Wednesday, January 24, 2018


-          Jesus fulfills what Moses says in the book of Deuteronomy, “a prophet like me will the Lord raise for you…”  
-          Mark’s Gospel continues to present Jesus in his first days of ministry after his baptism.   
-          Paul in his letter to the Corinthians wishes that the community be without worries  

o   This book  has a central place in the religious history of Israel. His central nucleus is the Law, a law that is preached.   

§  The book is a reflection on the deep meaning and value of the law.  

§  It is an exhortation to follow the law as faithfulness to the will of God, as an expression of  people’s love of God. 

§  In its present organization the book is presented as the words that  Moses, close to his death, addresses to his people before the entrance into the promise land.  (Dt 1,1;9,1)

§  The book is formed by three speeches of Moses and an appendix   
FIRST SPEECH   Deut 1:1-4,43:
A look toward the past – The exodus from Egypt and
 the journey through the desert  
SECOND SPEECH   Deut 4:44-28,68
Central part = The Code of the Covenant 
The entrance in the land, some images from the  
THIRD SPEECH  Deut 28:69-30,20 – looking to the future

Ø  The book of Deuteronomy is like the introduction to the historical books: Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings. 
Ø  It is also related to some prophetic books: Hosea, Jeremiah  

We find in the book of Deuteronomy 5 great themes: God, the people, the land, the law, the sanctuary. 

v  Only one God, main dogma of Israel’s faith, which gives meaning to all the other themes  
v  One nation – Israel = People that belongs to God in an especial way. God gives to this people:   
o   The land, and with the land all the other gifts.  
o   One sanctuary, where Israel goes up to worship God.    
o   The Law to live in society and to be happy.  
Ø  DEUTERONOMIST LANGUAGE History , exhortation  and Law 
o   The Law is the central part. The law is based on history and is taught by means of exhortations.  
o   History  intertwined with exhortations.   
o   And the exhortations are mixed with history.
o   We find in this book a variety of little units which makes us think about diverse authors.  

o   It seems that it was written by several authors, although it is attributed to Moses because it is the Book of the Law, like the wisdom books are attributed to Solomon and the psalms to David. 
o   The date is between 622 B.C. in the time of King Josiah, as they were repairing the temple they found the Book of the Law which seems to be the book of Deuteronomy, not in the present form but only the central nucleus and 586 BC date of the destruction of Jerusalem and deportation to Babylon. 

FIRST READING   Dt 18:15-20.
«  God will give to Israel in future times another prophet like Moses who will speak to them  

«  This will happen in response to the petition of Israel on Mount Horeb.

«  They said that they did not want to hear the voice of God; they did not want to see the great fire which accompanied the theophany of God.  

«  This prophet will tell them the Words of God with complete faithfulness.  

RESPONSORIAL PSALM   Sal 95,1-2;6-7; 7-9
*      This psalm especially the verses we will use this coming Sunday is an exhortation to 

o   Worship God   
o   Listen to his voice. 
Come let us sing joyfully to the Lord
Let us acclaim the rock of our salvation
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving
Let  us joyfully sing psalms to him. 
 Come let us bow down in worship,
Let us kneel before the Lord who made us
For he is our God
And we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice
“harden not your hearts as at Meribah
As in the day of Massah in the desert
Where your fathers tempted me
They tested me though they had seen my works.”

GOSPEL MARK  1:21-28 
§  On the Sabbath Jesus goes to the Synagogue and preaches. People are astonished on listening to the wisdom of his words.  
§  Jesus begins in a way that provokes the enthusiasm of the people   
o   Among those present in the assembly there is a man possessed by an evil spirit 
o   The evil spirit confronts Jesus, and says that he know him. Jesus orders it to be silent. 
§  In the Gospel of Mark the disciples never understand what Jesus says. 
§  But the evil spirits know who Jesus is  
o   Those present at the Synagogue ask, what does that mean? A doctrine completely new and taught with such authority?  
o   Jesus has brought something new, his teaching is complete newness.  Have we discovered the newness of Jesus? Or instead we try to combine what we know which makes us comfortable with a little bit of Jesus’ newness? But that does not help us.   
o   The words, the deeds of Jesus, his own person are a challenge for us.  
o   A human beings we resist change, because it entails to exit from our comfort zone; from what we know to what we do not know.  
o   I have read recently that the human beings acquire habits, customs to help our brain and our whole being to save energy. 
o   Maybe this is the reason for not willing to change. This is true for individuals and for societies or groups.   
o   But on the other hand we are told that change promotes mental and physical agility; it renews us, it makes us experience again what is proper of the youth, the newness. 
o   The verse before the reading of the Gospel summarizes the effect produced by change, the newness brought by Jesus, with very beautiful words: 
The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light;
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death,
light has arisen.

SECOND READING : 1 Cor 7:32-35 
ü  This Reading is a continuation of  last week’s theme. Do not be troubled, why?  Because everything passes away, but God’s Word  remains forever.  
ü  Paul considers that those who are not married are free from the worries that those married have. 
ü  He does not want to put any restriction to our personal decisions, he only wants to alert us that above our decisions in relation to marriage, the love of God is an absolute priority.  

At the end of this vision, or the next day, I do not remember quite will, our Lord told me: “My second apostles must be a living copy of the first Apostles, so as to the name as to the work. With the torch of the Gospel in one hand they must enlighten the wiser and ignorant men”. This God told to Claret and to the other. (Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 31.)
Since my father manufactured thread and cloth, he set me to work in his factory  I obeyed without a word, a long face, or any sign of displeasure. I set to work as hard as I could and never spent an idle, half-hearted day. I did everything to the best of my ability so as not to displease my dear parents in the slightest, because I loved them very much and they loved me. (St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 31.) 
CLARET, Antonio María, Autobiografía.
GARCÍA LÓPEZ, Félix, “Deuteronomio”, en Comentario al Antiguo Testamento I, Casa de la Biblia Salamanca-España 1997. 
PARÍS, María Antonia , Autobiografía
PÉREZ HERRERO, Francisco, “Evangelio según San Marcos”  en Comentario del Nuevo Testamento, Casa de la Biblia.  Salamanca-España1995..

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Ø  Jesus begins his ministry of proclaiming the good news.  

Ø  He keeps calling collaborators to help him in his mission.   


Ø  The book of Jonah is found among the prophetic books, although he is not a real prophet.

Ø  This book was written to counteract the nationalism of Ezra and Nehemiah, who promoted hate toward the foreigner, to everyone not belonging to the “holy and chosen” people.   

Ø  In the past this book was considered by some a historical one, while others thought it was an allegory. The idea of that book being historical has been discarded because it has some details difficult to reconcile to real life.   

Ø  Nowadays most of the commentators consider this book like a parable, a book belonging to the wisdom literature

Ø  The time of this story is after the return from the Babylonian exile, during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, between the V and II centuries BC. During the time in which the book of the Ecclesiasticus had been written.   

Ø  The message of this book is a reaction against the belief found and promoted in Israel that salvation was only for the chosen people. Also against the idea that God was a judging and vengeful God.  This is an offense against God who is love and compassion.   

Ø  The choosing of Nineveh is not without purpose; Nineveh was a sinful and cruel city, incarnation or representation of all that is bad, the city ruled by cruel kings.   

Ø  The book of Jonah wants to offer us the following possibilities:   

o   The oppressor is able to change his life.   

o   To accept that God is merciful toward all, even toward their oppressors.     

o   The message is more difficult when we realize that Jonah is sent to Nineveh, not to have the city convert to the religion  of Israel, but it is a call to conversion within their own religion. 

Ø  The book has two parts,  the two calls that God makes to Jonah: 

o   First call  cc,1-2 (Jonah does not want to do what God asks him, he flees )

o   Second call  cc. 3-4 (Jonah does what the Lord asks him to do)   

Ø  This book is a work of art of the Hebrew literature.   

FIRST READING  – Jonah  3: 1-5.10

v  The Lord comes to Jonah a second time, Jonah has already learned that when the Lord calls we need to respond to him.   

v  He receives a mission, something to do for a city, the city of Nineveh.  

v  It is a sinful and corrupt city, and also quite large.   

v  Jonah makes the decision to do what the Lord is asking.   

v  And he proclaims the message as he has understood it, probably he has translated the word in his own way to understand God “if you sin you will be destroyed.”

v  Jonah is completely sure that the people of Nineveh will not listen to the message, and will follow their own mistaken ways.   

v  But the reality will surprise Jonah, all the inhabitants of Nineveh, rich and poor, powerful and humble old and young repent and do penance. 

v  How often we are like Jonah when we think that persons and communities cannot change, and the Lord always surprises us allowing us to experience something different. 

v  And the city is not destroyed as Jonah had announced.   

v  The way the author of this book portrays God is very interesting: God sees, God repents, changes, and acts differently.   

v  We are all witnesses in our own life of this behavior of God

v  Maybe we do not have a theological explanation for this, but in many places of the Scriptures the authors describe God negotiating, changing, let us remember the conversation  of Abraham over the sinful cities, “and if only 10?... only 5?...”   

  RESPONSORIAL PSALM  : Sal 25:4-5. 6-7. 8-9

*      Psalm 25 is a psalm of supplication and trust.  

*      It has 3 parts:     

o   Invocation and petition     vv. 1-7

o   reflection   vv. 8-15

o   petition vv. 16-22

*      This psalm has a concentric structure: the first part and the third one have the same themes and vocabulary. 

*      In this Sunday’s liturgy the responsorial psalm is taken from the first and second parts.   

o   Petition to the Lord that he may have compassion and do not remember our sins.  

o   The last stanza tells us who God is and how God acts.  


Your ways o Lord make known to me   

Teach me your paths 

Guide me in your truth and teach me  

For you are God my savior.

Remember that you compassion O Lord  

And your love are from of old  

In your kindness remember me

Because of your goodness O Lord

Good and upright is the Lord

Thus he shows sinners the way

He guides the humble to justice

And teaches the humble his way.

GOSPEL  Mk 1:14-20

ü  Mark continues to describe   Jesus’ activity.  

ü  We find two interesting things in this passage:     

o   John is arrested and Jesus goes back to Galilee.   

o   Why? Because he is in danger, and his hour has not come yet?  

o   Or, maybe he is doing what he said, if they persecute you in one place, go to another, and continue to proclaim the good news?   

o   Whatever it might be Jesus is now in Galilee.   

o   In the way Mark describes Jesus’ activity we perceive the urgency of the proclamation.    

ü  What does he proclaim?   

o   This is the time of fulfillment

o   The kingdom of God is at hand

o   Repent and believe in the Gospel

ü  What time is this? Will it be the time in which Israel, and the whole human race, even without knowing it, have been waiting for the redeemer, someone sent by God to heal us? 

ü  What is this kingdom? Looking at how Jesus acts, we see that it is a kingdom in which God is compassionate, merciful, patient, who waits for, and wants the conversion of the lost. 

ü  Repent, convert? Change your ways,  instead of turning your back to God, walk toward him, look at your Father’s face, He is  always  waiting for you. 

ü  At the same time that he announces, he keeps calling, inviting other young men to follow him… I will make of you fishers of human beings.   

ü  These men, rough and used to difficult work, know how difficult the trade of fishing is, and Jesus is telling them that they will be fishers of human beings.   

ü  How  would   Jesus look at them?    How would   his words be in order that they followed him  with such readiness?

ü  The Gospel gives us only a synthesis of the whole process of leaving everything behind and following Jesus. I am inclined to think that they had a conversation with their closest relatives, those that lived in the same house with them, and told them  their decision.   

ü  They leave behind all that has been their life up to now, to begin the adventure of following that rabbi who has seduced them with his words, and with his look but most of all with his love.   From  him they will learn how to love.

ü  Have we experienced in our life his look over us, his Word calling us in the depth of our being to cooperate and  receive a mission from him? 

SECOND READING  1Cor 7:29-31

«  This is a difficult text for us to understand properly.  

«  Is Paul saying that the realities of our present life do not have any value? … as not weeping, as not …  

«  If the New Testament is the proclamation of salvation, of fulfillment, of joy, Paul cannot say to us that the other human beings are not important.   

«  If I believe that the good things that I have come from God, how is it possible not to fully enjoy them?  

«  What is Paul telling us? Maybe he is telling us that there is something which is absolute, rather someone who is absolute, and everything else is valuable in relation to him.    

«  From his words we understand that he gives for granted that we weep, rejoice, buy, use the realities of this passing world, of the present time, but his advice is, always look at the Kingdom that will come after this temporal reality.   

«  I believe that we will be able to enjoy what the Lord has prepared for us in heaven; in the measure we have been able to enjoy what he has given us in this present life.   

«  Why? It is the same God who gives to us the present things and promises the future, those of the Kingdom. 


Thursday, January 11, 2018


The first reading and the Gospel speak of vocation as call and, of the response of those called.  


·         The two books of Samuel are placed between the book of Judges and the books of Kings. 

·         The two books of Samuel were a single book  and

o    They were among the “Former Prophets” (Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings ) in the Jewish tradition

o   Or  among the historical books (Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Ezra,  Nehemiah, Tobit, Judith, Esther y 1-2 Maccabees) of the Christian tradition.

·         The books of Samuel have been composed from diverse oral and written traditions.   

·         The main theme of the books is the monarchy.   

·         The monarchy could only be understood as under the only kingship of God.  

·         At the same time the monarchy open the way to the messianic hopes.  

FIRST READING   1 Sm 3:3b-10.19

Ø  Samuel has been offered to the Lord by his mother Hannah, in thanksgiving for having conceived and give birth to him, since she was barren. 

Ø  The child lives in the temple under the care of the priest Eli.   

Ø  The author says that Samuel did not know the Lord and his way to relate with humans, thus he does not understand when he hears his name for three times. The boy thought it was Eli who called him.   

Ø  At the beginning Eli does not pay too much attention to the child, but later he realizes that it is Yahweh who is calling the boy. 

Ø  When you hear the voice again say: “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”   

Ø  The reading ends praising Samuel, the Lord was with him and not permitting any word of his to be without effect.

Ø  When we read the book we realize how Samuel, after meeting the Lord, develops a friendship and deep intimacy with Him during his whole life.   

Ø  What a beautiful way to answer the call! We all have received a call, let me rephrase: We are all called here and now, the Lord continues to call us during our entire life, and it is our decision to answer or not his call in the diverse situations of our life.  


v  . (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

o   This psalm is beautiful, let us reflect on some of the thoughts taken from the verses.   

o   The psalmist waits for the Lord and God has listened  to him and put a hymn to God  in his mouth 

o   God does not want either holocaust or sacrifices, he wants to have us “here I am”

o   The Law of God is in the heart of  the psalmist, his desire is to do the will of God.  

o   I have not been silent; I have announced your justice.  

GOSPEL  Jn 1:35-42

*      John the Baptist is with two of his disciples to whom he signals Jesus as the Lamb of God.   

*      They follow after him, without saying anything  

*      Jesus asks them: what do you seek? I have read a commentary that says: at the beginning of the Gospel of John the question in the lips of Jesus is: what do you seek? And at the end of the Gospel on Resurrection day, the question is: whom do you seek?  

*      There has been a process from this first encounter to the resurrection.  

*      They ask Him: where do you live? 

*      And the answer is: come and see   

*      And John tells us that they went and stayed with Him that day.   

*      John remembers even the hour of this first encounter, around 4 p.m. 

John was so impressed by this first encounter which changed his life, that even in his old age he remembers it as if it had been yesterday.   

*      Yes, who has a true personal encounter with the Lord, will never forget this experience which will guide from that moment his/her life.    

*      Andrew, the other disciple who stayed with Jesus that night, goes on the following day to meet his brother Simon and invites him to meet the Teacher Jesus   

*      And Jesus gives him a new name, sign of the change of life which will progressively take place in the fisherman from Galilee.  From that moment on he will be called Peter, which means Rock.   

*      From that moment on Peter remains enthusiastic with Jesus with whom he begins a great friendship.   

*      The fisherman from Galilee, Peter, will have to work hard to assimilate the teachings of the Master, and to become the fundamental rock of the church of Jesus.    

SECOND READING  1Cor 6:13c-15ª, 17-20

ü  Paul reminds the community of Corinth that the body is not for immorality but for the Lord.   

ü  As God raised Jesus he will also raise us up.   

ü  We are united to Christ, and who is united to him has his Spirit within him/her.    

ü  And again Paul asks the community to stay away from immorality, since any sin is outside the body except immorality, which is a sin against our own body.   

ü  Because our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.     


We have been redeemed at a high price, thus let us glorify God with our body.


At the end of this vision, or the next day, I do not remember quite will, our Lord told me: “My second apostles must be a living copy of the first Apostles, so as to the name as to the work. With the torch of the Gospel in one hand they must enlighten the wiser and ignorant men”. This God told to MGR. Claret and to the other.

In the morning, on the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, after communion our Lord told me that Fr. Claret together with his sons in the order of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, will be the bright star that with their clear and apostolic doctrine will dispel the ignorance of the present century that those who are blinder, I think call century of the enlightenment; His Divine Majesty added: this priest is the first, and I wish that he establishes the first houses of the order. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 31-32

I was trained so well in obedience and resignation that I was always content with whatever was done, decided, or given to me by way of food or clothing. I never remember saying "I don't like this" or "I want that." I was so used to thinking like this that even later, when I was a priest, my mother, who was always very fond of me, used to say, "Anthony, would you like this?" I would always answer, "I always like what you like." "But," she would say, "there are always some things we like better than others." And then I'd say, "Whatever you give me is what I like best of all." And so she died without finding out what material things I liked the best. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Religious of Mary Immaculate Claretian Missionary Sisters.  Autobiography 29