Friday, December 8, 2017


Last Sunday, First Sunday of Advent, the liturgy invited us to be awake, to be watchful.”  In the Second Sunday of Advent we are invited to prepare the way.” Only those who are watchful will be able to prepare the way.     

FIRST READING :   ISAIAH 40:1-5. 9-11

Ø  This Reading is taken from  the beginning of the book of the Second or Deutero-Isaiah. This prophet speaks to the people exiled in Babylon, and announces that they will soon return to their beloved country.   

Ø  The fragment we are going to read offers several images of a unique beauty, images of peace and consolation.   

o   First Image verses  1 &2.

§  He has served his sentence, these words bring to our imagination the feelings of the prisoner who has completed his sentence, and he is told  that he will soon be free.     

§  Another translation of the same sentence says: his service is completed. These words bring to our mind the soldier who is allowed to return to his country after having served his country during  the designated time.  

o   Second Image  versos 3 & 5

§  A voice cries out, what does it cry out? PREPARE THE WAY! how?   Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!  This image brings to our mind the preparations that were made in ancient times for the arrival of important persons: kings, emperors, war conquerors…     

§  The crooked way has to be made straight for the road to be safe for the journey.  

§  Thus the Lord will reveal himself and all human beings will see his glory.   

§  This text reminds us also of the crossing of the sea, when the slaves from Egypt walked through a safe path in the midst of the waters.  

§  Or the journey of these same slaves, being now a nation, in their way through the desert,  with them goes Yahweh, the Lord of Hosts, as the Old Testaments call him so many times.    

o   Third Image  versos  9 &10

§  The Messenger who brings good tidings; in ancient times the messages were sent personally by means of messengers.  

§  This messenger is asked to go up to a high mountain and cry out at the top of his voice.  

§  What does he has to announce? That God is here.   

§  God comes with power and he brings the salary with him, but his recompense comes before him.  What does that mean? Is he talking  about the salary that Christ has gained on the cross and which he transform in recompense freely given to us?     

Fourth Image  verse 11

§  The shepherd who feeds the sheep with kindness, is an idyllic image.  

§  The shepherd feeds the flock, he carries in his arms the little lambs and takes care of the ewes.   

This reading is filled with themes for our meditation and for our personal reflection on our own life. Let us prepare, in the desert of our heart, a way for the Lord, a way smooth so that our  brothers and sisters will not find any difficulty in the relationship with us. And thus we may be able to announce to all that the Lord is near, that he comes,  but more than that, that he is already in our midst and takes care of us as the shepherd takes care of each one of the sheep according to its needs.   

SALMO RESPONSORIAL – SALMO 85, 9-10. 11-12. 13-14.

R. (8) Muéstranos, Señor, tu misericordia y danos al Salvador.
Escucharé las palabras del Señor,
palabras de paz para su pueblo santo.
Está ya cerca nuestra salvación
y la gloria del Señor habitará en la tierra.
R. Muéstranos, Señor, tu misericordia y danos al Salvador.
La misericordia y la fidelidad se encontraron,
la justicia y la paz se besaron,
la fidelidad brotó en la tierra,
y la justicia vino del cielo.
R. Muéstranos, Señor, tu misericordia y danos al Salvador.
Cuando el Señor nos muestre su bondad,
nuestra tierra producirá su fruto.
La justicia le abrirá camino al Señor
e irá siguiendo sus pisadas.
R. Muéstranos, Señor, tu misericordia y danos al Salvador.

*      This psalm is a   supplication of the community in three parts:  

o   God’s actions   verses 2-4

o   A supplication   verses 5-8

o   A divine Oracle that is fulfilled   verses 9-14

*      The responsorial psalm of the Mass is taken from the third part.   

*      Let us reflect on the word peace =  SHALOM  in Hebrew.

o   Shalom has a wider and deeper meaning than our word peace   

o   Among us the word Peace frequently means absence of conflict, of differences, of confrontations, of war.   

o   But the meaning of shalom goes beyond this, maybe we could translate it as harmony.   

o   According to the dictionary the word harmony when it refers to music means the combination of simultaneous and different sounds, but  consistent. This means that peace understood as harmony is the combination of what is different to make a whole accord  and beautiful.   

o   Shalom speaks of peace and harmony in the relationships between creation and its Creator. This entails:    

§  The relationship of the human being with his/her creator.  Relations of peace and harmony in which we are filled with the joy of experiencing  and of knowing  that we are cared for, loved and fondled by our God, who is  our Father.    

§  The relationships among the human beings,  this harmony in the relationship is translated into justice. Relationships through which we acknowledge each other as brothers and sisters, all created by the same God who is Father and Mother of all.    

§  The relationship between the human beings and the rest of creation, and this also entails justice. As the psalm says justice and peace shall   kiss. Relationships in which we acknowledge ourselves as part of the same creation together with the rest of the beings.   

GOSPEL  – MARK 1:1-8

*      At the beginning of his Gospel, Mark says that he will tell us the Good News of Jesus, the Son of God.     

*      Good News because Jesus is always newness and goodness; and also because it is a new period in  salvation history.   

*      The person of Jesus will be revealed more and more clearly, as we go further into the Gospel of Mark until we reach the climax of Jesus death, when a Roman soldier, a pagan, on seeing how he dies will recognize him as the Son of God.     

*      The biblical quotation which follows after the prologue is a combination of different texts taken from   Exodus 23:20; Isaiah 40:3 y Malachi 3:1,   

*      Mark introduces John the Baptist as the Herald of good news who can point out the Messiah as present.   

*      After explaining the mission of John in verses 2 and 3; his preaching in verse 4, his success in verse 5 and his life style in verse 6; in verses 7 and 8 the Baptist introduces Jesus to us.  

*      He tells us that he does not feel himself worthy to loosen the thongs of Jesus sandals. That he, John baptizes in water, but Jesus will baptize them in the Holy Spirit.  


 But God, who had given the idea for everything, disposed that the procurator came that morning to
celebrate the mass. I saw clearly in this the Divine disposition, and was encouraged to speak to him after mass (after the time of the mass I had been praying to God- if He was pleased – to prepare the procurator to accept it well and that everything could be done without any disappointment. This would be the most painful for me.)    Everything came out as prepared by the hand of God. Because, after the mass, I explain to Him the motives and inconveniences I had for not leaving the house. And how the Lord had enlighten me that night in that same way, that it was alright and that he would take care to send a message not to go on with the other house. I gave thanks to the Lord who, as a good father, remedies the necessities of his children and provides for their economy. (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters , Autobiography 187)

From the opening to the closing days of my tenure in office, I wrote a number of circular letters; but I had no desire to write a properly pastoral letter until I had finished my first pastoral visitation of the whole archdiocese, so that my words would apply to the real situation and not be just so much idle talk.
My first pastoral letter, written and signed on September 20, 1852, was addressed to the clergy. This letter was reprinted and expanded to include declarations on the following: (1) clerical dress, (2) duties of vicars forane, (3) duties of pastors and other priests, (4) arrangements for pastors and assistants, (5) style of life, (6) chaplains, (7) marriage regulations, (8) marriage dispensations.
My second pastoral letter of March 25, 1853 was addressed to the laity, reminding them of what we had taught them in the missions and pastoral visits we had just completed.  The third pastoral was in protest against a shipment of evil books brought in by boat. The fourth was an invitation to prayer and other pious works in order to obtain the declaration of the dogma of Mary's Immaculate Conception.  The fifth was written on the occasion of the declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. This was published in Cuba, Barcelona, and Paris. May it all be for the greater glory of God and Mary Most Holy, and for the good of souls, as this has always been my intention. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder de the  Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters   Autobiography 546,547,549.

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