Tuesday, June 23, 2015

·        We continue with the theme of trust, trust in the healing power of Jesus, power even over death.  
FIRST READING  – Wis 1:13-15. 2,23-24
v  The book of Wisdom belongs to the group of Wisdom books. 
v  It is neither found in the canon of the Hebrew Bible nor in the protestant. These books which are not included in the Hebrew Bible are called Deuterocanonical, or belonging to the second list
v  The original title of the book is Book of Solomon Wisdom. The Wisdom books were attributed to Solomon because he had been a wise king, but they were written long time after him.  
v  The author   joins in his book  the Greek culture and the Semite.  
v  This book is in reality about politics, it develops the theme of justice in the government.  
v  We find in this book also the theme of immortality of the human being, theme which is not found in the other wisdom books.
Let us see what is the message of today’s reading
*       God is the God of life and not of death; this has not been made by him.   

*      He does not destroy his creation.    

*      He has fashioned the human beings to give them life and not to destroy them.    

*      Truly if we look around us we will realize how much God loves his creation, which is the work of his love and of his willingness to share with us his happiness.  

*      Today’s Reading says that God has made man to be immortal. This belief will be preparing the human race for the revelation of the resurrection, because we have been created for immortality.    

*      In the people of Israel in the Old Testament, immortality was considered to be found in what you had done during your lifetime,  your good works, your children, your writings, your wealth…  

*      In this text we find what the book of Genesis will tell us, that man (man and woman) is created in the image of the divine nature.   

*      It is difficult to explain the existence of evil since God has made everything good, but man discovers through shadows that there is evil, which can only touch those who willingly accept it in their lives. 

I will extol you, O Lord, for you drew me clear
And did not let my enemies rejoice over me
O Lord, you brought  me up from the netherworld,
You preserved me from among those
Going down into the pit.  

Sing praise to the Lord, you his faithful one
And give thanks to his holy name
For his anger lasts for a moment
A lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in
But with the dawn, rejoicing. 

Hear, O Lord, and have pity on me
O Lord, be my helper
You changed my mourning into dancing
O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.   

o   The Hebrew edition of this psalm does not say you have rescued me, but “you have pulled me up” which means that when they were descending me into the pit, from above you pulled me up and gave me  my life back. 
o   When sickness was taking me, you pulled me up and give my life back to me.   
o   The recitation of this psalm can help those who are sick.  

GOSPEL   Mk 4,35-41
*      We will reflect on two miracles which Mark puts together:   
o   The healing of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages 
o   The resurrection of Jairu’s daughter 

*      We will try to find the reason for these two miracles to be intertwined in a technique called “sandwich”.   

*      The narration begins with Jesus surrounded by a large crowd and a synagogue official begging him to come to his house because his little daughter is seriously ill.  

o   It is interesting to see this man coming to Jesus, I have heard several times people saying that parents will do anything it takes for their children. 
o   This man loves his child and does not want her to die.  
o   Jesus has healed other people, why not my daughter?  
o   Jesus walks toward this man’s house.  
o   But something happens on the way.      

*      An anonymous woman, who we know only through her sickness, none of the gospels give her name. She approaches Jesus from behind.   

*      She is also in need of healing from Jesus    

*      This story has two sections:
o   The healing

§  Mark uses here the popular believe of that time among the pagan cultures, that the healer has an energy in himself, that is why the woman wants to touch him or his clothing.    
§  She does not want to be seen   
§  Maybe she is ashamed of her sickness   
§  Because this sickness made her legally impure, and who touches her or is touched by her becomes also legally impure, thus she cannot be among the crowd. 
§  The doctors have not been able to help her. Mark wants us to be aware of the great healing power of Jesus, more powerful that all the doctors.    

o   Dialogue between Jesus and the woman
§  Jesus wants to make that woman visible, and he begins to dialogue with her  
§  It is as if this woman had stolen a miracle from Jesus.  
§  Jesus realizes that someone has touched him in a special way, here Mark uses again the pagan concept that a healing power comes out  from the healer.   
§  The woman has been healed, but Jesus wants to cure her completely, wants to save her. 
§  To cure or to save goes beyond the physical healing.   
§  After the resurrection, the followers of Jesus understood in this manner the miracles 
§  The usual words of Jesus are, “your faith has saved you.”    

*      After the narration of this miracle, we go back where we began when Jesus was following Jairus to his house.    

o   His daughter has already died.  
o   Jairus is distressed and those who surround him do not help him with is faith.  
o   Jesus comes to his help “do not be afraid; just have faith.”  
o   When Jesus enters into the house with James, John and Peter, nobody pays attention to them because they are weeping and wailing loudly for the girl’s death.  
o   Only the father has faith in Jesus.   
o   Jesus says that the girl is not dead, but she is sleeping.  
o   Jairus is asked to believe that her daughter will wake up, the Christian community looks at this event through  the light of the paschal event.     

*      Relationship between both miracles  
o   The healing of the woman has the purpose to lead the faith of the reader 
o   Who is invited as Jairus to believe in the resurrection power of Jesus.
o   To the words of Jesus “do not be afraid…”  the reader feels the desire to add “you will see Jairus if you believe everything will go well.”   
o   The reader understands that faith not only cures the sick, but it even kills death. 
o   The whole account is a catechesis on the resurrection.    
*      In the whole account there is a process of maturing in faith   
o   The original faith of Jairus who trusts in Jesus  
o   The primitive faith of the woman who is led by her own interest gives way to 
o   Her faith transformed as Jesus dialogues with her.    
o   The faith of Jairus, is now a faith in the one who raises the dead. 
o   And this faith has to be kept in secret.   
SECOND READING   2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15
v  Paul writes to the community of Corinth about sharing the spiritual and material goods we have.  
v  Thus he invites them to reflect on what the Lord has done, being rich he has become poor, that through his poverty we may become rich.    
v  This does not mean that others should have relief while we are burdened.    
v  Rather it is a matter of equality, of sharing.   
v  Because the material abundance of the community of Corinth may provide for the other poorer community.  
v  And thus the abundance of faith of that community may help the community of Corinth.  


 Let the one who reads these notes not wonder to see them so disordered, because I never thought that I had to write such things. So, I started with such confusion and shame that I had not been able to do it in order. That’s why many things, which out to be at the beginning, are in the middle and others, which are to be in the middle are at the end. They will also miss the dates, because of my own carelessness but not for lack of truthfulness, since by the grace of God, I have always abhorred lies. Let it be for the glory of God and of the most Blessed Mother.     María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 232. 
 The razor had cut clean through the flesh and sliced into the bone of the upper and lower jaw. Blood was gushing both outside and inside my mouth. I immediately pressed my right hand to my cheek to stop the torrent of blood, and my left hand to the wound in my right arm. We happened to be standing in front of an apothecary shop, and so I said, "Let's go in here; they'll have the medicines we need." Because all the civilian and military doctors had attended the sermon and had left the church at the same time we did, word soon got around and they were there in a moment. They were shocked at the sight of a bishop, vested in his mantle and pectoral, all bathed in blood--especially a bishop who was also a friend they all loved and revered. In fact, they were so overcome at the sight of me that I had to cheer them up and tell them what to do for me, since I myself was very tranquil and serene. Later the doctors said I must have lost no less than four-and-a-half pints of blood. With the loss of blood I felt somewhat faint, but I came to as soon as they gave me a little vinegar to smell. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 576. 
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography
La Biblia de nuestro pueblo, Introduction and Commentaries by  Luis Alonso Schökel.

Friday, June 19, 2015

·         The first reading and the gospel invite us to trust, to have faith in the unconditional love of our Father.  

·         Because he knows our smallest needs and he is pleased in taking care of them.  

·         Like the apostles we also are in awe when we realize the care that God has of us.    

·         Let us open our heart to trust, love and joy.   
FIRST READING  – Jb 38:1.8-11
v  The book of Job is included among the wisdom books.  

v  The Israelite wisdom cannot be understood apart from the concepts of order “in creation” and the process of socialization.

v  Everything was organized, programmed by God who was a creating and preserving God.  

v  But the Israelite also perceived that with this order some disorder coexisted, a continuous threat coming from negative and destructive forces. 

v  This order is manifested already in the first pages of the Bible. “In the beginning… and God said… evening came and morning came…”   

v  The biblical wisdom is a consequence also of the process of socialization, that is to say, the process which each culture has to integrate a person into the life of a given people.    
ü  The date is probably between the VI century (500) and the III century (200) a.C. 

ü  In this book we find poetry and prose.   

ü  In the book of Job the doctrine of retribution is questioned. For the Israelite a good and ordered life is blessed with prosperity,   and  on the contrary a sinful life, even if the sins are hidden, is known by the poverty and the misfortunes of people.    

ü  The book of Job wants to question this, since the people had already discovered that it was not so simple, and that sometimes is the other way around.    

ü  But in reality what Job questions is much more serious, it is the justice of God. Is God just when he sends so many sufferings to the just man?   

ü  We will have to wait for the coming of Jesus, the just who suffers for his brothers and sisters, to be able to discover among shadows this justice of God which goes beyond our understanding,  
Let  us see the message of today’s Reading
*      Some chapters before, Job has questioned God, putting him to the test, having him accountable of the suffering of Job, because Job was a just man.    

*      And now in this chapter, after all the friends have dialogued with Job, God speaks from the midst of the storm, we may say that God confronts Job.   

*      And he asks him about the creation of the sea:

o   Who shut within doors the sea?  

o   And God speaks in a poetic way as if the sea were a newborn baby  

§  God made the clouds its garment   

§  And the storm clouds its swaddling bands.    

o   God put a door and also a boundary to the sea and said to the sea:

§  Thus far you shall come but no farther     

§  And here shall your proud waves be stilled.    

*      What a poetic and beautiful description, so tender and nice!   

*      If we allow our imagination to be free, we will enjoy of so much beauty contained in these words and in these descriptions about the creation of the sea.    

*      If we continue Reading the last chapters, we will sea how Job humiliates himself before God and says to him these wonderful words “I knew you from hearsay, but now my eyes have seen you…”  

*      But this sentence is not found in today’s reading, because today’s theme is trust in God even without understanding

RESPONSORIAL  PSALM     Ps  107:23-24. 25-26. 28-29. 30-31

They who sailed the sea in ships, 
Trading on the deep waters  
These saw the works of the Lord    
in his wonders in the abyss.
His command raised up a storm wind  
which tossed its waves on high   
They mounted up to heaven; they sank to the depths 
Their hearts melted away in their plight.   
They cried to the Lord in their distress
From their straits he rescued them
He hushed the storm to a gentle breeze
And the billows of the sea were stilled.  
They rejoiced that they were calmed
And he brought them to their desired haven
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his kindness
And his wondrous deeds to the children of men.  

§  This is a thanksgiving psalm, of which we read only 4 stanzas. 

o   The first tells us that who has travelled by sea has seen the works of God   

o   The second speaks of the strength of God’s word, and also how the human heart fears before so much power manifested in the storm.    

o   The third speaks of how the human heart when in danger calls to God, and He rescues him.   

o   The last stanza describes how the human heart rejoices when it is heard by God and his need taken care of.   

o   And thus sing and give thanks for the wonderful works of God.    

SECOND READING   2 Cor 5:14-17
v  The love of Christ impels us, once we know that he died for all, and that in him we all have died. 

v  Thus if the died for all, we cannot live anymore for ourselves, but for the one who died for us, for our good, for our salvation.    

v  From now on we regard no one according to the flesh, from the present reality, even if in the past we had known Christ according to  the flesh,   

v  By sure that Paul is taking here about his knowledge about Christ before encountering him on the way to Damascus, and had been transformed by this encounter.  

v  Thus who is in Christi s a new creation, a new creature, the old things have passed away, because new things are coming.   

v  This is the newness of Christ which we need to dare to look at and welcome and transform in action in us. 

GOSPEL  Mk 4:35-4
Jesus has been teaching the people about the Kingdom of God, using parables.  Now, once he has finished his teaching on the sea shore, his disciples taken in him in the boat. When they are in the open sea   

ü  A storm raises up so strong hat the waves fill the boat. 

ü  Meanwhile Jesus is sleeping peacefully.  

ü  In contrast with his peace and trust, the disciples are scared and they wake him up.  

ü  Teacher do you  not care that we are perishing? 

ü  He wakes up and speaks with authority to the wind: Be still.”    

ü  The wind ceased and there was a great calm.

ü  And he asked them, why were you so terrified? Do you not yet have faith?    

ü  They were so filled with awe that they could say nothing to Jesus, but only among them.   

ü  They asked themselves: who is this?    

ü                     Many centuries after, with a history of 20 centuries, we continue to ask ourselves, who is this? Why does that thing happen? Where are you God when we call and you do not answer?   

ü  The human being is slave of his fears, probably the human being lives taken by fears, probably due to his/her insecurity or because while we are in this world, we ae being built because we are incomplete.   

ü  And to trust and go about being happy and calm we cannot walk led by vision, but by faith, according to a quite clear definition: faith is to accept to believe what we do not see.   

ü  Or, how they told us when we were young sisters in formation, faith in Jesus is like a  person jumping into the sea without knowing how to swim, or it is like giving him a blank check signed by us, and letting him put the amount.      


 About the vision which God our Lord deigned to grant me on All Saints’ Day of 1854, there is nothing to say since it is written in two note books that I gave to my prelate and it is also written in these notes that my confessor commands me to write in order to give him an account of the favors and graces God our Lord was pleased to communicate to me , by his infinite mercy , without any merits of this vile sinner. What do I have to say about any merits of mine! Rather, I have to confess, full of confusion, my great ingratitude that, writing these very favors and graces from the Lord, I have had the shamelessness to offend him in many ways, as the one who commands me to write knows very well, and it is very clear in my conscience. María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters.  Autobiography 231.

 I came down from the pulpit filled with the greatest fervor, and at the end of the service we left the church to go to my lodgings. I was accompanied by four priests, my attendant, Ignacio, and a sacristan who carried a lantern to light our way, since it was 8:30 in the evening and it had already grown dark. We had left the church and were walking down the broad and spacious main street. On both sides of the avenue there were large crowds, and all were greeting me. A man stepped forward, as if to kiss my ring, when suddenly his arm flew back and he brought the razor he was holding down upon me with all his might. I had my head down and was touching a handkerchief to my mouth with my right hand, and so, instead of slitting my throat as he had intended, he slashed my face across the left cheek, from the ear to the chin. The razor also caught and wounded my right arm in passing because I was holding it up to my mouth, as I said. Antonio María Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 575.


CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography
Sagrada Biblia oficial translation of the Conference of Catholic Bishops from Spain.