Wednesday, October 26, 2016


  • Today's Gospel reading is again about a tax collector. 
  • Last week's parable was about a tax collector who acknowledged his sinfulness and asked God for forgiveness, and he returned home justified.   
  • Today it is about a real character, not a parable, but a real man called Zacchaeus, the tax collector from Jericho. He wanted to see Jesus, and Jesus surprised him because he also wanted to see him.  

v  Again the liturgy takes the first reading from the wisdom literature, the Book of Wisdom 

v  This book is known as a "deuterocanonical book". In the Catholic tradition the deuterocanonical books are considered revealed by God , but this is not  so among the Jewish community of faith and   the other Christian traditions.  

v  Chapters  11 to 19 are a meditation on the exodus.    

v  Gianfranco Ravassi in his commentary says that chapters 11 to 19 of this jewel of the Jewish Greek literature of Alexandria in Egypt has a chapter on the invincible love of God toward his creatures, even being sinful.

v  FIRST READING: Wis11:22-12,2   

ü  Everything that has been created is small before God, but God takes care of all. 

ü  God takes care especially of the human being, and  the book of Wisdom tells us that this is so because God can do all things.   

ü  and it continues saying something surprising, God overlooks people's sins, he does not want to see our sins, to offer to us the opportunity to repent.     

ü  What a different image of God from the one we project some times with our words and our attitudes!  

ü  Another beautiful expression is found on verse 26 "but you forgive all because they are yours, O Lord the friend of life.     

ü  God is the friend of life, and sometimes  it seems that we are the friends of death, because the society we have built and continue to built is full of the violence of death.   

ü  We have allowed ourselves to be deceived by the evil spirit who has convinced us that what is good is bad, and what is bad is good!  

ü  God does much more, he reprimands us little by little, in the way  only him knows and thus little by little he molds our being, and offers us the opportunity  to discover his presence in our life, and when this happens we cannot   reject his love any longer,  and thus we surrender ourselves to him.    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  145:1-2. 8-9. 10-11. 13,14


I will extol you, O my God and King

and I will bless your name forever and ever

Everyday will I bless you

and I will praise your name forever and ever.

 The Lord is gracious and merciful

slow to anger and of great kindness

The Lord is good to all

and compassionate toward all his works.

Let all your works give you thanks, O Lord

and let your faithful ones bless you

Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom

and speak of your might.

  The Lord is faithful in all his words

and holy in all his works

The Lord lift up all who are falling

and raises up all who are bow down.

Ø  The praises to God for his works has been sung from generation to generation, up to the psalmist time   

Ø  He has to continue this long chain of praises and he does it with his psalm.   

Ø  This praise is the poet's, but also ours.     

Ø  Let us join our voices to this praise, let us sing, dance, joyfully dance because our God loves us and he is great and powerful.  

GOSPEL Lk 19:1-10

*      The Gospel tells the encounter of Jesus with the tax collector, an encounter that brings salvation to that man and his entire household.    

*      Zacchaeus, is his name, it is the Greek  version of his Jewish name Zakkai.  

*      He is short in stature, but he looks for the way to see Jesus.  

*      He had probably heard about this young itinerant prophet who speaks in such a different way than the teachers of  the law, a  man who shows so much love that it is impossible  not to be attracted to him and to follow him.   

*      Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore, maybe he thinks that nobody sees him, because for a prominent man as he is, this action would be very humiliating. 

*      But somebody has seen him, and when he walks under the tree, he lifts up his eyes and calls him "today I want to have dinner with you."  

*       To have dinner is an expression of intimacy, of friendship. Jesus wants to be friend of Zacchaeus,  trully  he is already friend of Zacchaeus. Up to now Zacchaeus does not know it, but today he will discover it and will be happy. 

*       He will be happy to feel himself loved by Jesus, who is the image of the invisible God, his son. After this experience Zacchaeus will love his fellow men and he will realize the wrong he has done, and he will have the determination to amend the evil he has done. 

*      Only the unconditional love of Jesus, manifested in his going to the house of Zacchaeus, will give to this man the willingness to give away the fortune he has made stealing from others.   

*      As it is customary the Gospel shows us the two tendencies  that are always found among the human beings:   

v  he has entered the house of a sinner, it seems that we forget that we all are sinners. 

v  salvation has come to this house, yes with Jesus salvation comes to us and renews all the different aspects of our being. 

v  Everything is restored, made a new creation.   

*      This fragment of  Luke's Gospels reveals to us the joy of salvation, of the coming back home, of the paternal embrace.   

*       This is also our experience of forgiveness and conversion.  Is it not?


SECOND READING  2 Tes 1:11-22

v  We are  not one hundred percent sure that this letter has been written by Paul, the scholars keep looking for answers. It seems that it was written by one of his disciples.     

v  The author prays to God for the community of Thessalonica, that it may be worthy of the call it has received, and thus live its faith responsibly.    

v  All of this for the glory and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ's name. 

v  It seems that the community was upset by things that had been told to them, as if Paul had written them.   

v  The author says to them that he has not written anything of what upsets them.  

v  Afterwards he calms them  explaining that the second coming of the Lord is not so  imminent as some think.

v  On this theme of the second coming there is a great difference between the first letter and the second to the Thessalonians. In the first Paul himself was speaking as if it was imminent.  


 Since during this week we have celebrated the Feast of St. Anthony Mary Claret, I will interrupt today the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis and copy a description of a missionary made by St. Anthony Mary Claret in his Autobiography. This description fits very well who he was.

I tell myself: A Son of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a man on fire with love, who spreads its flames wherever he goes. He desires mightily and strives by all means possible to set the whole world on fire with God's love. Nothing daunts him; he delights in privations, welcomes work, embraces sacrifices, smiles at slander, and rejoices in suffering. His only concern is how he can best follow Jesus Christ and imitate Him in working, suffering, and striving constantly and single-mindedly for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 494.   


CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía.

PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía

RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.

The Catholic Study Bible -New American Bible.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


The theme of this Sunday’s celebration “thanksgiving for the good we have received” 

Ø  Naaman is healed  from the leprosy and he comes back to thank the prophet for his cure.    

Ø  The Samaritan leper comes back to give thanks to Jesus for his cure from leprosy. 

Ø  Jesus asks where are the other 9.      


Ø  The two books of Kings are the continuation of the two books of Samuel. 

Ø  In the Hebrew Bible these books form a single literary work called Kings (Melakim).  

Ø  In the translation of the LXX (seventeen) and in the  Vulgate they are called “third and fourth  Kings” 

Ø  Since the two books of Samuel are called “first  and second Kings”  

Ø  1 and 2 Kings are part of the Deuteronomist History  

Ø  Which goes from the entrance in the promise land (Joshua) to the Babylonian exile (587.) 

Ø    Solomon and his kingship play a major role.

Ø  The author is pleased to show the magnificence of Solomon, and also, at the same time, to show his sin. 

Ø  Whose consequences are the division of his Kingdom into the Northern Kingdom – Israel and the Southern Kingdom – Judah. 

Ø  The theological principle used to judge history is:   sin                  punishment                 return 

Ø   Two prophets have a great importance:  in 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah, in 2Kings, the prophet Elisha, the first reading today speaks about him.     

Ø  Theological points:

o   Monotheism        

o   Messianic hope

o   Institutions:

§  the monarchy, the King is God’s representative

§  the temple is the place of God’s presence    

§  the exile,   the end ?  or  a new beginning? 

FIRST READING  2Kgs 5:14-17

ü  The whole chapter is dedicated to the story of  Naaman

ü  Who was a general of the King of Syria, he was a leper.  

ü  They tell us the story how this man comes to the kingdom of Israel  

ü  Today in the liturgy we read the passage related to the cure of this man, not because of his faith, but because of the faith and trust of a young Israelite girl, slave of his wife.  

ü  Naaman, as the prophet had told him, submerges seven times into the Jordan River and is cleansed from the leprosy. 

ü  Very simple act, apparently useless, aren’t there better rivers in Syria, Naaman had asked before going into the river.  

ü  But it is not the material water which cures the sickness of this man; it is the acceptance of the prophet’s word. In reality it is the humility to believe that something so unimportant can cure.   

ü  Naaman goes back to the prophet, the man of God, to give thanks, and offer him abundant gifts

ü  The prophet does not accept them. The prophets of the Old Testament in Israel and Judah, were not   wage-earners, but men called by God to be his voice, his presence. 

ü  Naaman asks for some earth to take to his country to offer sacrifices to the true God. 

ü  For the people of those cultures, God was tied in a very especial way to his people, and each people had its own God. 

ü  However here Naaman, through his cure, discovers that there is only one God, the God who has cured him.   

ü  They say that when someone is cured by God in an extraordinary way, which we usually call miracle, there is not only a physical wellbeing, but a whole wellbeing, like a new birth which relates the person  in a very especial way to God.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4

R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
his right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands:
break into song; sing praise.
The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power..

v  We will repeat singing 

o   The Lord has shown his love. His love that does not make differences, that has cured a foreigner, a pagan, because all of us are the work of his love, we are his children. 

o   The Lord has shown his faithfulness, the Lord is always faithful.  

GOSPEL   Lk 17:11-19

Ø  Luke tells us what happened to 10 lepers who meet Jesus.     

Ø  They ask him to have pity on them    

Ø  Luke tells us that when Jesus approaches them and sees he does not speak about healing them, or of their faith, but he tells them to go to the priest.  

Ø  When someone was cured from his or her leprosy, the Law established that they had to go to the priest who would declare that they were cured, thus allowing them to go back to their normal life in family and in society.      

Ø  The lepers go on their way, did they understand that what Jesus was telling them is that they were cured?  We do not know, Luke tells us that on their way they realized that they were cured.  

Ø  One of them, a Samaritan, full of joy and admiration and gratitude comes back to tell Jesus how happy he is, and give thanks to him.  

Ø  Jesus question: where are the other 9?   

Ø  Luke does not give any answer, but we can reflect on our own attitudes.  

Ø  They say that to be thankful, we need to allow us to be surprised, to be able to discover the newness and more than anything else to be able to see more the good than the evil.  To have light or to let the light of Christ fill us.   

Ø  Are we able to give thanks?   Do we rejoice for the good we see, even if we also see the evil?   Do we let God to surprise us?


ü  The Apostle invites us to remember Jesus Christ 

o   Risen from the dead   

o   And a descendant of David    

o   Jesus is risen, he is our God who lives forever,  

ü  Paul speaks of his imprisonment, as a criminal without freedom, but he says that the Word of God is not in chains, nobody can silence it. 

ü  If we have died with Him, we also will be raised with Him   

ü  But if we deny Him, He will deny us. What does the Apostle mean with these words?   ? 

ü  But Jesus will always be faithful, because this is his nature.   


I thank God that many families, which are far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfil their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way.  The  Synod’s reflections show us that there is no stereo- type of the ideal family, but rather a challenging mosaic made up of many different realities, with all their joys, hopes and problems.  The situations that concern us are challenges.  We should not be trapped into wasting our energy in doleful laments, but rather seek new forms of missionary creativity.  In every situation that presents itself, “the Church is conscious of the need to offer a word of truth and hope…  The great values of marriage and the Christian family correspond to a yearning that is part and parcel of human existence”.48  If we see any number of problems, these should be, as the Bishops of Colombia have said, a summons to “revive our hope and to make it the source of prophetic visions, transformative actions and creative forms of charity”. (57)


PAGOLA, José Antonio. El camino abierto por Jesús. Lucas.

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferecia Episcopal Española.