Friday, December 1, 2017


We begin a new liturgical year, the year of Mark. The Church invites us every year to contemplate Jesus through the eyes and the experience of a different evangelist.  Let Mark guide us during this new year to experience Jesus in the way he experienced him.    

The Gospels tell us real events of the life of Jesus, but the evangelists are less interested in the events themselves than in the meaning of the events under in the light of faith. Thus each one uses the parables, the events, and the miracles that better help to convey their message about the person of Jesus.  The Gospels are in reality theological reflections on the life, actions and, words of our Lord Jesus. 

Ø  Mark presents Jesus more human but, at the same time, he says from the very beginning of  his Gospel that Jesus is the Son of God.  He will repeat this again in chapter 8 when he narrates the confession of Peter and at the end of the Gospel the Roman centurion will exclaim “truly this man was the son of God.”    

Ø  The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels and he has been the base for the composition of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.   

Ø  This Gospel is also called the gospel of the disciple, because it is like a handbook for the disciple to learn to be like the Master.   


*      The first Reading is taken from the third part of the book of Isaiah called Third Isaiah. 

*      This prophet has the difficult mission to sustain the hope of the people that has come back from exile, and do  not see the promises fulfilled in the way they expected. 

*      In this section of the book of Isaiah there is a tension between the present worries and the future hope; the accusation for the crimes committed and the messages of encouragement; the present disappointment and the messianic expectation, the openness to the foreigners and the condemnation of these foreigners.   Toward the end of the book we find the theme of the future Jerusalem, the transfigured city as the fulfillment of the promises.     


  Is 63,16-17.19.64,2-7

o   In the liturgy of Israel, as well as in the liturgy of the Church, we celebrate the memorial of the intervention of God in our history, we make these events present, we do not repeat them today and, we do not remember them as past events, but with our celebrations and worship we make present their salvific meaning for us today.  

o   In the beautiful reading of this Sunday the author and we with him remind God how our experience of him has been in the past.  

§  You are our Father and our Redeemer, this will be  your name for ever   (63, 16)

§  Neither eye, nor ear have heard of a god who does so many wonders as you do for those who hope in you. (64,3)   

§  At the end of the Reading for this Sunday the prophet repeats to God, You Oh Lord are our father; we are the clay and you are the potter; we are the work of your hands.   

§  How a trust and confidence in these hands that have fashioned us, caressing us and protecting us even without being aware of it, and spite of our sins and imperfections. His love does not have either limits or conditions.  

o   The prophet  remembers  also the wonders God did for his people in the past.  It is another way to remind God  again who he is and who he has been for us.    

§  In this remembrance we wish  that God do the same wonders now 

§  That he protect us so that we do not go back to our evil ways 

§  The prophet mentions what are these evil ways and he asks God that in spite of all of these He continues to be our Redeemer and Creator.  

  Responsorial Psalm -  Ps 80, 2ac y 3b. 15-16. 18-19

R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved

This psalm is at the same time a lamentation and a supplication.  

We may distinguish three parts in it   

§  An initial invocation  vv. 2-4

§  A lamentation (vv. 5-8)

§  A plea  (vv. 6.9-20)

The responsorial psalm is taken from the initial invocation and from the plea. 

§  We invoke God as shepherd, as Lord of Hosts, as vinedresser, as creator… 

§  We tell him that if he helps us and if he continues to be with us, we will never abandon Him. 

§  The new life has been given us in baptism, we can invoke him with complete trust, but at the same time with responsibility, being aware of what we say, and thus live according to the words we pronounce.   

SECOND READING: 1 Cor  1:3-9

«  We begin the reading of the letter of Paul to the community of Corinth  

«  In the first two verses Paul introduces himself as apostle and introduces also his companion  Sosthenes.

o   Sosthenes was well known in Corinth. He had been the chief of the Synagogue of the city. His conversion, awaken a great interest, and maybe he even was a good preacher.  All these circumstances were probably the reason for Paul to associate this man to his ministry.  To mention his name in his letter could help Paul in his relationship with the community of Corinth, that so many times manifested itself cold and dry with the apostle.   

«  Today’s Reading begins with a greeting wishing  the grace and peace of the God for the community. 

«  He continues saying that he gives thanks to God for the community  

«  The Lord will strengthen them until his day, the day of the Lord Jesus, called by the first communities “parousia” 

o   This word is not of Christian origin, it was used in the Greek world. Its initial meaning “the coming of someone” was used mainly for the coming of the emperor or a prince. 

o   Although in this passage of his letter Paul does not use the word “parousia” but “apocalypse” which means “revelation, manifestation.”  Paul uses both words in his letters.   

o   The use here of the Word “apocalypse=revelation” for the day of the Lord, instead of using parousía=coming, helps us to understand the meaning of the second coming of the Lord, as a manifestation at the end of human history.    

GOSPEL: MARK 13:33-37

Ø  The theme of this first Sunday of Advent is the follow up of what we read the last Sundays of last year: “be alert” 

Ø  Be alert, but without fear, with unlimited trust and longing for his salvation which is the fruit of his kindness.   

Ø  He who loves is always waiting for the beloved.  Jesus must truly become the beloved for each one of us and for the community.  

Ø  Let us await the complete fulfillment of the promises of new heavens and new earth where fear, doubts, tears, suffering will be no more; everything will be peace and harmony.   



  And let us listen to the Lord who says   



 I always felt the present of His Divine Majesty at my right hand side. This divine presence was so real and true that it seemed that a person was at my side. When I would lift my heart to God in order to defend myself from the fury of hell (which were many),  I would incline my eyes toward the Lord as is usually done when talking respectfully to a person, and I was so sure of the divine presence that I did not  dare to look at that part where I   was sure His Divine Majesty was. I would only lift my eyes to an image of Christ crucified, that I had before me and then I would seen an extraordinary clarity in my cell that I do not know to what to compare it. The wall that was before me became whiter than snow, without any comparison; and it seemed that whiteness came from a reflector whose light was so clear and bright that I seemed like the rays of the sun, but cleared and soothing. Venerable María Antonia Paría, Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculata Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 21

I couldn't stand for anyone to make fun of them, as young boys are often wont to do, despite the exemplary punishment meted out to the boys who made fun of Elisha .

      Moreover I remember that when I was seated in church and an old man would come in, I would stand up gladly and give him a seat. I would always greet old people on the street, and if I had the pleasure of talking with one of them, I enjoyed it immensely. God grant that I have known how to use the advice of these elderly gentlemen to advantage

My God, how good you are! How rich in mercy you have been to me! If you had given others the graces you have given me, they would have cooperated with them so much more. Mercy, Lord: I'll begin to be good from now on, with the help of your grace. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 20-21



CLARET, St.Anthony Mary  Claret, Autobiography.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro pueblo, adaptación del texto y comentarios. (The Bible of our People, adaptation of the text and commentaries)

Sagrada Biblia, versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española. (Sacred Bible, official edition of the Spanish Conference  of Bishops)

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