Tuesday, December 29, 2015

JANUARY 3, 2016

·         The liturgy of this first Sunday of the   new  year 2016 presents the narration of the Magi, the wise men who came from the East to adore the new born King of the Jews. 

·         The intrigues that will surround the life of Jesus, the Son of God made man, already begin.  

·         There is a sort of irony in this account:  

o   Pagan men, but also wise men, know how to read the signs that creation offers, they discover the King of the Jews.  .

o   His people, the king and the scribes, who supposedly knew the Scriptures, reject him. Because they know the Scriptures they fear that this king will come to upset their security, the best way to deal with him is to eliminate him.   

o   Does anything similar happen in our life?  

FIRST READING  – Is 60:1-6
«  This reading is taken from the book of the Third Isaiah. Everything in it breathes optimism, joy, light.   

«  The dominant theme  is the light, the glory of God is the light that illumines the city of Jerusalem. 

«  The earth is covered with darkness, but upon you will shine the glory of the Lord.  

«  This light as a lighthouse will lead the nations toward you.  

«  Look with joy, with joy they come from all the nations, the foreigners but most of all your children who were scattered, those who left in tears now they come back singing with joy. 

«  We can understand this joy, many among us, almost all of us, live far from our homeland, if one day the return is made possible we will experience this same overwhelming joy, and over all those who stayed in the country will be filled with joy. 

«  They will bring to you the riches of the nations, caravans of camels will come bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh, proclaiming the praises of God.   


R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

*      This psalm is a prayer for a King or for the heir to the Crown.  

*      We find in it the theme of justice which we ask for the king, so that he will be able to govern with equity.  

*      We have again the theme of the kings from foreign lands coming bringing their gifts to the king.  

*      This king in his justice will do good to the poor and marginalized, in this he will be like God whose justice is manifested as compassion and mercy. 

Letter to the Ephesians
Ø  This letter is one of those called “letters from the captivity”, because they mention the prison, other letters from this group are Philippians, Colossians and Philemon

Ø  About the date of its composition the authors have different opinions. Those who consider that this letter had been written by Paul have a date prior to 67 when Paul died.    

Ø  However those who think that the letter was written by a disciple of Paul have a later date,  around the 80’s.  

Ø  This letter has many themes that are similar to those in the letter to the Colossians.  

Ø  We perceive in this letter a great concern for the doctrine and the theology.  

Ø  In the first part (cc. 1-3) the church is considered prepared by God from eternity, being revealed progressively until the Incarnation.   

EPHESIANS  3:2-3ª.5-6
Ø  Paul (or the author)  says that the mystery hidden in God has been revealed to him, and he in turn makes it known, he announces it in his preaching.     

Ø  This hidden mystery has been revealed to the apostles by the Spirit.   

Ø  The mystery is  

o   Through the Good News, the Gospel, the gentiles partake in the inheritance and the promises of Christ Jesus.  

o   And are members of the same body.     

GOSPEL-  Matthew 2:1-12
ü  Chapters 1 and 2 from Matthew and also from Luke are called “the gospel of the infancy  or the infancy narratives”  

ü  These two chapters are according to an author, as the synthesis of the life of Jesus, and of the theology of the evangelist.   

ü  The verses which we will read this Sunday offer to us the synthesis of the theology of Matthew: there is a conflict between two royalties, Herod and Jesus, between the evil and the good, between wealth and poverty.  

ü  Herod, who is he? He is from Idumea, he is a bloodthirsty  and ambitious man. 

ü  In this Gospel we discover several scenes: 

o   In the first one the Magi begin their journey following the star and arrive to Jerusalem. They are sure that someone in the city  will guide them to the King they are seeking.

o   In the second scene the main characters are Herod, the high priests and the scribes. They know because they looked into the Scriptures, that the Messiah will come from Bethlehem.  

o   In the third scene Herod speaks to the Magi, he questions them about the date in which  the star appeared, and sends them to Bethlehem, and he asks them to let him know where is the news born king, so that he will be able to go and worship him.   

o   In the fourth scene the Magi resume their journey and see again the star, that was hidden when they arrived into Jerusalem.  

o   In the fifth scene the Magi arrive at the place and find the mother with the child and they are filled with joy. They offer him his gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  Afterwards they go back through another way. 

ü  There are many contrasts; if we make a movie the scenes of Herod would be dark,  on the contrary those of the Magi would be full of color and light.    

o   The Magi do not know the prophecies but they know how to read the message of the stars and they seek with an open heart not conditioned by ambition or by power. 

o   Herod and the priests know the prophecies thus they fear, because they believe that this King will take away their power, their comfortable way of life. Herod is not sincere in his heart. 

o   The Magi find their God without knowing him. The people of Jerusalem do not find him in spite of knowing theoreticaly the Scriptures.



CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía   
SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.
One matter that I have been deeply involved in at the queen's insistence is in arranging a system for electing bishops. I should like to say something about the progress that has been made in this business so far. The Attorney General asks each and every bishop whether or not he knows of any priest in his diocese with proper qualifications to be a bishop, should the need for one arise. The bishop in question answers yes or no. If he knows of one, he gives whatever information he can about him, such as his age, educational background, virtue, experience, and other data. The Attorney General collects and files all these data, and when a see falls vacant, he sends the dossiers to Her Majesty, who reads them and asks God's guidance in helping her choose the right one. After this, she draws up a list of three, makes inquiries about the three men, commends herself to God, and finally makes her choice, basing it solely on the greater glory of God and the good of the Church. I can stand surety for the fact that, if any priest ever so much as hinted that he wanted the position, it would be more than enough to bar him from being considered eligible for nomination. The queen once told me, "It will go badly for anyone who asks for or strives to obtain a bishopric." There is perhaps no matter in Spain that is handled more equitably and justly than the nomination of bishops, but neither is there any matter that is looked into more carefullyy cosas superfluas. St. Anthony M. Claret. Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography  630.
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








Saturday, December 19, 2015

-          Beginning with the first reading we perceive a contrast between a great mission and poor, simple and insignificant persons
o   Bethlehem, too small to be counted among the clans of Judah.  
o   Mary, the young girl from Nazareth, who has just received a disturbing message from God, travels to help her cousin who is pregnant, The young woman without any experience goes to help the old woman advanced in years and in wisdom.   
o   The works of God are always like this, do I see life in this same way?   
Who is Micah?
v  He is a farmer, his visitation to the capital city of the kingdom   727-701, is neither  for tourism, nor for business, he brings a message from God to all the citizens
v  The instrument might seem inappropriate for the mission, but if we look at the history of the interventions of God, we see that he always choses what is small and little to accomplish his works, because the works belong to him.
v  The message that Micah brings is a call to conversion, to live according to justice.
v  What is destroying Jerusalem is not the Assyrians but the sins of her inhabitants, the injustice of that society, where the rich are richer every day and the poor are poorer and oppressed.   
v  Where those established in authority to serve the people have become corrupted and abuse those they should be serving.   
v  Micah brings an obscure message, God will punish all of this, but at the same time there is a small light , some hope: the punishment might be transformed into a call to conversion.   
v  The name of the prophet is in itself a symbol, it is the abbreviation of Michael that means “Who is like to God?   
v  The book of Micah looks like the work of different authors. Its literary style is similar to that of Hosea and Amos, because of its simplicity, freshness and passion.   
v  Let us see the message for this Sunday. 
Ø  It is the Lord who speaks to Bethlehem, the small city, that in spite of being small,  witness to the great work of the Most High.     

Ø  From this insignificant place will come the one who will govern, who will be the leader of Israel.

Ø  This will take place after the time in which the Lord will allow that Israel be subjected by different powerful nations.   

Ø  And the one who is about to give birth will have given birth.   

Ø  He will be firm and will shepherd his flock with the power of God, his greatness will reach to the ends of the world.   
Ø  He will be peace   
Ø  What a beautiful prophecy of what Jesus will accomplish during his lifetime
R.  Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved..
Ø  This is a psalm of supplication, a psalm of petition that God intervene. 
Ø  Listen… yes we need that God listen, but I think that he always listens, we are the ones that need to speak to Him.    
Ø  What does God need to listen? We need all his power to help us in the situation we find ourselves.   
Ø  We need not only that he listen but also that he look at his vineyard.   
Ø  If he looks at her, he will fall in love with her, his masterwork, even if she is in bad shape due to her behavior.    
Ø  The passage for this Sunday ends with a commitment by those who invoke the Lord for help: we will never depart from you again.   
SECOND READING  : Hebrews 10: 5-10
Ø  This Reading speaks of the incarnation of the son of God, “when Christ came into this world.”  
Ø  He said to his Father “sacrifices and holocausts you wish not, because what pleases you is not the sacrifice of animals, but the heart of your children who offer these holocausts.” 
Ø  You have given me a body, to serve you as a human being, to put my tent in the midst of your people, and thus live with them and speak to them about you.  
Ø  I will offer my body, instead of the body of the animals offered in sacrifice, I will offer it as a holocaust, that means I will offer myself completely for you and for my brothers and sisters, as an expiation, an offering for the sins of all.
Ø  I will accomplish this doing in everything your will, your will to save all your children, to bring back those scattered, to make of all of them a family, as it has been  your plan in  creation. 
GOSPEL Lk 1:39-45
Ø  What Micah prophesized, and the author of the letter to the Hebrews has meditated about the incarnation of the Word, is becoming a reality in the womb of Mary, the young girl from Nazareth.    
Ø  Like all those who have received a message from God, she reacts going in haste, to share what she has received without cost.  
Ø  Where do you go Mary? What fills you of such a joy that makes you walk so speedily?    
Ø  Her message of joy and simplicity enters through the ears of Elizabeth and touches the baby she carries in her womb, and he reacts moved by joy, why? Because God has visited his people in the life who has just been conceived in Mary’s womb.  
Ø  Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit greets Mary as the Mother of my Lord, and she asks: how is it possible that the mother of my Lord come to visit me?   
Ø  How happy and blessed are you Mary because you have been able to believe that what God has told you by means of the angel, even being so unusual, is true and will be fulfilled in the baby you have just conceived.    
Ø  Yes this is the greatness of Mary, her divine maternity, nothing more and nothing less.
Ø  Thank you Mary for having given you unconditional yes, probably without understanding it completely, but trusting in God whom you love so much, to whom you have given your heart and all our being.   


At this same time that I was writing the Rule and Constitution of the Order, the Confessor commanded me to write the essential points of the general reform of the whole church.

On the day me of the patronage of the most blessed virgin Mary, of the same year, when I was giving thanks for a benefit she had granted ( and I thought that this grace would excuse me from writing these notes) The Most Holy Mary commanded me to start writing them that very day and also told me to give my prelate some advice, for which I felt great repugnance. This advises are among the papers I handed over to him. . María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 229-230  

Despite all the precautions I have taken in treading on this terrain, I have not escaped the malice of wagging tongues. Some have murmured against me for refusing to be the tool of their baseless ambitions, others out of envy; some for fear of losing what they have, others out of malice. Still others, out of ignorance or mere hearsay, have invented all sorts of rogueries about me and started the ugliest rumors. But I have remained silent and rejoiced in the Lord, because He has given me a sip from the chalice of his sufferings. As for my detractors, I have prayed to God for them, after forgiving and loving them with all my heart. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 628.  

CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.

JARAMILLO RIVAS, Pedro. Miqueas en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento, La Casa de la Biblia, 1997.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía  

RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras-Año C. San Pablo 2005.

SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.