Friday, February 24, 2017


ü  The first reading and the Gospel invite us to trust in God.   

ü  Both sacred authors choose images of a tenderness and beauty  

ü  After listening during two Sundays the demands of the Law, now Jesus invites us to rest trustfully in the hands of the Father that, not only makes rain fall and sun rise on good and bad, but he also takes care of all his creatures even the flowers and the birds.   

FIRST READING   Is 49:14-15
This text is taken from the Book of the Second Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah. In the ministry of the prophet we distinguish two moments: the first one  cc. 40-48, the prophet speaks to the exiled in Babylon who will very soon begin the return to their country.

The second moment  49-55 he speaks to those who have already returned to their homeland, and some of them have not been welcomed as they dreamed, but in spite of it they have remained faithful to the Lord.

This section of the book is called the Book of Consolation. Consolation not only for the people who were exiled, but also for those in Jerusalem, whose life changes with the fall of the Babylonian power.

v Isaiah presents Zion, the holy city, as a woman who complains that “her Lord” has forgotten her, has abandoned her. 

v And the Lord answers  using an image so tender that she will not doubt anymore about the love of her God.   

v The tender love of a mother is what almost all of us have for sure in the first years of our life and throughout of our life.   

v In her arms the baby feels secure and at peace, these arms  reassure him/her that she/he is  not abandoned.   

v The author says that such is the love of God for all of us.   

v And he adds something else to give us full peace and security, and in this way conquer our love: Even if a mother could forget and abandon the baby she has conceived in her womb, I will never forget you, never abandon you.   

v We need to hear these words, but more than hear we need to believe them and abandon ourselves in the arms of our God like a baby in her mother’s arms.   

v God is described in different ways in the different books of Scripture, especially like a father, but also as a mother. From him we, human beings, have learned to be father and mother, we have received from him the capacity to have love and tenderness.    

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  62: 2-3. 6-7. 8-9

R. (6a) Rest in God alone, my soul.
Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R. Rest in God alone, my soul.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. Rest in God alone, my soul.
With God is my safety and my glory,
he is the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him.
R. Rest in God alone, my soul.


*     This psalm has the same tone as the first reading and the Gospel.  

*     God is hope, salvation, refuge, saving rock. 

*     There is an invitation to trust, to pour out our soul before God

*     We all are in need of pour out our heart in someone; the sacred author says that we can do that with God since he is our refuge.  

GOSPEL , Mt 6:24-34

Ø  Today we will read one of the most beautiful pages of Scripture

Ø  In the first reading Isaiah invited us to trust, and he uses the tender image of a mother.   
Ø  Matthew takes us by hand and invites us to look the creation who surrounds us with all its beauty, and he helps us to realize what God is doing, and that maybe we have given for granted.   
Ø  In the past Sundays Matthew presented Jesus teaching and unfolding the deep  truth and demands  of the Law  
Ø  Today he says to us that we cannot serve two masters God and money. Maybe we could rephrase this saying that we cannot serve God in large case and, god in small case that is to say a false god an idol,   
Ø  After that an invitation not to be worried and to trust  
o   He invites us to look at our life with all its needs, he mentions only some basic ones and then he asks us, what is more important life or food o clothing…. 
o   The birds do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, but the Father feeds them.  
o   The flowers of the field, he does not say the flowers that we use to decorate our churches, banquets… no, but those flowers that we step on, those we do not pay attention to, and are not object of our profit.   
o   Jesus invites us to look at them and see their beauty, he makes us realize that these flowers do not weave but they dress up better than Solomon, because the Father clothes them.   
o   If God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, will he not do much more for us?
o   And Jesus, as he asks us this question,  says also “men and women of little faith.   
o   Do not worry for tomorrow, when it comes it will bring its own worries but it will bring  also the presence of God in our life.   
Ø  This reading is not an invitation to do nothing, but to trust.   
Ø  Work is not only to cover our needs, work is a right of the human being called to be co-creator with his God.   
Ø  Through our work we are called to develop this gift that we have received, to be co-creators, to transform the creation that God has begun and that now he continues creating with our cooperation.  
Ø  Thus this reading is an invitation to work, to provide, to do whatever is needed, but knowing that there is  a Father who takes care of us with the tender love of a mother.   
Ø  There is another theme, that probably we will share some other day, is the sin of those who change  the human being from co-creator into an instrument of production, of profit, not respecting the dignity given to them by God.  The dignity to be the image of the creator and thus with the capacity to transform creation, and not to be used as an object.      
ü   And the first part of today’s Reading “to serve God and to serve the god money” awakens in me a question to which I do not have an answer. My worries are addressed not only to society, but to all of us the followers of Jesus . How can we called ourselves followers of Jesus without embracing all his values? He has explained the Law saying “but I say to you…’’ How can we have luxury in some of our temples, homes… when the true temples of our Father, the human beings, continue to die from hunger, I we know they are many, too many, how is that possible? Some of them are not far from us, they are close to us, in our same neighborhood.


*     Paul asks us to behave as true followers of Christ, as stewards of God’s mysteries.
*     The word we proclaim, that we share, which we try to interpret is not ours, it is the Lord’s.
*     Thus in all I do and say I have to be faithful, this is what is expected from a steward.
*     Paul is not worried about what people say about him, not even that his conscience be at peace, because who judges us is the Lord.
*     And he continues inviting  us not to judge , because we do not know the true reality of any one, only the Lord knows it and, He will reveal it in due time.
*     Let us live according to the Lord’s precept “love…” and let us stop passing judgement.

 Oh my Lord and my God!  How great is your goodness!  How infinite your mercy!...Who Lord, if not your burning charity, would suffer so much contempt? many indignities? many profanities?  Oh my Redeemer, by whom are you so offended? Ah!!!!!  Your sons, my God, the Holy Church’s preferred children!  The Priests of the Lord have trampled the most sacred laws, putting our Holy Mother the Church under their feet!!!  Because of this, there is no faith!  There is no charity on earth!...Oh my Jesus!  Send a ray of your divine light and illuminate the earth.  My Lord, especially enlighten all of the Church’s Prelates; my Lord, break this veil of mundane vanity, and make them see with impartial eyes the duties of their position according to Your Most Holy Law. 

During the holy visit, the Bishop should distribute the bread of the Divine Word; do not avoid confessing, engrave in the hearts of all the Lord’s Holy Law; teach through words and deeds the fulfillment of the Divine Commandments. Venerable Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Plan for the Renewal of the Church 32-33.  
Foundation of a Good Governance
The governance of a good Prelate must be based on the following virtues: 1st Humility, because with this virtue we please God, a he gives his grace, and the gift of good governance to the humble.   2nd Meekness, with this virtue we please men, as did Moses and this is the way to win someone else’s. 3rd Patience, with this virtue we possess our own soul, and the soul of the faithful; sometimes overlooking, according to the proverb that says: “who does not know to dissimulate, does not know how to govern.” 4th Listening to people in their difficulties and wishes, even when they are imprudent; if we can console them we give to them what they ask for, and if not possible, with good manners we try to explain to them, but never let them go with anger.
Means to obtain the gift of governance.  
To reach the gift of governance, the Prelate has to use the following means:  
1st Prayer, as Solomon did… 
 This is the first and most efficacious means to get from God the grace of good governance. 2nd The imitation of Jesus Christ, Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, as Peter calls him; the imitation of the Holy Apostles and of the Holy Prelates, taking one as a special patron or model in the episcopate, as Saint Francis of Sales, Saint Charles Boromeo, St. Thomas of Villanueva, the Blessed John of Ribera, St. Liguori and the Venerable Peter of Castro; and to read their written lives at length.   3rd The advice from wise, prudent and benevolent men. 4th To learn and to be informed about the situations, and never  rush in making decisions; and to give corrections on due time and in an appropriate way. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Notes of a Plan to Restore the Beauty of the Church: “On the Good Governance.”          

Monday, February 6, 2017

Ø  We have heard where to find happiness and we have heard also that we have been called to be light and salt.  
Ø  Today's readings speak to us about the Law and about the freedom to chooe that has been given to the human person.  
Book of Sirach  
Ø  The book of Sirach is also called Ecclesiasticus. 
Ø  This book belongs to the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament. 
Ø  The Wisdom books are: 
a.     Job
b.     Proverbs
c.      Ecclesiastes or Qohelet
d.     Ecclesiasticus  or   Sirach
e.     Wisdom 
Ø  The book of the Ecclesiasticus or Sirach is considered by the Jewish People and the Protestant Churches to be deutero-canonical, that is belonging to the second (deutero) canon (list).  The Catholic Church has included it in the Old Testament, and has used it abundantly in the liturgy.   
Ø  In the last paragraph of the foreword of the book written by the grandson of Jesus we read how the book was composed by Jesus Ben Sirach.   On chapter 50 at the end of the book the verses 27-28 explains again how all this wisdom literature was put together by Jesus son of Sirach. 
Ø  It was written around 180 B.C. in Hebrew by Jesus, and translated into Greek by his grandson.
FIRST READING   Sir 15:15-20
Ø  We can choose to keep the commandments, this is salvation for us or, we may reject them and this is condemnation. 
Ø  The Lord has given us the freedom to choose between fire and water, good and bad, life and death. 
Ø  The sacred writer tells us that whatever we choose will be given to us. God is respectful toward his creation; he respects the freedom he has given us.    
Ø  God is wise and all powerful. His eyes are on those who love and fear him, and he understands men's every deeds.  
Ø  God never commands anyone to do evil or to sin. 
Ø  How an interesting theme, the Law and human freedom. 
Ø  The law is for our good, but we have the freedom to reject it. However the Lord will continue to call us, to seek us and to wait for our coming back to him.   
RESPONSORIAL Ps 119: 1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes!
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Ø  This psalm is the longest psalm and, it sings the beauty of the Law of the Lord. 
Ø  It says how happy are those who follow the ways of the Lord. In this way the Lord has given us his commandments to guide and protect us.  .
Ø  The commandments were given to be observed, and the psalmist manifests his desire to be faithful.   
Ø  He asks God to open his eyes to contemplate the wonders of his Law.  
Ø  The last verse we will read this coming Sunday is an invocation asking the Lord to show to us  the way of his precepts.  
Ø  He also asks the Lord to instruct him so that he may be able to keep the Law with his whole heart. 
Ø  For an Israelite the Law is not made of a group of external rules, but something we carry inside and gives life to us.   
GOSPEL  Mt 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37   
v In the verses before today's reading Jesus says that he has come, not to abolish the law but, to fulfill it.   
v Yes, the Lord has come to help us to make his law real in our life.  He has come to help us to love the law and to conduct our life according to it. 
v Then Jesus unfolds before our eyes the real meaning of the law, he gives it its fulfillment 
v Let us see what he says to us and, let us pay attention to his teaching so that, we may be able to live according to what Jesus teaches about the Law.        
v He adds that your(our) justice, our  truth is not superior to that of the Pharisees and the scribes, we will not be able to be part of the Kingdom, of his project. 
v The Pharisees were known to be faithful in keeping the words of the law, but not always were they worried about the real meaning of the law.  
v Jesus is going to reveal to us the real meaning of some of the laws, those that worry him the most.  
ü  You have heard that it was said to your ancestors "You shall not kill"  
            But I say to you whoever gets angry with his brother will be subject to       judgment.   
            There are many ways to kill. With our words, looks, gestures we may hurt in such a way the self-esteem of someone that he or she will live without enthusiasm,     without any dreams for the future, considering him or herself worthless. That is,         that person is dead even if he or she continues to live.
ü  You have heard that it was said "You shall not commit adultery" 
But I say to you whoever looks at a woman with evil desire has already committed adultery with her in his heart.   Adultery is committed in the heart, even if there are no external actions, because adultery is an infidelity toward the person with whom I have committed myself. It is a lie I say with my behavior.  

ü  You have heard it was said " Do not take a false oath" 
But I say to you, do not swear at all, may your speech be yes or not.  
We have been given the ability to speak so that we may communicate with each other,  proclaim and say the truth, and this not only with words  but with our life.  Our life cannot contradict what our lips say.    
We see how Jesus takes the law to its deepest meaning, to our inner being, from the exterior to the interior where God dwells.  That is to say from the appearances that sometimes are false to a sincere and open life without lies.    


*     In the verses we read last week Paul said that he had decided to know nothing except Christ and Christ crucified wisdom of God and nonsense for those who do not love him. 

*     Today Paul says that he speaks with a wisdom which does not belong to this world, and that none of the rulers of the world can understand.  

*     If the rulers of this world had known this wisdom, a wisdom that God gives to all of us, they would certainly not crucified the Lord Jesus.  

*     He continues saying that God has prepared for those who love him, what eye has not seen and what ear has not heard. 

*     At the end of this fragment he says something very interesting, this has been revealed to us by the Spirit, because the Spirit knows God depth. I think that this sentence is an invitation to pray and seek its meaning in order to discover its richness.    


This, which at first sight may appear to the Bishops as something of little importance, is the only weapon with which they should defend the Holy Law which they should preach, and understand that without this, all of their works will be fruitless.  I could say great things here about the esteem that a Prelate should have of the example of his Divine Master, as God has taught me, but it seems to bold to me, for I speak with whom I am not worthy to hear, and so it appears to me I will fulfill my obligation simply writing the most essential points that His Divine Majesty has pointed out to me without excluding any, without failing to observe the Lord’s command. 

Therefore, after renewing themselves and their associates, the Bishops should fully devote themselves to distributing the bread of the Divine Word.  This is a point that has his Divine Majesty very sad and displeased because it is not preached as it should be.  Therefore, may the aim of preaching be the observance of the divine commandments and the end of times; for Judgment will flood the earth. (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Plan for the Renewal of the Church 19-20)

Preaching has always been considered the main duty of the Bishops. And Jesus our model, gave us an example ...A great wise man of our time has said: 

«The divine word has been, is and will be always the queen of the world.” 

«The divine word brought forth from nothingness all things.” 

«The divine word of Jesus Christ ransomed the lost.” 

«The societies are exhausted and hungry because they do not receive the daily bread….

I will copy here the fulminating words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy:  «I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whther it is convenient or inconvenient, convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.  But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry» (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder  of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Plan to Restore the Beauty of the Church  “Duties of the Prelate “)  


CLARET, Antonio María Claret, “Plan to Restore the Beauty of the Church.”

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

PARIS, María Antonia, “Plan for the Renewal of the Church,”  19-20.  

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. Adaptación de textos y comentarios a la BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO.