Friday, December 15, 2017


The third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday” which means Sunday of Joy. In the midst of the penance, during the time of Advent, in preparation for Christmas that the Church used to do, this Sunday was an invitation to take a break in the journey, the faithful were invited to rejoice because the birth of the Savior was near and, the time of preparation was almost over. As a visible sign of this invitation to rejoice the Church uses in the liturgy of this Sunday the pink color, which is brighter than the violet  we use in the other three Sundays.      

FIRST READING: Is 61: 1-2. 10-11

Ø  Chapter 61  of Isaiah forms a unit which begins and ends mentioning the name of God whom he calls Yahweh Adonai  אֲדֹנָי   which means Lord my God.    

Ø  It has three parts:  

o   Verses  1-3a, the prophet announces his vocation  

o   Verses 3b-9 are about the people and we may think that they are pronounced by the Lord   

o   Verses 10-11 declaration of the holy city’s joy .    

Ø  The Reading for this Sunday is taken from the first and third parts   

o   The prophet says that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him, because he has anointed him   

o   He brings good tidings to the little ones: the poor and those with wounded hearts.   

o   He proclaims the year of grace in terms of the Jubilee   Lv 25,10-17

o   It is a year of liberation for some and of vengeance for others.   

o   Vengeance in the Old Testament has a different meaning from the meaning it has among us. For us it implies hardness of heart and cruelty, but for Israel it meant the vengeance from God which meant defending the rights of the poor and the restoration of injustice.   Without doubt it is experienced as punishment, suffering and deprivation for those who have more material goods that needed.  It is the original justice of God, the Creator. Creation is for all, and if I accumulate more than I need I take it from another human being who will than suffer want.   God comes to restore the original justice of creation, his justice which is always love.   

o   Verses 10 to 11 are words in the mouth of the holy city that rejoices at the presence of God who has adorned her, everything has bloomed in her.  As everything material has been embellished in her also God will make justice and praise florish in her.   

o   Probably the prophet wants to encourage the dwellers of Jerusalem who are discouraged before the ruins in the city; that suffer  because those who come back want to take back what they left, and those who remained in the city want to keep what they acquired.   

o   The season of Advent reminds us that we are in the Great Jubilee since the incarnation and coming among us of the Son of God.  He is the Great Jubilee, the Jubilee of pardon, in him justice and praise become real. And united to him in baptism we can be justice and praise too.   

 RESPONSORIAL: PSALM  Lk 1:46-48; 49-50; 53-54   

 R. (Is 61:10b) My soul rejoices in my God.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
. My soul rejoices in my God.
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
My soul rejoices in my God.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy.
R. My soul rejoices in my God.

For the responsorial psalm we will recite the Song of Mary, called also Magnificat for the word at the beginning of the song in the Latin version.   It means “to proclaim.”

«  Mary belongs to the little ones, the poor, the humble.  

«  She rejoices because God has looked on her lowliness and has done great things, wonders in her.   

«  She rejoices because the Mighty One has taken vengeance: he protects the poor and restores justice filling the hungry with good things, and sending away empty the rich.   And this because his mercy endures from one generation to the next. The vengeance of God saves all, the humble and the arrogant. To the poor he gives plenty and to takes away what the powerful have because this helps them to look for the salvation that comes only  from God who  offers it  to all.   

SECOND READING  1 Thes 5:16-24

*      Paul invites the community of Thessalonica to rejoice, praying unceasingly and giving thanks. 

*      He invites them also not to harden their spirit, not to despise the teaching, to test everything and to keep what is good, rejecting what is bad.   

*      Maybe the enthusiasm for the charisms had reached the community of Thessalonica.   

*      What is new causes always difficulties, there are always frictions with the tradition, but Paul gives a good rule, to test everything, that means to listen and to  discern.  To discern means to listen to the official teaching of the Church to know what comes from God and what comes from the evil spirit, even if sometimes it comes disguised as piety, spirituality and austerity.   

*      This fragment ends wishing that the God of peace make us perfect, and assures us that the one who calls us, is God, he is faithful and thus He will make us perfect. Our task is to open up to his action, because He is the one working on us.    

GOSPEL  Jn 1:6-8; 19-28

ü  The Church puts again in front of  John the Baptist.  

ü  Verses 6 to 8 are inserted in the prologue of John’s Gospel, breaking the harmony of the prologue. 

ü  It is a commentary to clarify that in spite of how great his disciples see him, he is not the light, but the witness to the light, so that through his preaching men and women could believe in the true light, which is the Logos(Word) made flesh, Christ.    

ü  In verses  19 to 28 we read the testimony that John the Baptist gives about himself:  

o   He is not Elijah, the Judaism before and after the New Testament considers Elijah, not as the precursor of the Messiah, but of God himself. 

o   He is not either the prophet they expected. The prophet is the one that brings salvation at the end of times: King, priest and prophet realities never applied to John and that apply to Jesus.  

o   He is a voice that cries out in the desert “prepare the way.”  

o   He announces the presence of one greater than he. 

Let us end this reflection with the words of a prayer from the Brazilian Bishop Helder Camara:

Make me, O God, a rainbow of goodness, hope and peace.   

Rainbow which may never announce false goodness, 

vain hopes, false peace. 

Rainbow, send by You to announce that your Fatherly love, the death of your Son and the wonderful action of the Spirit, O Lord, will never fail.    


 Many times, Christ our Lord has manifested Himself to me as a young man with all His majesty. Some times I have seen His Divine Face and all His Scared Humanity and it always broke my heart because I have never seen him glorious but always suffering the most atrocious tortures as if wanting to choke the Sacred Heart in His Holy Breast, more than once our Lord has told me, “ cry, my daughter cry for the evils in the church that pierce My Heart”, and with this, as if His Majesty would open His breast to show me His Heart surrounded by thorns. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters.  Autobiography 14.

I was barely six when my parents sent me to school. My first schoolmaster was a very active and religious man, Mr. Anthony Pascual . He never punished or upbraided me, but I was careful not to give him any cause for doing so. I was always punctual, always attended classes, and always prepared my lessons carefully.

I learned the catechism so well that whenever I was asked to I could recite it from beginning to end without a mistake. Three of the other boys learned it as well as I had, and the teacher presented us to the pastor, Dr. Joseph Amigo. This good man had the four of us recite the whole catechism on two consecutive Sunday nights. We did it without a single mistake before all the people in the church. As a reward he gave each of us a holy card, which we have treasured ever since.. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters.   Autobiography 22 and 23.


Comentario al Antiguo Testamento II.(Commentary to the Old Testament) Casa de la Biblia 1995.

Comentario al Nuevo Testamento. (Commentary to the New Testament) Casa de la Biblia 1997.
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography.  
CLARET, Anthony Mary . Autobiography.  

RAVASI, Gianfranco.    Segun las Escrituras: double commentay to the  Sunday’s readings.   San Pablo 2005.

SCHÖKEL Luis Alonso. La Biblia de Nuestro Pueblo, adaptation of the texto & commentaries:   International Team.

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