revolutionary  for the faith of Israel. (3-31; 39-41)  

o   Another author, looking at this work which caused scandal for many,  added the monologue of Elihu (32-37)  

Ø  Theological Approach   

o   The author of the second or central part  of the book of Job, dares to question the untouchable belief of Israel on retribution. He who acts well is blessed by God and prospers; while the one who is not faithful, the sinner, is punished by God.   

o   Job seems to be a good and irreproachable man, but his sickness says something else, it says that he has sinned and does neither want to acknowledge it nor to confess it.   

o   The author through dialogues presents in a masterly way another alternative, it is not as easy as they believe.   

o   This same question is presented also in other books of the Old Testament, things do not always go well for the just, and the evil man is not always punished. Sometimes it even seems to be the opposite (Jer 31,29 y ss. Ez 18.)

o   In truth what the human being, represented by Job, questions is the justice of God. The justice of God not in itself but in the way it has been interpreted. 

Ø  What prompted the people of Israel to write this book?  

o   It seems that the people of Israel raised many questions about the love and justice of God, during their exile in Babylon, where they suffered much. 

o   On their return the prophets tried to support the faith of the people, that had more and more doubts about their situation and about their relationship with God.   

o   The book seems to reflect this crisis of faith, not only of the people in  general but also of the author him or herself. The book would be the result of years of struggle, questioning and prayer, until God makes himself to be known in the new way.  

o   Thus the date of the composition might be between the VI and V centuries before Christ.  

o   To read this book is to enter into a passionate experience.   


 FIRST READING  Job 7:1-4;6-7.

«  This  reading is like a meditation of Job, on the meaning of his life. It is taken from the response of Job to his friend Eliphaz.    

«  Job responds  passionately, and says how he sees the human life.   

o   Human life is like a hard work   

o   Man is an anxious slave who seeks a shade to protect himself, or he is a worker who waits for his salary. 

o   It has been given to him a salary of sickness; months of suffering that do not allow him to rest night or day.  

o   His days go by without hope.    

o   He sees his life like the wind that passes by and does not come back. His happiness has been taken from him and will not be given back to him.   

o   We will have to wait until Jesus comes for us  men and women to discover another answer to this question of the human suffering. 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Ps  147:1-2. 3-4. 5-6

 Praise the Lord, for he is good
Sing praise to our God, for he is gracious
It is fitting to praise him
The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem
The dispersed of Israel he gathers. 

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds
He tells the number of the stars
He calls each by name 

Great is our Lord and mighty in power
To his wisdom there is no limit
The Lord sustains the lowly
The wicked he casts to the ground. 

ü  These verses are like a consoling answer to the suffering lament of Job, and of all of us when we are suffering. 

ü  God himself heals us and binds our wounds, like a mother takes care of her son or daughter and relieves his or her suffering.    

ü  We continue our reading of the first chapter of Mark. This Gospel is very short but with a strong message conveyed in a simple and direct way. 

ü  This first chapter of Mark presents Jesus acting, talking very little but with a lot of deeds.  If we look more closely we will contemplate an extraordinary activity of Jesus, which Mark explains as happening in only one day. It seems that he wants to tell us that Jesus was tireless in the proclamation of the kingdom, today it is a proclamation through action

ü  This passage happens in Capharnaum, first in Simon’s house, than at the door of the same house and later on in a deserted place out of town.   
§  Jesus leaves the synagogue, where we met him last Sunday, and goes to Simon’s home. 

§  He meets Simon’s mother-in-law who is sick. The four men whom we met last week and who are following Jesus now speak to him about her.   

§  Jesus does not say a word, he takes the woman by her hand and “raises her up.”  

§  The word “raises up” in Greek, the original language in which this Gospel was written, is the same word that Mark uses for the resurrection of Jesus.    

§  It seems that Mark wants to tell us that the healings that Jesus performs are signs of his resurrection, of new life. The mother-in-law is cured and she begins to wait on them.  
§  At evening they bring to him the sick and the possessed by evil spirits to be cured by him.   

§  And he heals them touching them. And Mark adds that Jesus forbid the evil spirits to speak of him, because they knew who he is.   

§  Mark will constantly repeat these same words “do not say it”. Some scholars explain this as “do not say it because now it will not be understood in the right way, we have to wait for the resurrection.” This technique of Mark is called the “Messianic Secret.”  
§  At dawn Jesus went to a deserted place to pray. Some translations say “he was absorbed in prayer.”    

§  Those are Jesus’ precious moments of prayer,  that filled with enthusiasm his followers. Jesus submerges himself in a conversation and intimate relationship with his ABBA. Moments in which he experiences the tenderness, the warm and the safety of the Father’s  arms. 

§  Come, all are looking for you. Why and for what do we seek the Lord?   

§  Jesus says that they have to go to all the villages to proclaim the Good News. The Good  News have to be proclaimed by words and by healing actions  

§  Job sees his life like a slavery whose salary is pain and eventually death.   There is no light speaking to him of hope in something better, in another life, in a new and risen life. 

§  The answer to this way of thinking of Job, the answer to the question that all of us have when we are faced with suffering, we will have it in Jesus.  

§  In Jesus, the Son of the Father, God looks into the darkness of our lives.   

·         The darkness of our sins, of our lack of mutual love. These are the evil spirits from which those who approach Jesus are liberated.. 

·         Darkness of our physical, psychological and spiritual pain. The Lord touches us, heals us and makes us partakers of his new risen life.  

·         The meaning of the question about human suffering will be given to us by Jesus in his passion. His suffering is redeeming , ours can become such.   

·         The Father is not indifferent to our suffering. In Jesus his beloved Son, the Father wants to enter into our reality and transform it from the inside.    

·         The suffering, when we are united with Jesus, even when it seems incomprehensible and we do not want it, is often a source of peace and joy. 

·         Human suffering is in some way the consequence of the human sin, which destroys us.    

SECOND READING – 1 Cor 9:16-19; 22-23
«  We continue reading from the first letter to the Corinthians.  
«  Paul speaks of his ministry, his mission to preach the Gospel.  
o   He has not chosen this mission, it has been entrusted to him, he has been asked to evangelize.  
o   Paul cries  out  “woe to me if I do not preach it”.   
o   Thus the proclamation of the gospel is not a cause for boasting.   
o   His recompense is found in the preaching itself, offered without cost.
«  Paul continues saying that he is not subject to anyone 
o   But in spite of this, he has made himself the slave of all, as to win over for Christ as many as possible.   
o   And thus he has made himself weak with the weak
o   He does everything for the sake of the Gospel with the hope to share in its blessings.   

«  How beautiful is this reflection of Paul, the great Paul whom we admire, feels himself little and needy in front of the beauty and greatness of the Gospel.  He does not own the Good News, it is not his good news, it is the good news that make present Christ Jesus in the heart of every man and woman,  in our society, our church, our families  

«  We may also exclaim “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the good news that I have received and that have changed my life!”   


 Turning to take the thread of the way of God has been forming this house of his, I said that on December 30, of the same year, 1853, we transferred to this house and on January 15 1854, nine postulants arrived from Spain to receive our holy habit that I handed on to them on the feast of the purification of the same year. These young ladies made me suffer much because almost all of them were inclined to comfort, little work, eat well and laughing, it seemed that they came to take a walk  and have a good time. One can imagine how much did it cost me to cultivate a little these very independent spirits, especially the majority of them and with the little help of an indulgent confessor. (María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters, Autobiography, 199)  .

I established clergy conferences to meet three times a week in all towns of the diocese; one of them was on rubrics, the other two on moral theology. I always presided over those in the capital. The first conference each month was a day of retreat, consisting of reading, prayer, and a talk.

I undertook the restoration of the diocesan seminary. More then 30 years had passed without seeing the ordination of a single resident seminarian. At the beginning of their studies they all said they had a vocation and were educated at the seminary's expense; but toward the end of their studies they would say that they didn't want to be priests, after which they were graduated and became lawyers. And so it came about that Santiago had a swarm of lawyers, all fed and educated at the seminary's expense, while the few priests there were outsiders.  (Antonio María Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters  554-555). 

LOBATO FERNÁNDEZ, Juan Francisco, “Job”, en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento II, Casa de la Biblia Salamanca-España 1997.
LOZANO, Juan Manuel, Escritos María Antonia París, Estudio crítico,   Barcelona 1985.
PÉREZ HERRERO, Francisco, “Evangelio según San Marcos”  en Comentario del Nuevo Testamento, Casa de la Biblia.  Salamanca-España1995.
RAVASI, Gianfranco,  Según las Escrituras-Año B,  San Pablo 2005.
VIÑAS, José María cmf y BERMEJO, Jesús, cmf.  “Autobiografía” de San Antonio María Claret en  San Antonio María Claret Autobiografia y Escritos Complementarios, edición bicentenario    Buenos Aires-Argentina 2008.

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