Monday, April 16, 2018


FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE B - 2018
Ø  Today the Church celebrates de 55th World Day of Prayer for Vocations  

Ø  In the liturgy of this 4th Sunday of Easter:   

o   Peter explains how the paralytic has been cured by the power of Jesus.  

o   John, in his first letter, says that we are children of God.    

o   And, in his Gospel he speaks of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  

FIRST READING  – Acts 4: 8-12

·         Theology of the book of Acts:  Luke continues in this book   the theological presentation of the prophetic and saving journey that started in the Gospel.   

·         Emphasizing how, this journey   programmed and guided by God the Father  and,

·         Walked during his earthly life by Jesus, the Son of God, prophet and savior,   is now continued by the Glorious Christ through the Spirit and by means of the prophetic witness of the Church.  

Let us reflect on today’s message:

v  Peter speaks to the religious authorities of Israel and says with courage  

o   That the paralytic has been cured in the name of Jesus  

o   Whom “you crucified” but God raised him  

v  This Jesus of Nazareth is 

o   The stone rejected by the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 

o   Peter openly denounces how they, who were supposed to help the people to know God, rejected Jesus, the cornerstone.  But

o   God has given him a name above every other name, a name which saves us  

v  It is a pleasure to see how Peter denounces and at the same time announces to the authorities, those in power, their wrong behavior; and how God has manifested to the whole world that they were wrong, even having the authority,  and how, on the contrary,  Jesus was doing the will of the Father.  

Responsorial Psalm: Ps  118: 1 y 8-9. 21-23. 26 y 28cd y 29

R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his kindness endures forever.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. 

·         In the first stanza we will say to God   “I give you thanks because you are good. I think that this the general experience of those who invoke the Lord and get closer to Him.  

·         And in the next stanza we will repeat again “I thank you, because you have heard us.” When we feel that God pays attention to us we are filled with joy and we feel moved to sing and to repeat   words of thanksgiving to him. 

·         In the last verse we will say “You are my God, I thank you. 

Let us sing with enthusiasm and with a thankful heart this psalm to our God –Father, Son and Holy Spirit.     

SECOND READING  1Jn 3:1-2

*      John says that the Father loves us so much that he calls us his children.  

*      And this is the reason that the world does not recognize us: what that mean? It does not recognize us: as persons? In what we do? In what we say? … They did not recognize Him either.    

*      But when he will appear we will be like him because we will see him. Does that mean that  to see him helps us to be transformed in his likeness?  

GOSPEL Jn 10: 11-18

Jesus addresses the Pharisees and tells them:    

v  I am the Good Shepherd, he had once narrated to us when he lived among us, the story of that shepherd who left the 99 sheep he had and went in search of the lost one, which he might not find. But our Shepherd does not stop until he finds us.  

v  He has called us all, to be shepherds of our sisters and brothers, servants like Him.   

v  In the next paragraph  John uses in different ways the verb “to know” which in Hebrew does not mean only intellectually but by experience, and it embraces the whole person. This verb is used to talk about the relation of intimacy in marriage.   

v  And the last message is “I have other sheep” they do not belong to this fold, we might say they do not belong to our parish, to our apostolic group, they belong to another church, another religion, they do not believe in God… But it seems that Jesus wants to tell us that nothing of this matters, that these sheep will also listen to him, listen to his voice, and that together with us we will make the only fold of Christ.  I think it means also that we are called to go and seek these sheep and love them.
  
 

CLARETIAN CORNER 



Our Lord gave me always the greatest love for my neighbor, and much love to endure his defects and bad condition, and always the conviction that they suffer me more. Thus I always was happy with everyone.  (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress. Memories and Notes 6.)    

Beside the visitation and confirmations, I preached on all Sundays and holy days of obligation. I never failed to preach, no matter what part of the diocese I happened to be in at the time.  Toward the beginning of June I left the city and went to Caney, to conclude the mission that Father Stephen and Father Curríus had started and were very successfully carrying on. After confirming everyone, I preached the closing service of the mission. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder. Autobiography  516).








Tuesday, April 10, 2018


THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER    2018

«  We continue celebrating with joy the resurrection of Jesus. 

«  Today John and Peter say words, that the Church has to repeat to herself to be able to make them a reality: “we have neither silver nor gold… but we give to you what we have, which is our witness of the RESURRECTION OF JESUS.    

 FIRST READING – Acts 3: 13-15.17-19   

«  Peter and John go up to the Temple on a regular day for the official evening worship.  

«  They see a paralytic, they do not only see him, but they see his suffering, his sadness, that cry out without words.

«  Peter, whose faith and humility have  grown after the resurrection of the Lord,   shares with him what they have: the faith in the Lord Jesus risen form the dead. In the name and power of Jesus GET UP AND WALK.  Jesus had said to them and in them to us also, “go, proclaim, heal, forgive…” For this we do not need money, only the willingness to serve and above all a great love for Jesus.

«  Peter pronounces his  second missionary speech:      

o   Why are your surprised? And why do you look at us as if we had done this work by our own power?  

o   The miracle, the healing of this man is the work of Jesus. You should not be surprised since Jesus had performed so many of these works during his life among us.  

o   Peter reminds his audience how the God of Abraham… has glorified his servant Jesus.   

§  Whom they handed over to the pagans.   

§  He reminds them also how they denied Jesus and asked for the freedom of a criminal.   

§  On looking at this people who did not know how to choose what is good and preferred death and evil, maybe we can recognize ourselves, our present generation and all the human generations. Is it not true that we also, very often, choose death over life?       

§  Let us think in how many ways the present culture of death is manifested among us.  

§  But God HAS RAISED HIM FROM THE DEATH AND WE ARE WITNESS TO  IT.   

§  Are we truly witnesses to the Resurrection? to the new life, with our life also new and transformed after we have encountered the Risen Lord?   

o    Peter continues saying that he knows that they acted in such a way by ignorance.

o   These words of Peter are submerged in the Father’s mercy. Mercy, which perfect icon is Jesus.

RESPONSORIAL  PSALM: Ps  4:2.4.7-8.9

LORD LET YOU FACE SHINE ON US

Ø  The tone of this psalm is of complete trust in God because, the psalmist has had the experience that God answers him  when calls.    

Ø  The theme of the psalm coincides with the Ester celebration, God, the Father has liberated Jesus from death, He has raised him up to new life.  

Ø  Some of the verses of this psalm have an extraordinary beauty; through them the person who prays manifests his trust in God: You have put joy into my heart. 

R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
 When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.

Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
 O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!

You put gladness into my heart.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
 As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.

SECOND READING  1 Jn 2:1-5

«  Let us meditate on the message  

§   John writes to help the addressees of the letter to keep away from sin.   

§  But if we sin, we have an intercessor Jesus Christ, the just one.

§  John says that we will be sure that we know the Lord if we keep his commandments.  

·        To know is not only an intellectual activity but a knowledge that comes from love.

·        To keep his commandments is the same as to be faithful to the new covenant which He has sealed with his blood,

·        It means also to fulfill the only commandments that Jesus left us: love one another as I have loved you.

§  As is the case also in human love, those who are in love try to   

GOSPEL OF LUKE  24:35-48

*      In the previous Sundays we have heard stories of the resurrection narrated by Mark and John. Today it is Luke who speaks of the resurrection.  

*      This passage is found at the end of the Gospel of Luke.

*       Simon (Peter) has seen Jesus and this fact has convinced the others of the truth of the resurrection.  

*      The two disciples from Emmaus come and join the others. They tell that they  have  also seen the Lord and recognized him on the breaking of the bread.  

*      The small community already believes in the resurrection, through the words of the witnesses, but to be themselves witnesses they need also to have the experience of the Risen Lord.   

*      Jesus comes in their midst

o   They are so joyful that they barely can believe what they see. 

o   It is me, look how I have flesh and bones, ghosts do not have them.   

o   The risen one is the same Jesus of Nazareth, their teacher and friend.   

o   Jesus wants to convince them, “give me something to eat. You know that the dead and the ghosts do not eat.”   

o   Like he did for those of Emmaus, he also opens their minds so they can understand the Scriptures.   

o   Is it not true that he also does that with us?  He is the one who opens our mind? What a consolation to know that when we read, meditate and share with faith and love on the Scriptures, He is with us and explains them to us.    

o   After seeing the Risen Lord, after understanding the meaning of the events of Good Friday, they are ready to be sent on the mission: to be witnesses to all of this, what? JESUS OF NAZARETH  WHO DIED AND IS RISEN FOR OUR SAKE.   

o   To help you I will send to you the promise from the Father: THE SPIRIT, the strength what comes from the Father.  

*      We also need to have the same experience which those men had, in order to be able to proclaim:  

o   We need to see the Risen Lord, how can we see him?   

o   Everything begins for us when we have that personal experience, which we call our experience of God. 

o   Where? In a retreat, a happy event, a great suffering, the loss of a loved one, a sickness which diminishes our activity….  That which makes us exclaim “I have encountered the Lord” and it will always be the Risen Lord, because the Lord is risen.   

o   Sometimes this experience will be strong, maybe violent, some other times it will be subtle without being aware of it.    

o   From that moment on a conversion journey begins for us, in the following of the Master who journeys with us and goes before us.  

o   When  it is a real experience, even if sometimes it seems to disappear, it will always come back, and keeps transforming our life.  

o   This visible change in us is our way to announce that the Lord is risen. A second moment will come when we will have to use words to explain what has happened.  
CLARETIAN CORNER 

I also understood my extreme poverty for a work, which would cost me much. In this the Lord told me very confidentially that He had everything for me. I was so well assured of it that I never placed my confidence in anybody else. (María Antonia París, Foundress, Autobiography 59.)  
 

"What is lacking then, my Mother? Would you perhaps avail yourself of some instrument with which to remedy so great an evil? Here is one who however vile and contemptible he knows himself to be, is yet assured that he will serve the better for this end, since your power will shine forth all the brighter, and all will see that it is you who are at work, not I. Come now, loving Mother, let us lose no time. Here I am: dispose of me as you will, for you know that I am wholly yours. I trust that you will do this out of your great kindness, pity, and mercy, and I ask you this through the love you bear for the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen."

Anthony Mary Claret, Founder,  Autobiography 156.) 






Thursday, April 5, 2018


SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER –   2018

«  The readings offer to us different moments in the life of the community of Jesus followers 

o   In the first reading Luke describes the life of the small, poor and simple community of the disciples, a community that shares everything.   

o   In the second reading John speaks of one of his communities.  

o   And the Gospel presents the apostolic community after the resurrection of the Lord.   



FIRST READING  – Acts 10: 4,32-35

«  Luke in this section of the Acts gives a second description of the first community, the church which is still very small and poor.       

«  Luke speaks here of the sharing of goods in that community. The community experiences a problem of poverty in some of its members, and as a community of the followers of Jesus it looks for solutions.  The members respond with courage, enthusiasm and fidelity to the words of Jesus “love one another as I have loved you.”  

«  What Luke says of this community, invites us to think:  

o   They had one heart and one soul.  

o   Nobody considered that what they had was theirs, since they gave their possessions  for the good of all.    

o   There were no needy among them. 

o   The Apostles witness to the resurrection with great power.  

«  This word which we will listen to during next Sunday’s liturgy  questions us.

o   The first followers of Jesus took very seriously the words of Jesus “love one another…”

o   This love moved them to look for solutions to the sufferings of others.

o   I ask myself if  we feel that  the distribution of the goods of creation, so unfair as ours, is something we can tolerate with peace,  each one of us taking care of his/her our own business.   

o   Or on the contrary the strength of the resurrection which removed the stone of the tomb, stirs our heart in front of so much injustice, destruction of creation and above all destruction of the human being. 

«  One conclusion  that  can be drawn from these readings is that, as we have said above,  the first community had taken  very seriously the words of Jesus “Love one another as I have loved you.”   

«  Certainly, and we cannot deny it, and we have to give thanks to the risen Lord, in the Church many sisters and brothers through the centuries and also today have taken very seriously these words of Jesus, and in spite of their limitations and poverty, they have striven and continue striving to make these words true,  sometimes to the price of their life.   



RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Ps  118:2-4,13-15,22-24

The response repeats like a background music “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.”


 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
 Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let the house of Aaron say,
"His mercy endures forever."
Let those who fear the LORD say,
"His mercy endures forever."
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
 I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
 The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
 

SECOND READING  1 Jn 5:1-6 

«  Let us see some aspects of the letter:  

o   The community is from Asia Minor, disciple of John. Its members are Christians who belong to the second or third generation.    

o   They are new Christians, far from those first witnesses, and even from the members of the first generation.   

o   Their behavior is based on the witnesses who saw and heard and touched the Word of Life.   

o   They are faced with a heresy about Jesus: devaluation of the historical Jesus and denial of the redemption by blood

o   The author helps his sisters and brothers in the following way:  

§  Makes the community aware of the demands of the Christian life   

§  He offers some criteria to   discern about  what is a Christian behavior and what is  not.  

«  Let us meditate on the message for next Sunday:  

o   The Reading is taken from the conclusion of the First Letter of John   

o   He who believes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God is a son of God.

o   He who loves the Father loves also the Son

o   He goes further and says: if we love God and fulfill his commandments, we know that we love the children of God also.   

o   John says:  

§  The commandments are not a burden  

§  Faith overcomes the world (world considered here as the realm of sin)

§  Faith in Jesus the Son of God who came through water and blood.   

§  Water ,    baptism? Blood, Eucharist? Or they mean the water and blood that flowed from the side of the crucified Lord? Or does he want us to think about the reality of the incarnation of the Word?    
GOSPEL OF JOHN  20:19-31

*      The liturgy of this second Sunday of Eastern narrates the manifestation of Jesus to the eleven on the evening of the Resurrection day    

*      Jesus comes in the midst of them, so that all can see Him   

o   His greeting as always is   “Shalom=Peace. ”  The Risen Christ is our peace, his presence fills us with an overwhelming joy and we experience his profound peace which nobody can take from us.   

o   He makes them understand that they are his visibility, that the work he has begun when he was sent by the Father, has to be continued by them 

§  What work, what mission?    With the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, they receive the power and the mission to forgive, to tie and untie, with the same authority of Jesus, who accepts their decision

o   One of them Thomas is not there with the community, why? we do not know, maybe he was discouraged, sad, disappointed? He moves away from the community when he needs it the most. When he needs to share with his companions and friends his sadness, his fears, his disappointment. 

*      Jesus comes back the following week, he does not leave one of his close friends without his manifestation.

o   Jesus, who continues to love without measure and without conditions, is going to offer to Thomas a great gift, and with Thomas to us all too.  

o   Thomas, look at me, I am Jesus, whom you love, once you wanted to go to Jerusalem to die with me.   

o   Do not allow temptation and sadness overcome you, do not leave your community of friends, who suffer like you.   

o   Touch my hands, and introduce your hand into my side,  which will be always open for you.   

o   You know that now, by the power of the resurrection we are  not only friends, but brothers.  

o   “My Lord and my God.” I love you my Lord, forgive my mistrust. 

§  BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT SEEN AND HAVE BELIEVED.”  Thank you Lord for these words, because we belong to the group of those who struggle every day    

·         To believe without seeing    

·         To seek you in the midst of our darkness    

·         To allow ourselves to be encountered by your love that forgets and forgives our doubts.   

·         WE BELIEVE LOR, BUT HELP OUR UNBELIEF, INCREASE OUR FAITH. 
  
CLARETIAN CORNER    

 “The Principal aim of the religious of this order is to work with all diligence in the Lord, in keeping  God’s law  and the utmost fulfilment of the evangelical counsels, and, in imitation of the Holy Apostles, to work until death in teaching every creature the holy Law of the Lord.

Our form and manner of life:

- requires that all those persons who wish to be enrolled   be crucified to all  the things of the world.

- our Institute also requires daughters stripped of all their disordered affections and passions, so that they can follow the footsteps of Christ our highest good..(Venerable Maria Antonia Paris - Foundress,  Aim and Goal – first part.  (Constitutions)
Ever since I lost the desire to become a Carthusian--which God had used to uproot me from worldliness--I not only thought about becoming holy myself, but I was continuously trying to imagine what I could do to save the souls of my neighbors. Hence I prayed continuously to Jesus and Mary, offering myself to them for this purpose. The lives of the saints, which we read daily at table, and my own spiritual reading all contributed to this. But what moved and stimulated me most was reading the Holy Bible, to which I have always been very strongly attracted. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret – Founder, Autobiography 113.)