Saturday, January 30, 2016


In this third Sunday in Ordinary time we move a step forward in the knowledge of Jesus. .   

o   After his baptism in the Jordan River the Father said that Jesus is his beloved son. 

o   At the wedding in Canna the overwhelming abundance of water changed into wine by the word of Jesus and the cooperation of Mary and the servants, reminds us what Isaiah had prophesized about the messianic times.   

o   Today Jesus will tell us that in him the Great Jubilee of God is fulfilled.  

«  The books of Ezra and of Nehemiah were a single literary work which became two books sometime in history. 

«  It is also possible that both books were part of a larger work which included the books of Chronicles.   

«   The end of Chronicles is repeated in the beginning of the book of Ezra.   

«  Ezra-Nehemiah recount the return from the Babylonian exile.  This return entailed the restauration of Jerusalem and the reconstruction of the Temple.   

«  The books of Ezra and  Nehemiah present the events  not in a chronological order but a theological one, according to the authors’ point of  view.

o   Return from exile  (Ez 1-6)

o   Memories of Ezra  (Ez 7-10)

o   Memories of Nehemiah   (Neh 1-7)

o   Renewal of the Covenant  (Neh 8-10)

o   The book of the Nehemiah’s memories

«  These two books were included in the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures before Chronicles; because the content of Chronicles is already present in the books of Samuel and Kings.    

«  The people of Israel had always been  a people different from all the other peoples that surrounded it.  Its traditions, its laws, its faith in the only true God  who had spoken to Abraham and had made a covenant with Moses, but now with Ezra and Nehemiah Judaism is born;  It rests on four pillars: 

o   The Hebrew race as a sign of identity which is transmitted only from parents to children. 

o   The law as a rule of life and as the manifestation of God’s fidelity. 

o   The land as the place which God himself handed over to the chosen people.  

o   The temple of Jerusalem as the place where God the creator dwells.   

FIRST READING  Neh 8,2-4a, 5-6, 8-10
Ø  Ezra reads the book of the Law to all who are able to understand. This book is probably the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew text.    

Ø  Some scholars think that this book is the book of Deutoronomy, others an abbreviated version of the Pentateuch as we have it now, others think that it could be the Pentateuch as we have it now.   

Ø  The reading of the book happens the day before the feast of the tabernacle which is celebrated at the end of the summer tasks. 

Ø  There is a kind of solemnity in this liturgical act of reading the book of the Law:   

o   Ezra stands up

o   He opens the book so that all can see it   

o   Ezra blesses God and all the people says Amen, yes we praise you our God.    

o   After having read the Law, the religious and civil leaders invite the people to rejoice, to celebrate eating and drinking and not being sad.  

o   Because their strength is in the joy of the Lord  

o   Every Sunday we are also invited to the feast that Jesus himself has prepared for us in his bread and in his wine, in his community, the community of faith to which we belong.  

o   This feast is prepared for us by the Lord by means of our leaders in faith, the priests of the Lord. 

R.   Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

*      This psalm is a hymn to the Creator and to the Law 

*      The responsorial psalm is taken from the part dedicated to the law.  

*      It sings the beauty of the Law and says something very beautiful “it is joy for the heart,  rest for the soul and gives light to the eyes.  

GOSPEL LK 1:1-4; 4,14-21
ü  We begin with Jesus his missionary ministry of proclaiming the good news

ü  The liturgy invites us, before we listen to Jesus inaugural speech in the Synagogue of Nazareth, to read again the beginning of Luke’s Gospel.   

o   Luke says to us that what he is about to say to us comes from the tradition of the Christian community, the community of the followers of the Teacher.  

ü  Let us go now to chapter 4 and listen to Jesus  

ü  Luke explains to us that Jesus goes to the Synagogue as usual. Jesus who has come back to his home town  on Saturday he goes to the synagogue like any  good Israelite.   

ü  It seems that it was customary to invite to read those who were visiting, Jesus is not a foreigner he is a son of the town, but he has been away for a long time, and everyone is saying great things that he has done in other places.       

ü  They give to him the book of the prophet Isaiah in the section called Trito-Isaiah.   

ü  Jesus reads with solemnity: The Spirit    

o   Is upon me…

o   He has sent me to heal, to console… 

ü  And the text of Luke continues at this point mentioning a quotation from the book of Leviticus:   

o   To proclaim the year of grace…  

ü  When he finishes to read Jesus sits down and gives his “homily” and he begins  with these words:

o   Today in your presence this Scripture has been fulfilled.  

ü  Let us reflect on what Jesus is saying in the Synagogue of Nazareth  

o   The first part of the reading is taken  from the prophet Isaiah 

§  Announcing the mission of the Messiah, of the one who is to come, of the one who will have the fullness of the Spirit upon him  

§  His mission will to restore what is incomplete, to do good according to the needs of others   

§  To bring good tidings to the poor, who really need to hear a good word 

§  To proclaim liberty to those who do not have it, how many situations in which liberty, freedom is lacking! He has come to give  back to us the freedom that God wants for each one of us. 

§  To give back sight to those who are blind, how many blindness we have! 

§  To liberate the oppressed, what does oppress us today? What does oppress our brothers and sisters today? 

§  And this is to proclaim the year of grace, that is to say THE JUBILEE described in Leviticus 25, 8 and ff. 

§  The Jubilee Year, the year of grace because it is the year of the great pardon.  

ü  This is the way in which Jesus, according to the Gospel of Luke, begins his ministry.   This proclamation in Luke corresponds to the Beatitudes that Matthew has at the beginning of the great sermon of the Mountain. In this passage Jesus tells us how his followers have to behave. And truly the beatitudes are the portrait of Jesus, as the proclamation in the Synagogue of Nazareth is the description of Jesus ministry of compassion 

ü  John Paul II in the document “Toward the Third Milenium says that Jesus in Nazareth describes his ministry in terms of the Jubilee Year.  

ü  Jubilee Year, we are celebrating, living a year of grace. We have been invited to live, to experience and to transmit the mercy of our God and at the same time to  clothe ourselves  of mercy. 

ü  Or as a song that was composed in the Jubilee Year says “Jesus is our Jubilee”.

ü  Jesus is the incarnation, the fulfillment of the Jubilee Year.   

SECOND READING   1Cor 12:12-14, 27
*      We continue the Reading of the letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

*      Today Paul explains to his community what does it mean to be a church.  

*      Last week he said to us that we all receive the same Spirit, who gives his gifts plentifully, according to the serviced we have called to do.   

*      Today he advances a step forward in the teaching about the meaning of being a church, he uses the comparison with the human body.  

*      Paul did not know what we know now of the human body, but he gives a very practical description.    

*      From this conversation about the human body Paul passes to talk about Christ.  

o   We all need to feel part of his body.   


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 Clartian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 232
Their Majesties are surrounded by self-serving men who are always hunting and grasping after titles, honors, greater salaries, and sums of money; but I, as I have said, have gained nothing; rather, I have lost much. Her Majesty wanted me by all means to accept the office of Guardian of Montserrat—the church, hospital, etc.-but I declined. Both she and the Commissioner General asked me many times to take the post, and when I learned that the buildings had already been advertised for sale in the Official Bulletin, I finally accepted, just to save them. And what did I gain by it all? I had to pay 5,000 duros out of my own pocket for repairs on the church and the hospital.

I can say much the same of the royal monastery of the Escorial, which neither is nor has ever been a source of profit to me; rather, it has brought me nothing but troubles and pains, and it has been the occasion of persecutions, slanders, and bills.  Three times I tried to resign from its presidency, but failed. Well, God be praised for it all: if the Lord wants me to carry this cross, all I can do is submit to his will. My God, I want nothing of this world, nothing but your grace, your holy love and heavenly glory. St Anthony Mary Claret, Autobiography 635-636


            CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía

MUÑOZ, HORTENSIA y TUTZÓ, REGINA. París y Claret: dos plumas movidas por el mismo Espiritu. Llamados a renovar la iglesia. Misioneras Claretianas 2010.     

SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española

Friday, January 8, 2016

Ø  This Sundays is at the end of the Christmas-Epiphany cycle and at the  beginning of the Ordinary time.  

Ø  The baptism of the Lord, is an epiphany of the Lord, as well as the Magi and the Wedding at Canna.  
FIRST READING   Is 42:1-4. 6-7
God speaks of his servant whom he loves, his chosen one

ü  Upon him he has poured out his Spirit.   

ü  Thus he will  bring justice to the nations not crying out, not shouting,

o   He will not   make his  voice heard in the streets   

o   He shall  not break the bruised reed  

o   And a smoldering wick he shall not quench 

ü  He will have patience, he will know how to wait for each one’s  appropriate time 

ü  He will have mercy and compassion,  

ü  Until justice is established on the earth   

ü  The coast lands, the far distant lands, will wait for his teaching  

ü  What a beautiful description of the mercy of our God.  

ü  To reflect ln these words may help us during this year dedicated to the mercy of God, to learn how to be merciful, This is the invitation that the Father through Pope Francis makes to us. 

ü  The Reading continues. In the first part God speaks of his servant, in the second part God speaks to the servant. 

ü   I have called you for the victory of justice

ü  I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people,

ü  a light for the nations, light to help the nations to see justice, which is the kindness and mercy of our God

ü  I have put you to open the eyes of the blind, to open the eyes whose light has gone out

o   It may be the physical light, but also the spiritual light

o   The servant has the mission to help us to  see as God sees

o   To see ourselves, to see the other  companions of the life journey, as God sees us, now he sees our truth

o   This light will give freedom to prisoners

§  …to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

§  But especially to those who are prisoners of their own passions, their own darkness 

 Responsorial Psalm:    Ps 28: 1a y 2. 3ac-4. 3b y 9b-10
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and praise,
Give to the LORD the glory due his name;
adore the LORD in holy attire.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters,
the LORD, over vast waters.
The voice of the LORD is mighty;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
R. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
The God of glory thunders,
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD is enthroned above the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as king forever.
The Lord will bless his people with peace
v   In the first verse we are invited to praise God in his temple.  

v  The other two are a description of the voice of God.  

v  Through our voice we let others know us.  

v  The voice of the Lord is strong it can be heard over the noise of the flood waters.   

v  This voice is all powerful, as God is powerful, this voice is his powerful Word that in the fullness of time became a baby, to reach us.    

o   But this thunder is the cry of a baby in need of his mother   

o   This thunder is the voice of the humble man, the carpenter of Nazareth.   

o   This thunder is the voice of the missionary teacher who bends over any human need, who embraces all those who have gone stray, all those in need of having their dignity respected.   

o   This thunder is the soft but strong Word which resounds inside every man and woman, calling us to the conversion of  heart  

o   This thunder that calls us to be moved by the suffering of our brothers and sisters.    

o   Thunder that calls us to be merciful as the Father is merciful, whose voice is heard over the flood waters. 

SECOND READING  Titus 2:11-14. 3,4-7
*      This letter is addressed to a “brother”, it can be also anyone of us 

o   The grace of God has been manifested to save us and it has taught us…  

o   This grace, this kindness of God is Jesus who speaks to us and teaches us the way which leads us to salvation. 

o   He has done this giving himself for us, so that his love, which is as powerful as the voice of God over the flood waters, may conquer us, may help us to learn where is our real good. 

*      The author of  the letter says that He has saved us revealing to us the kindness of God  

o    He has done this not because we deserve it, but because of his mercy  

o   Mercy which has also a meaning of fidelity, fidelity to the promises   

o   All of this, the salvation, has been accomplished by the Most Holy Trinity who has made us anew through our baptism, by the mediation of Christ, our Lord.  

o   This grace which we have received at our baptism makes us heirs

*      Again mercy, mercy which recreates and saves, that does not allow to die the flame which is almost extinguished, but revives it.     

GOSPEL – Luke 3,15-16. 21-22
Ø  People are expecting the Messiah, and looking at John they start thinking that he might be the one announced by the prophets  

Ø  John tells them that he is not, that the Messiah is someone greater than he,  whose  baptism will   be not only of water but of the Spirit and fire.   

o   Fire which destroys, fire which purifies, fire which burns inside not only what is bad, but which is the  strength which leads us to act what is good with passion.  

Ø  Jesus is waiting to be baptized with the rest of the men there present who confess their sins  

Ø  He does  not have any sin, on the contrary, He comes to take away the sin of the world “this is the lamb of God who takes away….”   

Ø  Maybe he has gone to the Jordan with other young men of his home town, he has gone attracted by the same strength, the same fire, the same light which made him stay  in the Temple when he was a teenager.   

Ø  Strength and attraction to Yahweh whom he experiences as Abba.   

Ø  And at his baptism  the Father reveals his Son, his beloved in whom he is well pleased  

Ø  Jesus hears the voice of the Father which resonates inside as a thunder, as light, as a brilliant fire that enlightens his whole life.   

Ø  Yes, what you experience inside is true, I am your Abba, and I have a mission for you: to  say to all that I love them,  that my fatherly heart is moved  by mercy when I see the misery, the suffering, the sin  of my children.     

Ø  Yes, communicate to your brothers and sisters who  I am, and do this loving them as I love them  

Ø  Yes, you are my beloved son, the only begotten, share your sonship with all, seek them, carry them on your shoulder,   cure their wounds, dry their tears, do all of this even if they do not listen to you, even when they take your life without knowing that you are giving  them eternal life.     

Ø  You who are God like me, love them with a human heart so that they may  understand that I am the true Love.   
 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.    Venerable María Antonia París, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 232.
The matter of canonries is not so carefully scrutinized. I'm not suggesting that Her Majesty or the Attorney General have themselves ever been implicated in simony, but God knows whether or not office-hunters have made deals with or offered presents to some members of the circle that surrounds them, and surely these could not pass God's scrutiny. For this reason I have never meddled in this business of soliciting canonries. Would to God that all priests sought to be the last and the least among their brothers, as our Divine Master taught us. The best canonry is to love God deeply and save souls, so as to obtain a place of distinction in the glory of heaven. There can be no doubt that it will stand a priest in better stead to have been a missionary than not to have been a canon. Let him choose now what he would prefer to have chosen at the hour of his death. St. Anthony Ma. Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 631.   

CLARET, San Antonio María. Autobiografía 631.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía 232.



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