Saturday, April 25, 2015

«  On This fourth Sunday the Church will meditate and pray for vocations. 
«  The vocation comes from the unconditional love of God our creator. He invites us to pass on this message to the new generations.
«  The readings remind us that Jesus has given his life for us.  
«  He is the corner stone rejected by the builders, as we read in the psalm.  
FIRST READING  – Acts  4:8-12
«  Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit speaks to the leaders of his people to explain the miracle which they just have witnessed. They did not do the miracle in their own name, but in the name of Jesus.  
«  He reminds them also that they condemned Jesus to death, but God raised him.   
«  All these Easter Sundays we hear a refrain, as if it was a background melody: Christ Jesus whom you killed and the Father has raised.    
«  This Jesus is the cornerstone which the builder rejected, and which is now the stone which supports the building, the church.     
«  Peter repeats over and over again “there is no salvation in any other name,  but only in the mane of Jesus.  
Psalm  118:1.8-9,21-23,26,21,29
Ø  This is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise for the wonderful works which God has made. 
Ø   In this psalm we find individual and also communal expressions.  
Ø  It seems to be a liturgical psalm.    
Ø  The psalmist gives thanks to God FOR HE IS GOOD, FOR HIS MERCY IS EVERLASTING.   
Ø  For what wonderful work of God in our life, do we want to thank him and sing his mercy toward us?  
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good
For his mercy endures forever 
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes. 
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
And have been my savior
The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done
It is wonderful in our eyes 
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
And have been my savior
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good
For his kindness endures forever.  
*      This reading is very short but very rich in meaning.  
*      The author speaks of how great is the love that  the Father has shown to us. 
*      Because he has called us his children, because we really are. 
*      For this same reason the world does not know us, and does not accept us, as it did neither  recognized nor accept Him as Father.    
*      We already are children of God.  
*      But all of this is like in a shadow; we cannot see him clearly.  
*      When he appears, we will be like him and we will see him as he is.   
*      “When he appears” may be a reference to the second coming of the Lord or to the encounter of each one of us with him at the end of our earthly journey.  
«  The reading for this coming Sunday is taken from the speech of Jesus  on the Good Shepherd.
«  In the first part, which we will not read today,   Jesus speaks of the gate for the sheep.
«  In the second part he says “I am the good shepherd”  
«  And he continues saying what to be a good shepherd means:  
o   The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. This is precisely what Jesus has done; so much great is his love for us, his sheep. Like the good shepherd who lies down  at the entrance of the  gate becoming himself the gate, to protect the sheep from the wolf, because the  sheepfold did not had a gate to protect the flock.    
o   The next two verses describe the difference between the mercenary and the shepherd.   
o   He says again “I am the good shepherd”  
o   The Good Shepherd defends the sheep and gives his life for them   
o   He knows his sheep, the sheep know him.   
o   Let us reflect on the biblical meaning of the verb “to know”
§  To know someone is not only to know intellectually    
§  In this knowing the mind, the heart, the passion, the feelings, the will, the imagination   are involved.  
§  This verb is used when the bible speaks about the deep love and relationship in marital life
o   The sheep have an intimate and deep relationship with their shepherd Jesus; very similar to the relationship between the Father and his Son (Jesus)  
o   As a consequence of this knowledge, this intimate love between Jesus and his sheep, He gives his life so that they may have abundant life.    
o   What a wonderful image! Our shepherd invites us to enter into the deep intimacy which he has with the Father in the Trinity.   
o   For this he has died, he is risen and he has ascended into heaven taking us with him, as a warrior takes the spoils of war with him.   
«  In the next section Jesus says that he has other sheep which do not belong to the same fold.  
o   These are all our brothers and sisters who do not know yet our Shepherd, they are not yet part of the flock.  
o   But the Good Shepherd has to find them and they will listen to his voice  
o   The voice of the Shepherd, it does not mean only a voice heard with our ears. It is the voice which resonates in our heart, and which leads us to the knowledge of the Shepherd.     
o   In the same way as the human love between a man and a woman.  It begins with an external attraction between the two of them, and as they relate to each other this attraction leads to the intimate knowledge between them.    
o   All the sheep that hear, listen to and know the Shepherd form one flock, because the knowledge of the Shepherd, his voice resonates in their most inner being, and bonds us to the Shepherd and among ourselves. We are strangers no more, we are enemies no longer, we are BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF THE RISEN LORD AND AMONG OURSELVES.   
«   Jesus tells something that makes us wonder: the Father loves him because he gives his life to get it back again.   
«  Nobody takes his life from him; He himself gives it because he has the power to give it and to take it back. He is the Lord.   
«  This is the mission he has received from the Father.    
«  We have a long way in front of us, as followers of Jesus, our Teacher and Shepherd.   
o   The openness of our heart, to seek, with him, the sheep who are not yet with the Shepherd and with us
o   The welcoming so that they feel part of our faith family.    
o   This openness and welcoming cannot have any limits caused by resentments, vengeance, judgments on the life of our brothers and sisters who are not yet with us.   
o   The joy experienced when a brother or a sister comes back or comes for the first time to our family.    
o   Each one of us may look into his or her own heart to discover the doors closed so often by our vindictive justice.  
o   Each one of us needs to work in a close relationship with our Shepherd to learn how to give life, like he has given his life for the lost sheep, which all of us are.    
o   The reality is that each one enters into the flock at our own pace, time and process. Who welcomes us is the Shepherd who invites all of us to be also welcoming of those who have not yet begin the journey or are at the beginning or at any other moment of their journey.  
I had made many  acts of abandonment and self- offering in the arms of the Divine providence in
the midst of so many perils, being certain and most sure  that God is never short of means to help his children in their necessities even in that immense space of waters where we had no other refuge than the violent waves . This faith so alive, that God has put in my soul made me rest in the midst of so many fights. And in this way God willed to show that the one who puts all his hope in his infinite power would never be confounded.
María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian MIssionary Sisters. Autobiography 152.   
Then, speaking of infidels in general, she would say, "If I could, I would gather them all together and bring them to the bosom of the Church, that She might purify them of all their infidelities and regenerate them as her children, drawing them to her breast and nourishing them with the milk of the sacraments. How well she would feed and nurse them at her breasts! Ah, if I could bring them to her, how gladly would I do it!" Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 260.  
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
FLOR SERRANO, Gonzalo. Los Salmos en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento II. La Casa de la Biblia 1997.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía en Escritos, con Comentarios por   Juan Manuel Lozano.
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras. Año B. Ediciones San Pablo. Bogotá 2005.
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. Comentarios en la BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO. Ediciones Mensajero. China 2010

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