Thursday, August 17, 2017


ü  The first reading and the Gospel today speak of the universality of salvation, of the love of the Father God toward all his creatures, no matter what nationality, language, culture, religion o lack of religion.    

ü  And Paul in the second reading, taken from the letter to the Romans, speaks about the fidelity of God to his promises.   

FIRST READING   Is 56: 1.6-7

Ø  Chapter 55 at the end of the book of the Second Isaiah or Deutero-Isaiah, also called the Book of Consolation, speaks to us of listening to the Word of God.          

Ø  The book of the Third Isaiah is a call to put in practice the word we have heard.  

Ø  It is a call to practice justice and equity.

Ø  God will treat in the same way those who belong to the people of Israel, the people of the election, as well as those belonging to the gentiles, if both practice justice, that is to say if both allow God to be part of  their lives.   

Ø  The Lord will lead them to his holy mountain, Jerusalem.    

Ø  Here, in his Temple the Lord will fill them with joy.    

Ø  He will accept his/her sacrifices and offerings.     

Ø  Because the House of the Lord is a house of prayer, a house for the loving conversation of the human being with his/her Father, God.    

Ø  Thus it will be called and known by all peoples   

Ø  Later, Jesus will remind the people in the temple that “the house of my Father is a house of prayer…”  

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps  67:  2-3. 5. 6. 8


May God have pity on us and bless us;

May he let his face shine upon us

So may your way be known upon earth

Among all nations, your salvation.


May the nations be glad and exult

Because you rule the peoples in equity

The nations on the earth you guide.


May the peoples praise you, O God

May all the peoples praise you!

May God bless us

And may all the ends of the earth fear him!


Ø  This psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving made of three stanzas separated by a refrain. 

Ø  It is an invitation to all peoples to praise and give thanks to God, to sing his wonderful works for all of us.    

GOSPEL  Mt 15:21-28

v Jesus has withdrawn to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  

o   These two cities were famous in the Ancient Middle East. 

o   Their names are also mentioned in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament. 

o   They are about 12 or 13 miles apart from each other.  

o   They belong to Lebanon and are situated close to the Israel’s border.  

o   Sidon is called now Saida,  Arabic  word which means “fishing”. 

o   Tyre is called in Arabic language “rock” because it is built on a rocky isle in the Mediterranean Sea.     

v Maybe the Lord has gone to this region seeking some peace and rest.   

v But here his Father is going to speak to him through the mouth of a pagan woman.  

v In this episode, which Matthew has transmitted, we see Jesus as always attentive to what his Father wants to tell him in his interaction with every human being he encounters in his life journey.    

v Jesus says to his disciples, and also to the woman, although in a very strange way, that he has been sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, this is the will of his Father.   

v The gentiles are not included in his mission.  

v The woman is a desperate mother, she does not know what to do, where to go or who to ask for help, her daughter is very ill.   

o   We do not know anything about this woman, only that she is a Canaanite, this is the only thing we need to understand this episode. 

o   Besides being a Canaanite, we are told that she has a daughter who is sick and tormented by an evil spirit; therefore we understand that she is a mother in great need of help.  

o   We do not know if this demon is some of the consequences of her illness, by that time sickness was very often considered as diabolic possession.  

v This woman must have heard about Jesus, about his powers to cure, his goodness and compassion, his unconditional help.  

v And she walks behind Jesus and the disciples shouting and asking for help “Lord, Son of David, have pity on me!”   

v What a beautiful prayer full of trust and humility! Trust in the goodness of Jesus, humility because she asks for help, she acknowledges her poverty and helplessness.   

v Every time I read this Gospel two things call my attention in a especial way:  

o   First the reaction of the disciples which is very much like the reaction they had before the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Do something to get rid of this problem! 

o   Second the words of Jesus, he has been sent… the bread of the children is not given to the dogs.  

o   Certainly dogs may mean pagan or gentile as it was customary to call them.  

v But looking more deeply into the meaning of the text and trying to find the message we are surprised of what has happened here:  

o   Jesus is honestly convinced of what he says and wants to be faithful to the will of his Father.  

o   The woman does not get angry at Jesus’ answer.  

o   She acknowledges that it is true what Jesus says about the children of the house and the doggies, but she also knows that the doggies, the puppies eat the scraps that fall from the master’s table.  

o   You may translate these words as follows: it is true my Lord that we, pagans, are the dogs, but the puppies receive the scraps, what is leftover by the children, which are you the people of Israel. 

o   Briefly, you can also help us, even having been sent to seek those who are lost of the house of Israel, the children of the household.  

o   Jesus becomes surprised by the faith of this pagan woman, and says to her “O woman, great is your faith!” “Be it done for you as you wish.” Here again Jesus is surprised by the faith of someone pagan, as it happened to him when the Roman centurion approached him.    

o   The Gospel ends with these words “and the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.  

v What has happened to Jesus?  

o   Many scholars see in that episode that Jesus, although being faithful to what he understands to be the will of his Father over his mission, he is open to whatever the Father wants to reveal to him.  

o   I think that what has happened here is very much like what had happened at the Wedding at Cana. The words of Mary helped Jesus to discover the will of his Father in that situation. At the beginning he did not planned to do anything because his hour had not come yet.   

o   But in both cases, he is open and attentive to his Father. Jesus is humble, as I have read in one of the commentaries to this reading.  

o   I believe that this episode is a strong call to all of us and to the whole Church as a faith community, the Lord speaks to us through the events, many times contrary, and also through any human being, believer or not, walking on the right track or not, on our side or against us. 

o   Because Jesus has not come to do his will but the will of the one who has sent him. We should also repeat over and over again, we have been sent to do the will of the Lord Jesus who has sent us, and we have not been sent to do our own will. 

SECOND READING   Rom 11:13-15.29-32

*     In last Sunday’s Reading Paul said to us that he was suffering for his own people, that if he could he would be willing to be separated from Christ for the sake of his people. 

*     Today he speaks to the gentiles and tells them how proud he is to be their apostle.   

*     And he adds that he glories in his ministry in order to make jealous his own people. 

*     Because if their rejection of the message has brought about the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be?  

*     And he continues as if reflecting aloud, the gifts of God are irrevocable, because our negative responses do not make God change his will over us.    

*     This is cause for a great confidence for all of us, the Lord who calls us, continues to call us to life, to his friendship, to mission, to faith, and he waits for us until we decide to come back after moving away from him.


I humbly  turn to Your Beatitude in supplication that, you may grant me the faculty to admit to the profession some of the mentioned virgins, once their novitiate be approved by Your Holiness.  Thus this so useful Institute will have its beginnings in this region, and thus his spirit, to serve God and to help their neighbors, will be spread very quickly. The new religious house will have the same name as it had in Tarragona and, it will substantially fulfill the same rule of St. Benedict.  

However, I considered necessary to do verbally, as I have already mentioned, some adaptations   responding to the circumstances, time and climate. Because fearing to fall into error, I entrusted this business to the All Powerful before putting in writing such modifications.  What will be established later is now kept in practice.  
   Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Petition to Pius IX   November 20  1854. 

 In view of the good effects produced by the exact observance of our Constitutions, which with great pleasure of our heart we are fulfilling for 24 years, I have the honor to present to Your Holiness a copy of them,  humbly and instantly asking Your Holiness, that as you deigned so benignantly give the Document for the foundation, in the same way, may you deign to put to our Constitutions the seal of your approval.   

Carcagente, November 4 1875.Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Leter to Pope Pius IX, November  4  1875.


CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Letters

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

PARIS, María Antonia, Letters

STOCK, Klemens. La Liturgia de la Palabra. Ciclo A (Mateo)  2007


No comments:

Post a Comment