Saturday, December 5, 2015


«  On our journey of preparation for the celebration of the Incarnation of the Son of God, and his birth in Bethlehem, we encounter John the Baptist. 
«  He invites the people to be prepared for the coming, the first coming of God to his people in fulfillment of the promises.   

«  On the Second Reading Paul asks his community to be prepared for the Second Coming of the Lord.  

«  The readings are an invitation to rejoice because God walks with his people, he walks with us.  This could be considered as the third of his comings, the way he comes to us during our life time.  

*      This book is  introduced as the work of the Scribe found in the book of Jeremiah    (32,:12-16)

*      We do not have the original in Hebrew, what we have is the Greek translation. The Churches belonging to the Catholic and Orthodox traditions consider this book a canonical book, while the those belonging to the Protestant tradition and the Hebrew Bible consider this book as deuteron-canonical or  apocrypha.    

*      Due to the diversity of literary styles and forms (prose and  poetry) we can  consider the book as a compilation of texts, which was very frequent by that time. 

*      The scenario seems to be the Babylonian exile.

*       It is a satire of the pagan cult, mixed with prophetic oracles.   

FIRST READING , Baruc 5;1-9
«  The text transpires optimism, light, joy, peace. 

«  Jerusalem is invited to put on festal garments    

«  Because God will show to all the dwellers of the earth  the splendor of Jerusalem.  

«  Where peace, justice and the glory of the adoration of God, reign. 

«  Jerusalem is invited to see how her children come from the four corners of the earth.  

«  The vocabulary evokes the time of the deportation when they left in tears and shame   

«  God himself prepares the way to Jerusalem for the return of those who were deported 

«  There will be trees on both sides of the road.  

«  God himself will lead them in joy, light, mercy and justice.   

R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.

The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy. 

Ø  This is a psalm of thanksgiving and trust.   

Ø  Psalm which describes the joy of the return of the captives to Jerusalem.   

Ø  The vocabulary used to describe the return is full of joy, trust, security because God himself leads them.  God also continues to lead each one of us to our homeland, the heavenly Jerusalem, we should also rejoice and trust like those returning from the Babylonian exile. 

Ø  Even the pagan nations praise and sing  because God has done great things for them

The last verse evokes the contrast between the tears of the departure to the exile and the joy of the return. The author does this using images taken from the agricultural world; describing the difficulty of the sowing and the joy of the ripping,  

SECOND READING:   PhilL 1:4-6. 8-11
ü  Paul shows his joy because of he way the Philippians are cooperating in the proclamation of the Gospel. 

ü  He tells them that he is confident that the One who has begun the good work in them will lead it to completion until the day of Christ (the Second Coming)

ü  Paul  wishes to see the community of Philippi, but meanwhile he prays for them that 

o   Their love may grow more and more 

o   That their knowledge may grow as well   

o   That they may discern what is worth according to our  faith.

o   That they may be pure and irreproachable for the Day of Christ.     

o   For the glory and praise of God the Father.  

GOSPEL  Lk  3:1-6
*      Luke after introducing his Gospel and after describing some events of the childhood of Jesus, all of this considered by Ravassi as the first scene of the Gospel,  introduces us to the second scene.  

*      In this scene we meet John the Baptist performing his ministry, his mission of preparing the way.   

*      Luke situates John and Jesus in a historical time which he describes with abundance of details

*      Why? To le tus know that Jesus is not a figment of our imagination, an object of faith sithout zny historical base, but he is a real person who has lived in our midst. 

*      All the characters he mentions may be found in history books.  

*      John preaches repentance, conversion and penance.   

*      Luke says that in this is fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah wrote  40:3-5

The favor the Lord gave me in this most happy day, which cost me so many desires and sighs, are already written in a draft of a letter that I will send together with these notes to the most Rev. Dr. Caixal, giving him the account of all my things. So, there is no need to repeat it here. I will say only one thing that I forgot there, and it is that after my7 profession, our Lord made me see how the devil hid in the deepest of hell, and remained there for some days heaping up with one another, pushing one another to be more hidden, biting one another with the greatest rage and furry. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,  Autobiography 226. 

Because the queen likes me and thinks so much of me, I know that she would be pleased if I asked any favors of her; but so far I haven't asked her for a single thing and I have no desire to do so in the future. What's that I've just said? No, I didn't put it quite right. There is one favor I have, indeed, asked of her many times and with great insistence: to let me withdraw from Madrid and the court. And it is just this favor, the only one I have ever asked for, that I have so far been unable to obtain. The worst of it is that, although I have some hope of getting it, I can see no way of getting it quickly. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters,  Autobiography 625 

CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía  en Escritos
RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras-Año B. San Pablo 2005.
SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.
SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.




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