Tuesday, November 27, 2018


*      The  liturgical year,  that we are about to begin, on the first Sunday of Advent, will be guided by the Gospel of Luke. 
*      Who is Luke?   
o   They say that he is a doctor. He is the only one who mentions Jesus’ sweat of blood   in Gethsemane, and Paul in his letter to the Colossians 4,13 describes him as “the beloved doctor.” 
o   Luke has not known Jesus personally, he says that to write the Gospel he has done a thorough research of the events related to Jesus (Prologue 1,1-4) He is probably a second generation Christian converted from a pagan religion. 
o   His work is composed of the Gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles. In the Gospel Luke narrates  the facts about the life of Jesus, and in the Acts he  speaks of the life of the Church after the death of Jesus
o   Luke writes in a very good Greek, the best of the New Testament,.
o   Some say that he painted a portrait of the Virgen Mary. We do not know if he was a painter, but he has described in his Gospel and in the Acts the best picture of Mary: her faith, her loving fidelity to the God of Israel.  
*      Through the organization of his Gospel, Luke explains to us how he understands the work of salvation accomplished my Jesus.  
o   The first two chapters are called the “infancy narrative”. They tell us about the events which surrounded the annunciation and birth of the Baptist and of Jesus.  
o   In these two chapters, we find the great themes, which we will find in the rest of the Gospel of Luke.  
o   As for the geography of the narration in the first chapters Luke takes us from Jerusalem to Galilee and from Galilee to Jerusalem again, and again to Galilee. From chapter 9,51 Jesus begins with resolution his journey to Jerusalem to undergo all the events related to his Pascal mystery, for our redemption and salvation. 
o    Without saying it explicitly, Luke tells us that Jesus accomplishes what the prophet Isaiah said  “salvation will come from Jerusalem.”
o   The main characteristic of the Gospel of Luke is this journey of Jesus to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus is teaching his disciples.  Again, without saying it explicitly, Luke is giving us the message that Jesus is a teacher, which teaches on the way, teaches us during our life journey. 

During the time of Advent and Christmas the three readings have the same theme.    

FIRST READING  – Jeremiah 33: 14-16 
«  The prophet Jeremiah says that days will come… but he does not say what days are these. They are the days of any season, any person, any community, any nation. The days when God makes himself present in a special way, in a clearer way in our life, in our history.  
«  In those days God will fulfill his promise, what promise? The promise made to the house of Israel, to the house of Judah.   
«  The promise is described with images taken from the agricultural world: a shoot, a bud. 
o   The shoot, the bud speaks to us about what is new, about hope, about future.  
o   This shoot will make justice and will establish the right on earth.  
«  God’s presence is in itself this justice, justice that shows to us and helps us to discern the things as God sees them. Justice, which makes us just in the image of God. 
«  This justice will bring salvation and peace to the city of Jerusalem. To the city of men. Its new name will be, instead of Jerusalem, “God-is-our-justice.”   
«  What a beautiful and attractive description of what God accomplishes in us when we welcome him.   He wants to come,   we need to welcome him in order that these wonderful blessings be a reality in each one of us.  


R.   To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
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,
and for you I wait all the day.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul.
All the paths of the LORD are kindness and constancy
toward those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
The friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him,
and his covenant, for their instruction.
R. To you, O Lord, I lift my soul. 
ü  The psalms are songs used for prayer.   
ü  The diverse authors use symbols to communicate the different feelings of the human heart, from joy to sadness, to sorrow for the sin committed, to the loss of hope in front of the negative reality of life, and the apparent silence of God.  
ü  They have been attributed to King David, because he is the king who sings to God, but he is the author of only some of the psalms, the rest are from unknown authors.  
ü  The psalms are the expression of the faithful Israelite soul. In order to understand them we need to enter into this world of the human heart, and allow us to be immersed into the feelings manifested in the given psalm.  
ü  The psalms are the prayer of today and always.  
ü  The psalms are organized into five books, in the same way that the Torah, the Law, the Pentateuch is organized into five books also:   Ps 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; 107-150. At the end of the last psalm in each of the books there is a doxology or praise to God.  

The theme of today’s psalm is the journey, the way that we ask God to show us.  
*      The Lord shows the sinner the way and leads the humble through his ways.   
*      The way of the Lord is always goodness, and his friendship is with those who fear him and are faithful to  his covenant.   

SECOND READING  1Tes 3:12-4,2
Ø  This letter is in fact the first written document of the New Testament. It was written around the year 50  of the first century AD.    
Ø  In this letter, Paul shows a great optimism about the imminent coming back of the Risen Lord, his second coming. Later on, as  time passes and the Lord does not come back yet, at least in the way that Paul expected, the Apostle and the whole Church began to understand everything related to the second coming, in another way.   
Ø  In the second reading for the First Sunday of Advent Paul says to the community of Thessalonica that he wishes to see them, and prays  the Lord to give to the community: 
o   Faith in the mutual and universal love, this is the central and most important part of the teachings and life of Jesus, but also the hardest for us human beings, who  desire to be like our Master, but so many times we miss the point. Only the Lord is able to love and forgive in and through us.  
o    As I look at our society, I ask myself if, as  followers of Jesus, we have allowed him to truly transform us, through his words that invite us to love like Him.
o   There are a great number of realities to look at, and to question ourselves about our being Christian, I will mention only two that frequently hit me:
§  The African continent, where our brothers and sisters, created by our same Father, are born to die from hunger and want.
§  The caravan of people at the door of our country, in which  find  also a great number of poor, but it is, at the same time, the place of affluence.
Ø   I always remember the words of St. John Paul II in his encyclical (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 1987) in which he mentions the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16,19-31.) The rich man never mistreated Lazarus,  he simply ignored him (SRS 42); and he added that there are many countries that, like  other Lazarus,  are knocking at the door of the affluent countries.
Ø  What gives comfort in all these situations, is the goodness of so many people, that nobody knows,   who open their heart and, like the widow in the Gospel (Mt 12,41-43) share what they have with their brothers and sisters in need. They are the signs of the glory of God among us, because they help us to acknowledge that God continues to be present among us. 

GOSPEL Luke 21, 25-28. 34-36
ü  The three Synoptic Gospels speak of the Second Coming or Parousia of Jesus. 
ü  In chapter 21 of Luke’s Gospel verses 25 to 28  we have the teaching of Jesus about the last things, written in an apocalyptic style. 
ü  Its images are imprinted in our imagination, many times they frighten us, and  also we ask ourselves: when will these things happen, when will we see these natural phenomena?  
ü  We see many times natural events, some of them are fearful, but they are not related to the second coming.  
ü  Thru these words the sacred authors want to communicate to us the sudden coming of God into our human history to save it, never to destroy it. God does not destroy what he has created with so much love. God seeks us to be with him forever in the eternal embrace.  
ü  Let us think for a moment in our own personal encounter with the Lord. Probably it has not been spectacular, but our arrogance, our pride our security in ourselves, our whole life goes into crisis when God reveals himself to us and we accept him.  

ü  The second part of this Reading is found on verses   34-36
o   Through these words of Jesus, Luke exhorts his community to regain the enthusiasm for the proclamation and living out the Gospel.     
o   The Lord also exhorts us to be vigilant, attentive, and responsible, to avoid a foolish way of life, and then we will be prepared for the events that might occur, and  discover in these events the presence of the Lord.  
o   In many of these unexpected and painful events of our life, the Lord makes him  present, calls with a greater insistence to our door, because in these situations we listen to his call, because we look for his comfort and security.   


So, I made my long –awaited profession on August 27 of the same year in the hands of my prelate, to the joy of everybody, and more happiness in my soul-this one cannot be expressed- notwithstanding the difficult preparation with so many cares in the assurance of the foundation, the lower a point  in the fervor of my spirit. With my thought fixed in the moment of pronouncing the holy vows, the moment seemed to me like centuries, and even, with so many serious circumstances met in my profession, none of them was sufficient to disturb the peace and calm of my soul. .Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress.  Autobiography 225.  
Every day at prayer I have to make acts of resignation to God's will. Day and night I have to offer up the sacrifice of staying in Madrid, but I thank God for the repugnance I feel. I know that it is a great favor. How awful it would be if the court or the world pleased me! The only thing that pleases me is that nothing pleases me. May you be blessed, God my Father, for taking such good care of me. Lord, just as you make the ocean salty and bitter to keep it pure, so have you given me the salt of dislike and the bitterness of boredom for the court, to keep me clean of this world. Lord, I give you thanks, many thanks, for doing so. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder.    Autobiography 624.


CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.

JOHN PAUL II, St. Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 1987.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía  en Escritos

RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras-Año B. San Pablo 2005.

SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, 2012.

Monday, November 19, 2018



«  We have reached the last Sunday of the liturgical year, the 34th Sunday in ordinary time. In this Sunday the liturgy of the church celebrates Jesus as King of the Universe. 
«  On the first Sunday in Ordinary time we have celebrated the Baptism of the Lord Jesus. After his baptism in the Jordan River, the voice of the Father said to Jesus “You are my beloved Son.” 
«  Jesus has healed, taught, forgiven and discussed with the religious authorities of his people, in a word, Jesus has lived a full human life, showing the unconditional love of the Father for all of us.   
«  During the 33 Sundays in Ordinary time, we have seen Jesus vulnerable in many occasions, and now the Church presents him as King and Lord.   
«  Even being king and Lord, he has not abandoned his tenderness, his compassion; on the contrary his kingship is of love, justice and kindness for all. 
FIRST READING: Daniel 7:13-14 
Ø  Last week,  we explained some interesting details of this book. Today we will concentrate in the message in chapter 7. 
Ø  The reading introduces the character of the “Son of man” title, which Jesus will apply to himself in many occasions.  
Ø  It is a title of sovereignty, of authority because to this character in the book of Daniel 
o   Royal power and dominion   will be given     
o   All the peoples and languages will respect him, and will bow down before him.
o    I transcribe here the commentary of Luis Alonso Schökel:  
§  In our time, the believer cannot just simply wait for a heavenly being, which will come to judge the oppressors and the oppressing structures.  
§  In and from faith, the Christian person, who is convinced of the liberator, consoling and encouraging value of the Word and of  Jesus Project,  has to transform  his struggles and sweats into  current prophecy.  

§  Time has not change the way God thinks.

§   It is up to us to do works of justice, solidarity and fraternity in the midst of a divided world, which is governed by the forces of evil. 


The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed;
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.

*      This psalm belongs to the IV book of psalms (psalms 90-106.) 

*      It is a hymn to the divine kingship 

*      His power gives firmness to creation   

*      The decrees of the Lord are faithful and true.   

*      His house is adorned with holiness     

*      The kingship and power of God is his holiness, his love, his kindness, his tenderness toward his creation.      
§  John narrates the encounter between Jesus and Pilate through a series of seven scenes.  
§  The one we will read is the second.  
§  It takes place inside the palace of Pilate.
§  During the interrogation Jesus declares himself king, but a king who does not belong to this world, in a word he declares himself God.  
§  He has come to give witness to the truth. What truth? The truth of God and, the truth of the human being.    
§  Only the one, who accepts the truth, can listen to his voice, the voice of the Master.   


ü  This Reading is taken from the first chapter of the book of Revelation.   

ü  After the introduction and the greeting to the churches, the author of the book describes, in a poetic way,  who Jesus is:  

o   He is the faithful witness  

o   He is the first among the dead and the King of the kings of the world.  

o   He loves us and has liberated us from our sins with his blood.  

o   He has made of us a kingdom of priests for God his Father.  

ü  He comes upon the clouds; this reminds us the son of man of the vision of the book of Daniel.  

ü  All even those who killed him will see him.  

ü  And after that Jesus introduces himself saying:   

o   I am the alpha and the omega    

o   The one who is, was and will come, the all-powerful 

This submission that God gave me to the will of my prelate was the strongest knot by which the Lord had tied the will of my prelate for the opinion of the procurator not to be followed in everything. As soon as the prelate made his note thinking that in that way all could go as well and forward, then the prelate objected that it was not feasible according to the law. So we had a very heavy battle, and, none of us are willing to mortify the other, all of us were very disgusted. This was the will of the whole hell: to make me unacceptable to my superiors. Venerable Maria Antonia París, Foundress .  Autobiography 222. 
I can see that what the Lord is doing in me is like what I observe going on in the motion of the planets: they are pulled by two forces, one centrifugal, the other centripetal. Centrifugal force pulls them to escape their orbits; centripetal force draws them toward their center. The balance of these two forces holds them in their orbits. That's just how I see myself. I feel one force within me, which I'll call centrifugal, telling me to get out of Madrid and the court; but I also feel a counterforce, the will of God, telling me to stay in court for the time being, until I am free to leave. This will of God is the centripetal force that keeps me chained here like a dog on his leash. The mixture of these two forces, namely, the desire to leave and my love for doing God's will, keeps me running around in my circle. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder. Autobiography 623. 


CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía  en Escritos

RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras-Año B. San Pablo 2005.

Schökel, Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

Sagrada Biblia. Versión oficial de la Conferencia episcopal española.

Monday, November 12, 2018


The readings for this coming Sunday have an apocalyptic tone and color.   

Ø  This prophetic book has traits of the apocalyptic literature. 
Ø  It has several peculiarities:   
o   The first and second chapters are written in Hebrew. 
o   Then from 2,4b to 7,27 they are written in Aramaic.   
o   And afterwards it continues in Hebrew .
o   The Greek version includes passages not included in the Hebrew Scriptures, probably these are episodes that circulated around the Jewish communities and were added to the original book: the three young men prayer in the furnace   3,24-90, the judgement of Susana    c.13 , and the story of Daniel and the idols    c. 14
Ø  In this book we discover the following structure:  

o   A series of stories about Daniel and the three companions in the court of the king of Babylon (cc. 1-6.)

o   Revelations that Daniel receives through heavenly visions  cc. 7-12

o   Intervention of Daniel in the judgement of Susana and the fall of the idols   cc. 13-14.
o   Each one of these sections presents a different structure:   
§  The first one describes the life of the Jewish community in the diaspora, the good relationships with the civil authorities.    
§  The second pictures the persecution suffered by the Jews under the kingship of Antiochus Epiphanes IV. Daniel speaks of 4 kingdoms and the coming of the Kingdom of God after the death of the king.  
§  The third part shows an undetermined historical concept, signals the triumph of justice and the nonsense of idolatry.  All of this can happened in any historical moment.  
Ø  The leading thread which gives unity to the book is:   
o   The person of Daniel  
o   The  exile  in Babylon  
o   But overall “God who has the power over the kingdoms of the earth will establish his kingdom sometime in the future.”  

Ø   Composition  of the Book

o   The book is written in  several languages   

o   The central point is the vision of the 4 kingdoms and  the Son of Man

Ø  The Message of the Book of Daniel  

o   Hope in the coming of a new situation in which, those who are faithful to God will reign, where evil or sin will be no more, and which will be eternal.   


ü  This Reading is taken from the second part of the book, when the Jews were suffering persecution for their faithfulness to their faith.   
ü  Michael the angel who takes care of the humans will rise up to take action.    
ü  From the People of God all those whose names are written in the book will be saved.  
ü  This is like what happens in the nations and in the cities, those who belong there have their names written in the civil registries.   
ü  The reading speaks of resurrection for life or for death.   
ü  The wise, not those who accumulate intellectual knowledge, but the true wise men, those who savor the truth, the beauty, the goodness of God, those who discover his footprints everywhere around them, and who learn from his inner whisper.  
ü  Those who taught others justice, that is the truth of God, the knowledge of God, the love of God, goodness. 
ü  All of them will shine in the firmament like the stars for all eternity, forever.   
ü  What a wonderful image, so full of meaning!


R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
I set the Lord ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord!

v  We repeat over and over “You are my inheritance, O Lord.”    

v  Yes, the Lord is our inheritance, our joy, our delight, the cup of our happiness, our portion.   

v  He will never abandon us; he will not allow us to suffer corruption.  

v  He shows us the way to Him, towards life where joy is eternal.   

GOSPEL  Mk  13:24-32

§  The situation that the communities lived at the beginning, especially the community of Mark was of suffering due to  persecution.  
§  Persecution which led to physical death, but also another type of persecution “to be considered of lower status in society, to be like people who do not count…” How many human beings still now continue to suffer the same situation!  
§  The temptation of tiredness is a reality.   
§  And Mark wants to encourage his community, to remind them some of the words of Jesus that could enlighten them, give them courage, give them strength.   
§  In that day… what day? The end of history, when God will be all in all.    
§  When the falsehood and the truth of our history will be manifested, because all that distract us now: sun, moon, stars, human and nature powers will be no more.   
§  Time will be no more either, the sun, the moon and the stars which signal now the years and stations will no longer shine   
§  Space will disappear also, “the stars will fall…” the distance between the sky and the earth will be eliminated  
§  And then without obstacles caused by the things which surround us, we will be able to see the presence of the Son of man, Jesus, the Lord of history.   

§  Jesus who has said to us that he will come, he has also said to us  that he is in every human being who comes to us in his or her need and asks for our help.  He has also said that he will be with us in our evangelizing mission, until the end of history.  

§  This Jesus who will come,  is already here and  walks with us.   Remember the two from Emmaus they walked with him (Jesus)  “but they did not recognize him, they did not see him, until they were  able to forget  themselves, their sadness, their worries and think about the stranger  whom they welcomed into their home, only then they were able to see him.  
§  Towards the end of this segment of the Gospel of Mark, it seems as if Mark changes the scenario from the end of history to the end of Jerusalem, of the temple “ this generation will not pass away…”     
§  Mark also invites us to look at nature, which warns us about the times, the phenomena, In the same way we are invited to look at history with the eyes of Jesus and discover its meaning.   
§  The Lord has come, the Lord is already here, the Lord will come. Mark does not speak about judgement, because the presence of the Lord which will illumine our lives, our history, will uncover our truth and our lie as well.   
§  Let us not await until the end to ask the Lord his help, to allow him to illumine us, and thus we will not fear that our lie be uncovered by Him. He is the only one who can change our lie into his truth.   
§  Come Lord Jesus! And give us the strength to allow your love and your presence   transform us.    

SECOND READING  Heb 10:11-14. 18

*      The author of this letter continues sharing with us his thoughts about the priesthood of Jesus.  
*      The priest of the old law offered repeatedly the sacrifice asking for forgiveness, but these sacrifices could not take away sin.    
*       Jesus has offered only one sacrifice to take away the sins of the world, and he is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. To be seated at the right hand means to have power, means equality with the one seated on the throne. In the earthly kingdoms the person seated at the right hand of the king is the most important person in the kingdom after the king.    
*      And it ends saying “when there is forgiveness, sin is eliminated.”      
*      This reflection of the author of the letter to the Hebrews is an invitation to trust, to truly believe that we have been forgiven, saved, redeemed.   That when I repent and I approach the sacrament of forgiveness my sins are eliminated, they do not exist anymore, because Jesus has destroyed them forever, and this is made visible and real for me through the sacramental  ministry which Jesus has given to the church.   
*      Thank you Lord for your forgiveness, teach us to forgive in the same way, to forgive the offenses instead of nurturing them with our bitterness. Make us like you!   

They were so humble that the Archbishop always commanded me to give my opinion and , with this family , he had myself – love well humiliated, because my rudeness did not understand anything of these matters, and, in virtue of holy obedience, I had to express my feelings, and I did not know how to say any other thing but that, for me, I preferred to be poor with Christ than to have rents to give to the poor . And that was the purpose of rents if we would not be able even to beg alms from them? That this was my opinion but that my will was no other than the will of my prelate and that he might do what he considered best before God.

 Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress, Autobiography 221.
I can see that what the Lord is doing in me is like what I observe going on in the motion of the planets: they are pulled by two forces, one centrifugal, the other centripetal. Centrifugal force pulls them to escape their orbits; centripetal force draws them toward their center. The balance of these two forces holds them in their orbits. That's just how I see myself. I feel one force within me, which I'll call centrifugal, telling me to get out of Madrid and the court; but I also feel a counterforce, the will of God, telling me to stay in court for the time being, until I am free to leave. This will of God is the centripetal force that keeps me chained here like a dog on his leash. The mixture of these two forces, namely, the desire to leave and my love for doing God's will, keeps me running around in my circle..Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder.     Autobiography, 623


CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía

PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. 2 Marcos.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía

DIARIO BÍBLICO 2018. Claret Publishing Group.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, versión oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española.