Tuesday, November 29, 2016


ü  The theme of this second Sunday of Advent is peace

ü  Peace in an idyllic  society described with beautiful images by the prophet Isaiah

ü  Peace which is the consequence of conversion to the Lord

FIRST READING  - Is 11:1-10

v  In the liturgy of this second Sunday we read from the book of the prophet Isaiah 

v  It speaks of a time when everything will be good because a bud will blossom from the stump of Jesse.   

v  That is, the prophecy made by the Lord to David through the prophet Nathan will be fulfilled "I will build a house for you..." 

v  It is a time of joy because God does not forget his promises.  

v  The vocabulary used in this reading opens us up to life, to hope, to joy: will blossom, justice, evil will be destroyed, the gentiles will seek this new bud, and everything will be peace on the holy mountain. 

v  Upon this bud, which is Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord will rest with all his gifts. 

ü  And thus he will not judge by appearance, but in truth  

ü  He will judge the poor with justice, this is not what normally happens among us human beings  

ü  he will eliminate evil  

ü  He will gird himself with justice and faithfulness    

v  After this presentation of the new bud from the stump of Jesse, Isaiah describes an ideal way of life, which reminds us of the paradise described in the book of Genesis, when God in the evenings used to come down and walk peacefully with his creature-child-human being. 

v  In the society which will be born from the presence and welcoming of this new bud  

ü  Those who are contraries or enemies will live peacefully and friendly together: they will eat, play... their children will play and rest together. 

ü  Peace and goodness shall be such in this new society that the children will lead the wild animals, and a baby will play at the cobra's den.  

v  In this new society there will be no destruction, no harm because the whole creation will be filled with the presence of the Lord.  

v  Jesus is this bud over whom the Spirit of God rests because he is the Second Person of the Trinity, who has come to live among us to teach how to be brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. 

v  COME LORD JESUS and give us the strength and the wish to tear down the walls that separate us, give strangers the strength to live together, and to discover that you are present in every human being, give us the will to live in harmony and peace in our homes, work place and faith community.   



 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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

*      The psalmist prays that God may give the king the necessary  gifts to promote justice and peace. 

*      Maybe our problem is that we do not pray for those who govern us, to pray for them and for all who are in any kind of leadership, so that power does not blind them. 

GOSPEL Mt 3:1-12

Ø  John the Baptist appears in the horizon of Advent 

Ø  John preaches and calls people to repentance, to forgiveness.

Ø  The evangelist describes John as a man who lives with austerity; his voice is strong and threatening for those who do not accept the coming of the one who is to come. 

Ø  Matthew says that John is the one that Isaiah announced "A voice cries out in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord.

Ø  In spite of his fearful appearance, John attracts large crowds that come to listen to his words and to be baptized in the Jordan waters, as a sign of conversion, and of the willingness to change their lives. 

Ø  John speaks frankly and says terrible things: do not trust in appearances, do not trust in titles, do not trust in false securities, even these stones can become children of Abraham. What does all of this mean for us followers of Jesus of the XXI century? 

Ø  Is that a call for us to live in the truth of who we are? 

·         The truth of our baptism, of being baptized into the life of Christ, the Son of God. 

·         The truth of a real and true relationship, not made of mere words and false securities: "I am Catholic" "I go to mass every day" "I think of the poor in Thanksgiving and at Christmas"  "I give toys to the children of the poor, sometimes they are new and sometimes there are the toys our children do not want anymore", "I have the right not to forgive my enemy, to keep that grudge in my heart because they have hurt me..."    

·         Each one of us may complete this list of excuses 

Ø  John announces a baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire. This is our baptism, the one we received when we were children or maybe adults. Our baptism continues to act in our life every day. 

Ø  Let us listen to the invitation that the Church makes to us in this second Sunday of Advent. Let us listen to the voice of John who invites us to conversion to be able to follow the one of whom he cannot unfasten the sandals. Then our life will be as it is described in the first reading, full of peace and joy.


§  Paul writes to his community and tells us that what has been written, has been written for our instruction. 

§  So that with the encouragement given by Scripture we may hope.  How is our hope? 

§  Then Paul exhorts to live according to the way that Isaiah describes, which will be when we accept the Messiah. 

§  The Messiah has come, he is in our midst "he put his tent among us, and walks with us" this is Jesus the Carpenter from Nazareth, whom we know to be the  incarnate Son of the Father

§  Paul  tells us "welcome one another, as Christ welcomes you, and do this for the glory of God.  

§  Christ preached to the circumcised, the Jews, to make present to us the faithfulness of God to his promises, so that the uncircumcised may glorify God. 

§  We may change the word circumcised by baptized.  Let us live as the first reading and the Gospel invite us so that those who do not believe, those who left the Church,  the unbelievers may come to the light, not the light of the city of Jerusalem, but of the Church, to be able to live a relationship of profound intimacy with the Lord and among us .



Love is not jealous

Saint Paul goes on to reject as contrary to love an attitude expressed by the verb zelói – to be jealous or envious.  This means that love has no room for discomfiture at another person’s good fortune (cf. Acts 7:9; 17:5).  Envy is a form of sadness provoked by another’s prosperity; it shows that we are not concerned for the happiness of others but only with our own well-being.  Whereas love makes us rise above ourselves, envy closes us in on ourselves.  True love values the other person’s achievements.  It does not see him or her as a threat.  It frees us from the sour taste of envy.  It recognizes that everyone has different gifts and a unique path in life.  So it strives to discover its own road to happiness, while allowing others to find theirs.

In a word, love means fulfilling the last two commandments of God’s Law: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s” (Ex 20:17).  Love inspires a sincere esteem for every human being and the recognition of his or her own right to happiness.  I love this person, and I see him or her with the eyes of God, who gives us everything “for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17).  As a result, I feel a deep sense of happiness and peace.  This same deeply rooted love also leads me to reject the injustice whereby some possess too much and others too little.  It moves me to find ways of helping society’s outcasts to find a modicum of joy.  That is not envy, but the desire for equality. (95-96) 


 PAGOLA, José Antonio. El Camino abierto por JESUS. 2012.


Friday, November 25, 2016


  • We begin a new liturgical cycle and with it the reading of a new Gospel, the Gospel of Matthew.  
  • During this year Matthew will present   Jesus as the  Emmanuel.  
  • The Emmanuel who is where two or three gather in his name.   
  • The Emmanuel who receives as done to him our loving and our unloving actions.  
  • The Emmanuel who will be with us until the end of time.  
  • Today the three readings will speak to us about the coming of the Lord at the end of times, we have to be ready and watchful because,  with the Lord,  will come the restoration of everything and the destruction of all evil.   


ü  The prophet sees in the future a time of peace and good which comes from mount Zion where Jerusalem is build. 

ü  Jerusalem the holy city which, in the book of Revelation, will be the model city which comes down from heaven, the bride adorned for her spouse.     

ü  The peoples will walk toward this city because in it they will find the house of God.  

ü  The prophet gives an idyllic  and quasi heavenly description of  society when it will be built according to the model of the holy city.  

ü  Their swords and spears will be transformed from tools  of death into tools   of life.   

ü  Nations will be sisters to each other and, none will trained its inhabitants for war.   

ü  The text ends with an invitation to walk toward the light of the Lord.  

ü  All of it is a foreshadow of what happens in each man or woman who accepts the Lord in his or her life; in each nation that decides to acknowledge that God is God and thus decides to eliminate the idols of oppression. 

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  122,1-2.3-4.4-5,6-7,8-9


I rejoiced because they said to me

We will go up to the house of the Lord

And now we have set foot

within your gates,  Jerusalem.


Jerusalem, built as a city

with compact unity

To it the tribes go up

the tribes of the Lord


According to the decree for Israel

to give thanks to the name of the Lord

In it are set up judgment seats,

seats for the house of David


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

May those who love you prosper

May peace be within your walls

prosperity in your buildings


Because of my brothers and friends

I will say "Peace be within you"

Because of the house of the Lord our God

I will pray for your good.


ü  Last Sunday, Solemnity of Christ King of the Universe, we read this same psalm.   

ü  The holy city whose external beauty in its buildings and other constructions, captivates the eyes and the heart of those who see her,  

ü  has also an internal beauty given by the peace her dwellers enjoy, and the justice which is administered at her doors.   

ü  The psalmist ends in the last stanza speaking about friends and brothers, he does not  speak about enemies as other psalms do.   

ü  Finally the members of the human race we have realized that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the one and only God, and Father, creator of all.   

GOSPEL  Mt 24:37-44   

*      On the XXXIII Sunday in Ordinary Time Jesus said to his disciples not to be troubled by those who announce the end of times to be near, because it will not happen so soon.  

*      The author of the Second letter to the Thessalonians was saying the same thing to his community.   

*      What the Lord tells us is to be prepared to welcome him, and he gives some examples taken from the flood. When it came everyone was doing his or her own thing, without worrying about other things and they were surprised by the flood,  like it happens to us with the hurricanes and earthquakes

*      The Lord says also that when he comes everyone will be doing their normal tasks, some will be working, and among them some will be ready and some not. 

*      To help us understand his teaching he gives the example of the man who has many possessions, if he knew when the thief was coming he will be ready to protect his house.   

*      Thus it should be with us who are waiting not for a thief but, for the Lord of our life, who  presumably we are waiting for.

*      At the end of the reading the Lord says again more clearly BE PREPARED, because you do not know when I will come to you.    

*      And this preparation is neither to neglect our responsibilities, nor  to repeat prayers like the pagans, nor kneel hours and hours in the church to "please the Lord" so that he will not be angry with us. No, this preparation is described by Matthew in chapter 25 of his gospel: I was hungry, I was thirsty.... each time you did to one of my brothers you did unto me.  


v  Paul, like Jesus,  invites us to be vigilant  

v  He uses images of night and day   

v  When day comes we prepare ourselves for the day.  

v  When we realize that the Lord is present and wants to be part of our life, we leave our negative and sinful actions and we begin a new journey of life "let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the our working clothes.   

v  Paul gives a list of these works of darkness, of the night clothing which we have to cast off: drunkenness, unlawful and dehumanizing sexual relations, rivalries and jealousy.  

v  Then he invites us to change our night clothing and put on the clothing of light which is Jesus the Lord.    

v  At our baptism we were given a white clothe and we were told to put it on, use it, and keep it until  the day the Lord will call us.   

v  This white clothe is the symbol of Jesus our Lord, of the life of grace, the life of God which is offered to us so that we may be able to live as  children of the Father. 



The next word that Paul uses is chrestéuetai.  The word is used only here in the entire Bible.  It is derived from chrestós: a good person, one who shows his goodness by his deeds.  Here, in strict parallelism with the preceding verb, it serves as a complement.  Paul wants to make it clear that “patience” is not a completely passive attitude, but one accompanied by activity, by a dynamic and creative interaction with others.  The word indicates that love benefits and helps others.  For this reason it is translated as “kind”; love is ever ready to be of assistance.

94. Throughout the text, it is clear that Paul wants to stress that love is more than a mere feeling.  Rather, it should be understood along the lines of the Hebrew verb “to love”; it is “to do good”.  As Saint Ignatius of Loyola said, “Love is shown more by deeds than by words”.106  It thus shows its fruitfulness and allows us to experience the happiness of giving, the nobility and grandeur of spending ourselves unstintingly, without asking to be repaid, purely for the  pleasure of giving and serving. (93-94) 


 PAGOLA, José A.   El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012



Tuesday, November 15, 2016


 Next Sunday we will celebrate and honor Jesus as  King of the Universe.  

  • The liturgical year began with the baptism of Jesus and ends with the celebration of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe.        
  • The young carpenter from Nazareth went to the Jordan river with the other men from his town to be baptized by John, and afterwards he begins a dangerous and unorthodox preaching according to the religious, civil and political authorities of his people.    
  • This young man hears the voice of the Father who after his baptism tells him "You are my beloved Son."   
  • This young man after his death and resurrection has been established Lord of the living and the  dead. It has been revealed to us who he really is.    
  • He is the Son of the eternal Father, the Second Person of the Trinity, the creating Word of God, though whom all things were made      

FIRST READING : 2 Sm 5:1-2

ü  This passage narrates how David was established as king over Israel.  

ü  King David is highly exalted and praised in the Scriptures. He is presented  as a friend of God, a holy  man but also a sinner. A warrior against the neighboring peoples to defend his own kingdom, and at the same time the tender singer of the wonders of God. Although a sinner he is also  considered to be a just man.

ü  Of his appointment as king of Israel we find several texts in the Scripture:    1 Sm 16:1-13; 2Sm 5:1-3; 1Cr 11:1-3; Sal 78: 70-72.

ü   A mutual covenant is made between David and the people.  

ü  Before closing the covenant, the agreement, they remind David that in the time of Saul he, David,  was the one that won the victories.   

ü  David, who was taken from the flock of his father by Samuel to be anointed king over Israel,  hears the elders of his people telling him that he has to be the shepherd of his people.   

ü  As a shepherd he will be also a leader.  What a beautiful image of a chief who is a shepherd, like Jesus has been.   

ü  The leader or the chief according to the Scriptures is a shepherd, someone who takes care of his people, serves his people, does not overpower his people but he gives his life for his people

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  122:1-2.3-4.4-5


I rejoiced because they said to me

We will go up to the house of the Lord

And now we have set foot

within your gates,  Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, built as a city

with compact unity

To it the tribes go up

the tribes of the Lord

According to the decree for Israel

to give thanks to the name of the Lord

In it are set up judgment seats,

seats for the house of David

ü  This psalm sings the fascination of the pilgrim as he or she  approaches the holy city of Jerusalem. 

ü  The city has the external beauty of its construction, its buildings, which captivates the heart of those who visit it.

ü  And the city has also an inner beauty given by the peace and justice which is administered at its doors.  

GOSPEL  Lk 23:35-43

*      We read what happened between the criminals who were crucified with Jesus and Jesus.   

*      The chief priests insult him, the soldiers make fun of him, of his life, his preaching

*      They tempt him, if you are who you say you are, save yourself.   

*      If we remember a little what we read at the beginning of Lent, Jesus was tempted by the evil spirit. When Luke finishes narrating the temptations of Jesus he says that the devil left him for a future opportune  time. 

*      Now on this cross, to which he is nailed, now that he has lost his strength, that he is seen as a failure, now when he experiences the deepest abandonment from everyone even the Father, it is the moment for the devil to come back and tempt him again.

*      And he does it by means of the people who surround him at this dark hour, the darkest hour of human history. 

*      One of the crucified men he has on each side tempts him, you can, why don't you do it? Why don't you save yourself and us?   

*      This is the same temptation as the temptation of the bread in the desert , if you are the Son say to this stones ... why don't you use your power for your own good and ours ?

*      But the other man who is suffering the same condemnation rebukes his companion, and reminds him that they are punished because they did evil things but this man is innocent. 

*      How true it is  that even the worst criminals and sinners have the possibility to abandon the evil they do and come back to what is good, they have the possibility of conversion, they only have to be willing to.   

*      This man does not understand quite well, how this young man from Nazareth can be a king, but he believes it.    What did he see in that young man completely disfigured  on the cross, that allowed him to discover in him the Lord of the kingdom he preaches.  

*      How really true it is that God immediately welcomes us into his arms the moment we go back to him.    

*      Today you will be with me in paradise.    .

*      Happy thief, who faithful to his "trade", stole paradise, the heart of our Redeemer

*      I transcribe below something very beautiful that I have read in a commentary by Gianfranco Ravasi:  

            Luke in  the event of the two criminals narrated only by him, makes the kingdom shine, the kingdom that is inaugurated by this crucified man in a Spring day in Jerusalem.  The only words that Jesus could pronounce like a whisper have as its climax the symbolic word of Persian origin "paradise" which literally means "garden of delights" which is put in parallel with the word "kingdom" pronounced by the thief. The image is taken from the oriental world with its palaces surrounded by fascinating parks and rich fountains and   exuberant vegetation, this image in the lips of Jesus transport us to the first page of the Scripture, the Garden of Eden, from where man was expelled and where he goes back now with the guidance of Jesus Christ. Man has found again peace and the fullness of life, harmony and happiness.      


v  In this  liturgy, being a solemnity,  the three readings have the same theme, which is the kingship of Jesus Christ.        

v  The first paragraph is an invitation to give thanks to the Father for having granted us to participate in the inheritance of the saints.   

v  The Father has freed us from the power of darkness and has introduced us into the kingdom of his beloved son, in whom we have redemption of our sins.  

v  These words complement and explain what Luke has narrated about the Crucified Christ.   

v  The second paragraph describes who is this Son in whose kingdom we are introduced

Ø  He is the visibility of the invisible God.  

Ø  He is the first born, the first in everything that exists

Ø  For Him, through him and in  Him all has been created.   

Ø  Everything finds its cohesion in him.    

Ø  He is the head of the Church    

Ø  He is the first raised from the dead   

Ø  The fullness of being resides in Him.    

Ø  And by Him everything finds reconciliation, making peace in his blood, that means in his life given out of love.   

v  This is a really beautiful description of the kingship of Christ, which Luke describes through the story of the thief, the companion of the dying Jesus.  Jesus  until the end of his life is found among those that are discriminated against, the little and poor and sinners.     

v  All  that we will read this coming Sunday is an invitation to find again in the depth of our heart the answer to the question Jesus asks us: Who do you say that I am? Who am I for you?  



Love is patient 91. The first word used is makrothyméi.  This does not simply have to do with “enduring all things”, because we find that idea expressed at the end of the seventh verse.  Its meaning is clarified by the Greek translation of the Old Testament, where we read that God is “slow to anger” (Ex 34:6; Num 14:18).  It refers, then, to the quality of one who does not act on impulse and avoids giving offense.  We find this quality in the God of the Covenant, who calls us to imitate him also within the life of the family.  Saint Paul’s texts using this word need to be read in the light of the Book of Wisdom (cf. 11:23; 12:2, 15-18), which extols God’s restraint, as leaving open the possibility of repentance, yet insists on his power, as revealed in his acts of mercy.  God’s “patience”, shown in his mercy towards sinners, is a sign of his real power.  (91)

Being patient does not mean letting ourselves be constantly mistreated, tolerating physical aggression or allowing other people to use us.  We encounter problems whenever we think that relationships or people ought to be perfect, or when we put ourselves at the centre and expect things to turn out our way.  Then everything makes us impatient, everything makes us react aggressively.  Unless we cultivate patience, we will always find excuses for responding angrily.  We will end up incapable of living together,

 antisocial, unable to control our impulses, and our families will become battlegrounds.  That is why the word of God tells us: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31).  Patience takes root when I recognize that other people also have a right to live in this world, just as they are.  It does not matter if they hold me back, if they unsettle my plans, or annoy me by the way they act or think, or if they are not everything I want them to be.  Love always has an aspect of deep compassion that leads to accepting the other person as part of this world, even when he or she acts differently than I would like. (92)


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


RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.

La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo . Luis Alonso Schökel.