Monday, October 8, 2018




  XXVIII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE B – 2018 

«  The readings for the liturgy of this Sunday speak of the true wisdom, the wisdom that comes from God.   

«  In the Gospel we will read how Jesus shows to the young man, who asks him about eternal life, the way to perfect happiness and true wisdom. 

FIRST READING: Wis 7:7-11

Ø  In the verses 1 to 6 of this chapter, the King introduces himself and confesses that he is like everybody else.    

Ø  And thus he prays to obtain the wisdom he needs to live his mission of king of Israel.  

Ø  The text that follows, beginning on verse 7 is very similar to what we find in 1 Kg 3 about the dream of Solomon at Gabaon, where God tells him to ask whatever he wishes, and the only thing Solomon wishes is wisdom to govern his people.  

Ø  He mentions first prudence and afterwards he speaks of wisdom.  

Ø  He prefers it to   

o   royal power

o   wealth, which is nothing compared to her  

o   the most precious stones   

o   gold, which compared to wisdom, is like the sand  

o   silver, which is like mud, compared to wisdom  

Ø  He prefers her to health and beauty 

Ø  He chose her as the light to guide him   

Ø  And he says, that with her came all that is good for him.   

Ø  Because in her hands there are innumerable riches.   

Ø  What a beautiful text, which describes the wisdom that comes from God.

Ø  With wisdom freedom is given to us. Freedom, which helps us to overcome all the ties from our fears, sins, envies, laziness

Ø  Alonso Schökel writes in his commentary found on the Bible of our People:  

The wisdom of God cannot be recognized if we do not become reconciled with our human nature, and from there to consider it as a gift from God, a gift which surpasses all the other goods which man might acquire. It is a gift, which as every gift grows as we share it.   

 RESPONSORIAL PSALM– Ps  90  

ü  This psalm is a meditation on the value of time.      

ü  In the verses we will sing on Sunday, we ask God to have mercy on us, that his kindness may descend upon us.  

ü  The last verse helps us to understand that at the end, man will be what he had worked on himself and what God had done on him.    

R Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us,
for the years when we saw evil.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children;
and may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! 

GOSPEL  Mk 10:17-30

«  Jesus continues on the road to Jerusalem.   

«  A man approaches him; he is very much interested in speaking to Jesus.   

«  He wants to know, what he has to do to obtain eternal life. This is a very valid question.   

«  John Paull II in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor (the Splendor of Truth) says that this is a vital question, which every human being has and wishes to find an answer.     

«  It is not a question about laws and rules; it is an existential question about  how to live.   

«  Jesus reminds the man that only God is good. Yes, we are faced with our God, who is incredibly good and kind.   

«  The answer of Jesus is about the teaching of the Law, to enter eternal life keep the commandments.  

*      What commandments?  All those we call the commandments of the second stone, which have to do with our relationship with our neighbors: you shall not kill (5) you shall not commit adultery (6) you shall not steal (7) you shall not bear false witness (8) you shall not covet what belongs to you neighbor (9-10) you shall respect your father and mother (4).    

*      The man has lived according to these commandments since his youth. We do not know if this man is a mature man or a young man.    

«  The dialogue takes a different turn now:    

*      Jesus looks at the man with love and offers him something else, he reveals to the man the true richness, that he is missing:  

§  Leave all that you have, but do not throw it away, instead, sell it   

§  Give this money to the poor, so that your possessions will help others  

§  Afterwards, come and follow me. You can only follow me, if you leave everything behind.   

§  Only the following of Jesus is what gives meaning to “leave, sell and give”.   

*      We have been told that this man is rich. The riches are not bad since they come from the goods of creation, which have God as the author.   

*      The riches are bad when they become our god, and we cannot live anymore without them.   

*      This man is rich, he is unable to discover the beauty, the wisdom that Jesus offers him.   

*      Thus he goes away sad, he was joyful and ready when he came but he heard what he did not want to hear.

«  Now Jesus looks at his disciples and  

*      He tells them how difficult it is for he who has his heart fixed on riches to enter the kingdom of God.  

*      They are surprised, but Jesus says to them that man cannot do this, but God can do it.   

*      Jesus uses one of his exaggerations to help us understand his point, the camel and the needle.  

*      Peter asks, probably in the name of all of them, “what will we have at the end since we have left everything behind to follow you.”   

*      You will have one hundred fold in this life for each thing you have left behind, but this will be accompanied by persecutions, that are difficulties and sufferings.    

*      You will have eternal life in the “future world.”  

SEGUNDA LECTURA: Heb 4,12-13

ü  The Word of God is not like man’s word, which is changing and sometimes false. 

ü  The Word of God is living and effective; it does what it says, the Word is creative.   

ü  Sharper than any two edged sword, the word discerns between good and bad. It does not act on appearances but from the deepest recesses of our truth.      

ü  Nothing is concealed for her, her light illumines everything; nothing and nobody can escape from her. 

ü   Verse 13 ends saying that we will give an account of our life to her. Yes, we will give an account of our truth and our lie, to her. 
  
CLARETIAN CORNER


in brief, with what he sent us [Caixal], what the postulants brought, what had come from Cuba and the alms that, you know,  our most dear Father His Excellency Claret has sent, we manage to go on; and in conclusion, I say that the way it has been done  is more to be experienced that to explain, the finger of God is here, and without this nothing could be done,  and it will be so in all our convents. Do you not remember what happened to His Excellency in Cuba? That the Lord made him buy the house  without [Claret]willing it, since he had said: “I do not know why I have bought it.” Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress.  Letter to Currius in History, ch VIII note 73.  

I have read them and they look good to me; I have missed two books among those you mentioned, one is about the Exercises of St. Ignatius explained and published by me, and the other is the life of Mary Most Holy that is the Mystical City of God written by Mother Agreda; I think that you know both works and maybe you have them, but if you do not have them you may order them from the Religious Bookstore and I will pay them…St  Anthony Mary Claret, Founder, letter to Currius in History, ch VIII note 116.  
BIBLIOGRAPHY

 ALVAREZ, Jesús, cmf. History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, 1980.

PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus – Meditations on the Gospel for Year B.

RAVASI, GIANFRANCO. Según las Escrituras – Año B. Traducido por Justiniano Beltrán. Bogotá 2005.  

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. LA BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO. Misioneros Claretianos. China 2008.


Monday, October 1, 2018




   XXVII SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - CYCLE B – 2018 

The teachings this Sunday are about love between the married couple.  

FIRST READING : Gn 2:18-24

THE BOOK OF GENESIS  

«  Genesis is the name of the first book of the Greek translation of the Bible. In the Hebrew Bible the name is Beresit= In the beginning.   
«  It is the book about the origins. It has two parts, the first about the origin of the universe and the human race, the second about the origin of the people of Israel.  
«  The book is formed by narrations and genealogies of Israel’s ancestors. 
«  Chapters 1-11 show mythical characteristics, like in the literature of the surrounding peoples. 
«  The myths are part of the system of beliefs of a given culture or community, that considers those myth to be true. Very often the myths try to explain the origins of that culture, or  the origins of the world, or try to respond to the questions human beings have about: suffering, evil, death, sickness….. 
«  In the case of the narrations in the book of Genesis the sacred authors used the myths from the surrounding peoples and modified them according to their faith in God. By means of these 11 chapters the people of Israel wants to give the message that God is the creator who creates by his word.  
«  In these 11 chapters we find especial characters, among them Adam the first man created by God. Noah who represents the prototype of the just man. Adam represents the human race created by God. Noah represents the human race saved by God, he is like a new Adam, since the story of the flood is the story of a new beginning.  
«  As we proceed  reading  the first 11 chapters of Genesis, we realize that running parallel to God’s kindness, we see the human creature going deeper and deeper into a world of sin and evil: from the disobedience of the first couple, to the killing of one brother of another driven by jealousy in the story of Cain and Abel, to Noah spared from the waters of the flood that eliminated the human beings because of their general sinfulness, to the climax of human pride, ungratefulness and mistrust in the story of Babel  

THIS SUNDAY’S READING

§  God realizes that man cannot be alone. 

§  The narration tells us that God molded with clay all the animals, but when the man saw them, he could not find a suitable partner for him.  
§  Then God decides to make another being like Adam
§  Adam is so surprised on seeing the beauty of this new creature, who goes beyond his expectations, that he exclaims:  this is truly bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh! That means, “she is like me”.  
§  The first couple of the human race has appeared on earth, couple that is united in love. A couple that is joyfully surprised when they see each other face to face. A couple that is the image of God who is love.    
§  The sacred text says that this is the reason for man to leave his family to unite himself to his woman, and thus become one flesh. 
§  The love that is born from this union and the strength of the commitment that springs from this covenant goes beyond the blood strings of the family of origin  thus, the text says: man will abandon his father and mother…   

 RESPONSORIAL PSALM – Ps 128  

  May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R.
May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
R.
May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R.
May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives.
May you see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel!
R.
May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives. 

ü  The blessing of the man who fears the Lord is his work, his wife and his children.

ü  His blessing is to be blessed by the Lord in Zion, and to see the prosperity of the holy city Jerusalem all the days of his life.

ü  Peace is part of the blessing from God to those who fear the Lord.   

GOSPEL  MK 10:2-16

«  The liturgy allows us to use the long or the short version of this gospel, in this commentary I will use the short one which has to do with the matrimony, leaving the rest of the text which has to do with the children, because we already have dealt with this theme in former commentaries.     
«  Jesus leaves from his native land and goes to Jerusalem, where, according to what he has told them, he will suffer, die and rise from the dead.  
«  The Pharisees want to know what Jesus thinks about   Dt. 24:1 on divorce.
«  Some interpreters of this text said that a man could repudiate or give a document of divorce to his wife, for any reason whatsoever: he did not like his wife anymore, the wife had burned the meal etc.. Hoever the wife could not divorce her husband.  
«  Jesus asks them what does Moses say about that, and then he explains to them, that since the people were not ready to understand, accept and live the commitment of matrimony as it had been thought and designed by the Creator, Moses allowed them to divorce their wives.   
«  He speaks them about the text in Genesis. We have already commented on this text in the first Reading.      
«  It is true that the word of God has to be interpreted according to the reality of the present moment in order to be fully understood, however there are some foundations put by God which cannot either  be changed   or ignored. It is the case of the present theme.    

*      The equality between man and woman.  

*      Love as the foundation of the conjugal union.  

*      Jesus insists on the fidelity to the  covenant of love.  

*      Marriage is a covenant of love, which implies equality of rights, dignity and, excludes any relationship based on dominion of one over the other.  

*      I write below a sentence from Luis Alonso Schökel, which I consider very beautiful:

                                     As long as there is love, there will be a matrimony and there will also be a heart able to dream and to forgive. 

SECOND READING: Heb 2:8-11

LETTER TO THE HEBREWS

Ø  The Letter to the Hebrews is not a letter as such, because its literary style does not correspond to that of a letter, it is an exhortation as we read on   13,22   “a word of exhortation”
Ø  It is one of the most important theological writings of the New Testament.  
The formulation of the doctrine about the priesthood of Christ, and about the sacrificial value of his death is found in this letter   
Ø  It is not probable that Paul be the author of this letter, as it has been  considered in former times.  
Ø  The style of the letter is not Paul’s style, but the themes are very close to the theology of Paul.  
Ø  Some authors believe that the writer could be Apollo, whom we know through the writings of the New Testament.   

THIS SUNDAY’S READING

ü  One of the messages of this text is the solidarity between Jesus and the human race.  
ü  His death brings good to us
ü  Because the Creator wants that all his children have part in his glory, maybe we could formulate this in another way saying that, he wants all of us to partake his joy and happiness without end.    
ü  The author continues saying that it was fitting that God should make perfect through suffering Jesus the author and leader of our salvation.  
ü  This statement challenges us on the value of suffering which we try to avoid because we do not understand it. 
ü  The sanctifier and the sanctified have the same human condition that is why he is not ashamed to call us “his brothers and sisters.” 
ü  The beauty of this text goes beyond our capacity to fully grasp the meaning of the Word that God says to us. 
CLARETIAN CORNER   

My dear sister in Our Lord Jesus: I have received your letter from August 6 and having read it, I am telling the three of you to come for the foundation in Tremp. I have already written an official letter last month to the Vicar General to send you using some of the pretexts he insinuated to me, because if we have to wait for the Royal Order, only God knows when it will be, because in the offices they take a long time to finish that kind of businesses.  You cannot imagine how many comings and goings this file cots me.  Few days ago I was at the Minister of Grace and Justice Office and they told me they were going to dispatch it immediately, and that they would send it to the Royal Council, I think that in the next mail it will be dispatched.   At least it will not be lost for lack of insistence, but since they dispatched the religious businesses by force and unwillingly, they look for all the conceivable difficulties, and so they go on and on… I have told this to Her Majesty and although Her Majesty wants to please me and gives the order to dispatch it, they present a lot of pretexts and troubles. St. Antony Mary Claret, Founder, letter to Maria Antonia Paris from October 1858. History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, c.VIII note 39.   

A brother of Sr. María Gertrudis came to welcome us, and since he could not get into the boat, we greeted each other from the edging, and he went immediately to the Palace, where, as we learned with great satisfaction, our Most Reverend Archbishop had arrived the day before; imagine what a happy surprise we had. After a while Mr Barril with Fr. Sansoli, Mr Ignacio and another gentleman came to take us to the Palace where we had the joy to receive the blessing from our most reverend Father the Archbishop and from Rev. Palau. Fr Currius was overwhelmed from joy. They made us eat in their company, and in the evening they accompanied us to this convent .  Venerable María Antonia París, foundress, letter to Rev. Dionisio González, June 1959 in the History.. c.VIII note 57.



BIBLIOGRAPHY



ALVAREZ, Jesús Alvarez, cmf.  History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters,  1980.

PAGOLA, José A. Following in the Footsteps of Jesus – Meditations on the Gospel for Year B.

RAVASI, GIANFRANCO. Según las Escrituras – Año B. Traducido por Justiniano Beltrán. Bogotá 2005.

SAGRADA BIBLIA. Versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. LA BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO. Misioneros Claretianos. China 2008.


Monday, September 17, 2018


 XXV SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  – CYCLE B – 2018

Last Sunday Jesus spoke to his disciples about his future sufferings, and invited us to take our cross and follow him. 

Today he teaches us another important lesson about the conditions to follow him, the meaning of taking our cross, the need to be humble, to serve with our own life.

The first reading and the psalm have always the same theme, but today they make a very especial unity. The reading tells us what the sinners are plotting against the just and the psalm is the prayer of the just asking God to protect him/her. 

LIBRO DE LA SABIDURÍA

Ø  The book of Wisdom was written at the beginning of the last century before Christ.  

Ø  It is probably the last Old Testament Book to be written.  

Ø  The author is identified as Solomon to give added stature to the book.   

Ø  The author is a Jew fully acquainted with the Hellenistic culture  

Ø  He knows the Greek Philosophy.  His anthropology is more Greek than Jewish. He knows the teachings of the Greek, man is composed of soul and body.   

Ø  The human being is immortal, but this immortality is due not to the soul but to justice and righteousness.   

Ø  Righteousness or justice, being God’s attribute is immortal.    

Ø  To live a just life is to participate of this eternal quality of God. 

FIRST READING – Wisdom  2:12.17-20

Ø  The wicked are against the just because his actions and his words denouncing them, their evil actions, make them angry. 
Ø  He reproaches them:
o   Because they transgress the law. Maybe they are teachers of the law who should know better, but so many times, the law is a means to oppress those they should be serving.  
o   Because they behave in a way, which is contrary to what they have been told in their formation,   
o   Because they are not responding to their call. 
Ø  The wicked want to see whether the words and the works of the just are true    
Ø  If he considers himself the son of God, let us see what happens when we mistreat him, we put him to the test. Will he keep being faithful? Will God defend him as he hopes and says?   
Ø  If, we did not know that this reading is taken from the Old Testament, we could think that it is the enemies of Jesus who are speaking.
Ø  In a sense this is true, we have always heard that the Old Testament is about Jesus. This does not mean that the authors knew about Jesus, but because, being God who inspires the sacred writers the messages have different levels of revelation. The sacred authors speak of situations of their own time, as time goes on, and we reach the time of Jesus, the church discovers the silent presence of Jesus in Scripture.     

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 54: 3-4.5.6-8

ü  R. The Lord upholds my life.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.
R. The Lord upholds my life.

ü  This psalm tells about the conviction of he who trusts unconditionally in the love and goodness of God the Father.  

ü  The man who shares with us his trust in God, knows that there are some who want to do wrong to him. 

ü  But he trusts and hopes in the help of his God.  

ü  And as a consequence of this love he plans to offer to God a sacrifice, and offering of thanksgiving because God has been good to him.    

ü  What a beautiful psalm! Are these our feelings? Is this our trust?  
GOSPEL  Mk 9:30-37
v  Jesus goes with his disciples from the Decapolis to Caesarea of Philippi.  

v  This city is at the foot of Mount Hermon, near to the place where the Jordan River begins, and it is very close to the border between Israel and Syria. 

v  From there Jesus begins to travel around Galilee, and Mark tells us something interesting, he did not want anyone to know. 

v  On the road he tells them, for the second time, about his future passion, his sufferings.  

v  Mark says that they did not understand what he was telling them.  

v  Certainly, they did not understand, because if they had understood, they would not have discussed among themselves, about who was the greatest of all. 

v  When they are at home Jesus asks them what they were discussing on the way.  

v  But they do not want to speak about it, in some way, they know that their Teacher does  not agree with their ambitions.

v  With love and patience, Jesus sits down and speaks to them, to help them understand what it does it means,  to be his disciple.  

v  And using their same discussion he began to say:   

o   If anyone wishes to be the first,he shall be the last of all, the servant of all.  

o   He does not tell them that it is wrong to wish to be the first, what is wrong is their interpretation of being the first.    

o   The first will have to be the last, the servant of all. 

o   To make this lesson clearer Jesus takes a child, and puts him in the center.  

o   Why a child? Probably because a child in that society was the last of all. A child did not have a legal status, no voice, he did not count.  His existence was always related to an adult: parents, owners.   They could make him work or do whatever they wanted with and to him.   

o   What a good image to help us understand Jesus mind, he wants us to be servants and not masters, this is the only way to be his disciple. 

o   The consequences are clear, but it frightens us, if we have not reached there, if serving in this way is not a real part of our life, if we continue to consider ourselves superiors to others because we go to church and “fulfill” what is prescribed, we have not even started the first steps in the following of Jesus,  no matter how long we have been part of the church. 

o   Jesus gives us one of the most beautiful and, at the same time challenging lessons, we are called to be like him, that, being God like the Father and the Holy Spirit has made himself servant of all, he has become nothing, he has put himself into our hands.  

o   But as human beings, do not have any power over Him, we may want to make him disappear from our world, but he will continue to be always with us because he lives forever, because he is God.  

o   Last Sunday Jesus asked us: who do you say that I am? Who am I for you? Today he asks us: do you understand what it means to serve as I serve? And, he asks us something else: Are you ready and willing to follow me as I am showing you?   
SECOND READING   Jas 3:16-4,3
In his letter James makes a beautiful reflection, which will help us to live up to  the invitation, Jesus makes to us in the Gospel.  

·         Disorder comes from jealousy and selfish ambition. 

·         On the contrary the wisdom, which comes from above, from God produces other fruits,  

·         And James describes those fruits with words, which make us desire to live in such a society.  

·         This is the litany he presents of this way of living: peace, goodness, mercy, good fruits and sincerity.

·         He insists on peace as a fruit of this kind of life.  

·         He asks us: where do wars come from?  

·         They come from our evil desires, which we cannot satisfy: we want to possess for the wrong reasons, and we do not get it, and thus we kill. Remember that we can kill in many different ways. We may kill taking the life of someone, but we may kill also destroying his or her reputation, his/her feelings.           

·         James ends saying that we ask and we do not get what we ask,  because we ask for the wrong reasons, because we ask moved by our selfishness.  

·         In our daily life, do we cultivate and promote peace or division among ourselves, in our families, in our faith community, at work…?  

·         This coming Sunday the Lord, through the liturgy of the Church invites us to peace, joy, and happiness. Are we going to follow him? 

 CLARETIAN CORNER 
I am sorry in my soul for the suffering of Your Excellency, I would like to alleviate it, thus I have thought about a means, that seems easy to my short understanding; Your Excellency will judge if it is possible.  If Rev. Caixal can accept the foundation in his diocese, we may buy a building, in the town he considers appropriate for the House of Teaching (which in many places are very much needed,) in this way Your Excellency  will already have the place where we have to go, thus point out the document in that direction, as you say in your letter. The Nuncio and  the Minister will not care whether it is here or there, and  for us any place of the Peninsula will be better than this new world  (to gather, and see which  young women are more suitable) and later when the Order will expend, then we will establish the Novitiate in the place we consider more appropriate. Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Missionary Sisters. Letter to Claret, October 31st 1857. 
…no worldly interest has brought me here from Spain. I resisted at the beginning; I insisted in my refusal and the third time I accepted by obedience: I have never had anything; today I see myself vested of a dignity which I repel, and whose weight is very superior to my forces, I continue surrendered in the hands of the Providence.  Under the tinsel of my dignity, I only see my misery; I was poor; I lived poor and I remain poor.  Only obedience has been able to reduce me, I repeat it, but in the hope that I could give more fuel to the charity, to the love of God and to my neighbors in which I want to burn.   The day I see that they put the slightest stumbling block to my mission;  the day I see that they tied my hands to prevent them to do good; or that my voice will not be  heard  when my expectations be founded  in justice and charity, which are the only incentives to work that I acknowledge, that day I will leave my position, and certainly I will lose nothing in relation to my person, because the nature of  missionary is enough to be poor, to love God, to love my neighbors and to gain their souls at the same time that mine. St.Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters. Letter to General de la Concha, March 28, 1851.     



BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, St. Anthony Mary. History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, chapter VII note 126.

PARIS, Venerable María Antonia. History of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters, chapter VIII note 9.