Tuesday, September 17, 2019


25 SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME - CYCLE C - 2019 

The liturgy of the Church continues to put before our eyes the teachings of Jesus that Luke left for us in his Gospel. Today Jesus teaches us a lesson which may help us in our  society: the use of wealth and honesty in fulfilling our labor.  

FIRST READING - PROPHET AMOS

Ø  This prophet lived in the VIII BC. He was born in the Southern Kingdom, Judah; but the Lord called him to do his ministry as a prophet in the Northern Kingdom. 

Ø  He has been called the prophet of the justice of God.  

Ø  Justice as the Scripture understands it, not in the way our modern states understand it. We say that justice is to give to each one what is his or hers. We also say that justice is to abide the law.   

Ø  But,  for the people of the Bible, justice has to do with human  relationships among us and with our God.

Ø  It has to do with the mercy and the generosity that we discover so abundantly and surprisingly in the relationship of God with us.   

Ø  The just deeds of God are acts of liberation of his people from slavery.   

Ø  Jesus has manifested to us in a very clear and surprising way this justice of God, in the fact that the Son of God personally has come to live among us in order to make us just, with the justice of God, liberating us from the greatest of the slaveries: sin.  

Ø  Thus,  we may truly say that the book of Amos is about justice, not about the justice of God but about  the lack of justice of the people. 

Amos 8:4-7

ü  Amos describes the lie, the lack of truth in the behavior of those who accumulate riches, to enjoy them without worrying about those less fortunate.   

ü  He describes persons who "abide" the law, with a fake repose  but  God sees something else, he sees the lack of truth of his creature,  these persons rest because they are constraint to do it, but while they do nothing apparently, they are planning their businesses.     

ü  They not only plan their business, they also think how they will cheat, take advantage  and trick those more vulnerable.   

ü  The prophet Amos, who defended strongly the rights of all, puts in the mouth of God a sentence, which terrifies us, if we take it seriously, "never will I forget a thing they have done!"  

ü  It does not frighten us, that God who "forgets and erases" all the sins we have committed, says that he will never forget the injustice that we do to our brothers and sisters?   

ü  What will he say to our generation, to our society, in which millions of our brothers and sisters die from lack of what is most essential for the human life, while we waste money,  and possessions buying worthless things and making devices to kill, or buying expensive food, toys and treats for our pets?       

ü   Each one of us will give his or her own answer to that question.   

ü  I think that this is the purpose to choose these readings for the liturgy  

RESPONSORIAL  PSALM  Ps 113  
PRAISE THE LORD WHO LIFTS UP THE POOR.



Praise, you servants of the Lord

praise the name of the Lord

blessed be the name of the Lord

both now and forever.



High above all nations is the Lord

above the heavens is his glory

who is like the Lord, our God, who is enthroned on high

and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?



He raises up the lowly from the dust

from the dunghill he lifts up the poor

to seat them with princes

with the princes of his own people.



v This psalm describes the works of the power of God, who bends towards the needy, the poorest, thus showing his mercy and justice.   

GOSPEL Lk 16:1-3

*     This is a very interesting parable of Jesus. 

*     It describes the situation of an employee, one who works for a salary, a steward to whom the master asks him to give an account of his administration, before he is fired from his job.  

*     The reason to fire him is that he has been dishonest, he has not been faithful to his master, but has used his position for his own benefit, cheating.   

*     Let us look more closely to the situation of that man: 

·       On one hand, we realize that the behavior of this man is as dishonest as the behavior of those men described in the first reading. His life is a lie. He has the appearance of honesty and fidelity, while the truth is that he is dishonest and     a liar. 

·       On the other hand, we realize also that in some way he is able to be honest sometimes. He says the truth about himself: he cannot work because he has never worked, he is not able to beg, to ask for help, but he finds the way. He will lower the debts of all the debtors of his master. In this way he will continue to be in charge, he will not be subjected to them, because he knows that they are also dishonest, as much as he is.  In a word, he is blackmailing them.  

*     Sometimes as I meditate on the situation of injustice in which we live in our societies, it seems to me that it is very similar to what the parable explains to us:   

§  Those who "sell" to us, they really "buy" us instead, lowering the prices and giving two for one  

§  Then our greed makes us blind and we do not see anymore the injustice around us.  

§  Thus, we do not denounce because if we do so,  we will be left without the benefits that they offer to us.   

*     Jesus continues saying that the "children of the world", world understood as unjust society, are more prudent than those who try to live according to the values of the Kingdom.   

*     Something very interesting is that riches are presented as something we do not own we only are the stewards of it.   

*     This is the truth, none of us owns the riches, we only administer them. The call here is to administer with the justice of God, which is the same as the truth of God.   

*     Strong message, this one, it knocks at the door of our heart strongly inviting us to live in the truth of God, in his justice which is made of mercy. 

SECOND LETTER   1 Tm 2:1-8

v The author of this letter invites us to personal and community prayer  

v A prayer with external gestures   

v A prayer for those who govern us  

v And not only pray for them for their own good  

v Also for the good of all, so that we will be able to live in peace.   

v The reason for this is the only mediator that we have, Christ Jesus who wants to save us.  

v  This second reading has something in common with the other two readings: peace and justice.    CLARETIAN CORNER 

Many other times our Lord has given me the grace to follow him with great detachment from all things and much trust in His Divine Providence. The Lord always does this with a great feeling of gratitude and tells me with great love: “My daughter, if one could be detached from oneself, then he would know what I do for him.  Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 91

 After that time, I recited the rosary not only in church but at home every night, as was the custom of my parents. After I had finished grammar school and had begun to work regularly in the factory, as I mentioned in chapter 5, I recited the three parts daily along with my fellow workers, who kept on working as I led them. We said the first part before eight o'clock breakfast, the second before lunch at noon, and the third before nine in the evening when they went home to dinner. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 46. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiography.

HAMEL, Jean-François. « Digne de confiance » in Prions en Église, 117.

JENSEN, Joseph. Ethical Dimension of the Prophets. Collegeville, Minnesota  2006. 

PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography

RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.




Tuesday, September 10, 2019


24 SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  – CYCLE C – 2019

ü  Each Sunday we have a new teaching from Jesus narrated  by Luke  in his Gospel  

ü  Today, the first reading as well as the Gospel speak to us about God’s kindness and unconditional love. 

ü  And also of his ability to listen and to change his plans. 

ü  This might seem to us, an error  or  a mistake, but let us see what the readings tell us   

FIRST READING  Ex 32:7-11,13-14

Ø  If we go back to chapter 24, we will read that the Lord calls Moses to give to him the commandments which he had already explained on chapter 20.  

Ø  Now he is about to ratify his covenant with the people that accepted to be his people 

Ø  However, as it is usual among us, human beings, we forget what we have promised in a moment of enthusiasm. 

Ø  The people get tired to wait for Moses to come down, and they decide to make their own God, which they will be able to manipulate.  

Ø  God gets angry and decides to destroy this people, not to journey with it anymore. 

Ø  Now something interesting happens, a conversation between Moses and God in favor of the people.  

Ø  As before in the time of Abraham, when he had a conversation with God about the sinner cities, which God was about to destroy. 

Ø  Moses reminds God how; he himself saved the people and made of them his own people. Now is he going to destroy it?  

Ø  He asks God to remember Abraham, Isaac and Israel to whom he promised that their offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky and, the sands of the seashore. 

Ø  And, now are you going to destroy the people without keeping your promise? 

Ø  And God changes his decision, like in the case of Abraham God was ready to spare the city if he could find 10 just men instead of 50 as was Abraham’s first deal. 

Ø  I find very interesting this way to portray God, he is not the immutable God of the Greeks and of the philosophers, he is not either the God who decides and does not listen to, because he knows everything. 

Ø  On the contrary it seems to me that he is the God who accepts and listens to the words of his friends. 

Ø  Do we  not believe this to be true, if not why do we pray for the cure of a sick loved one, that our kids  do good in school, that we may find a better job, a house to buy, etc…  

Ø  Let us remember   Jesus’ parables on prayer.  

During this week I think it would be good to ask ourselves, what is my golden calf?  Not the golden calf of our society, this is very easy to point it out, because we do not feel that we are part of this negative aspect of our society. But let us take this question into our life, and with sincerity let us ask the Lord that his light illumines our inner darkness, and thus we might be able to discover our golden calf, that we keep  saved and protected so that we will not have to destroy it. 

Responsorial Psalm  Sal 50: 3-4, 12-13, 17 y 19

R.   I will rise and go to my father.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R
. I will rise and go to my father.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R
. I will rise and go to my father.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. I will rise and go to my father.

·       I will rise and go to my Father. What will I say to him? Will I say that I am angry with those I consider sinners? With those that do not do what I think should be done? With God who forgives those people I consider evil?

·       Or will I rise and go to my Father to say THANK YOU for your love for all of us, THANK YOU for being our Good Shepherd.

GOSPEL  LUKE 15:1-32

v The commentary will be on the last parable 

v We all know this beautiful story which touches our heart, because we feel like the younger son who wants to come back home, and we also want to return home. 

v But I would like to direct our meditation in a different direction, following something I have read, and I think it can be very useful for all of us. 

v There are two sons, let us look first at the younger one, the one who left home 

o   He asks from his father something, which does not belong to him, and his father allows him to choose his way, in spite that his heart is broken when he sees him leave.   

o   Since that money did not cost him any sacrifice or effort he spends it without any consideration. He has friends while the money is there.  

o   He looks for a job, and accepts one which is humiliating for a Jew, so low has he fallen: to take care and feed pigs.  

o   Hunger, loneliness, low self-esteem, everything comes together for this young man to touch bottom. Then he remembers his father, and finds the energy to go back.

o   “I will go back… I will say… I am not worthy… receive me as…

v The other son, the eldest 

o   He is a “wise” and hardworking man, but has allowed his heart to harden, so much is the hate he feels for the way his brother behaves.  

o   He obeys and serves, not willingly and lovingly, but only because it is his duty; and this is what he has to do to be an honorable man. 

o   He is incapable to forgive his brother, neither to rejoice because his father is happy now; this causes more resentment in his heart.   

o   You have never given me… all the time I have served…  

v None of these sons has known who his father is  

o   Maybe the youngest knows him better, at least he knows that he will be in some way accepted 

o   The eldest who has always been at home close to his father has been unable  to know him nor to be happy with his father, he has lived everything as a burden. 

o   The paradox is that the one who started off badly ends well; on the contrary the one who began well, on seeing how everything ends,  we discover that he was never well

v But what happens with the father. I am going to transcribe some thoughts  from Jose Antonio Pagola, which I find very interesting, and I prefer that you read them directly yourselves instead of giving my interpretation.  

o   More and more the contemporary interpreters of the Bible have open a new way to read this parable… to discover in it the tragedy of a father that, in spite of his “incredible love” for his  sons, he cannot build a united family. That would be, according to Jesus, the tragedy of God.   

o   The father (who went out to meet his younger son) goes now to meet his eldest and reveals to him the most deep desire of his heart: to see his children sitting at the same table, friendly sharing a festive banquet, in spite of  any confrontation, hate and condemnations.   

o   Peoples   in war to each other, blind terrorisms, lack of solidarity by political groups, religions with a harden heart, countries plunged in hunger… We will never share the earth in a dignified and happy way, if we do not look at each other with the compassionate love of God. 

o   This fresh look, is the most important thing that as followers of Jesus, we can introduce today in our world.  

v I think that these paragraphs do not need any explanation, and also they can help us to look at the parable with new eyes, new ears and new heart. 

SECOND READING   1 Tm 1:12-17



*     Paul is grateful because the Lord has considered him faithful and has entrusted to him the ministry 

*     This generosity of the Lord reminds to Paul his previous condition of persecutor. 

*     This thought never abandoned Paul, I imagine that this helped him very much to be humble in the midst of all the gifts and graces he had received.

*      He acknowledges, however, that all that he did was caused by ignorance.  

*     Grace, faith and Jesus Christ love had been abundant in Paul. 

*     Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, and Paul says that he knows that this is true.

*     He ends this fragment of his letter with a praise to Christ Jesus, King of the ages. 

CLARETIAN CORNER

Heaven and earth know that I have said and confessed the truth without any exaggeration, rather I say less than more, because I had never paid attention to these things, and now when holy obedience compels me to write, as it is many years ago that those things happened, I prefer to omit rather then say them, for I do not consider them necessary. Because the one who will read what I have written will easily deduce the manner God uses to act in souls to whom he grants so great graces because   of his infinite goodness. And there is another motive excusing me to keep silence about them and it is that I cannot explain the manner God works in the soul with so great intimacy guiding her by the straight path of His most holy Law, because God acts in such a way that the more He acts, the less we can understand. In all that I have written, I have seen myself many times confused and full of fear remembering such benefits of God to a soul sp ungrateful. I would have turned back from my purpose a thousand times had the force of obedience not obliged me with its entire rigor. And thus, afraid and confused, I have pleaded a thousand times to the Lord to guide my pen and not to permit, by His goodness, that I might say anything untrue in its most minimal part, and that my tongue would be stuck to my palate before I could fail in telling the truth.

In these fears, our Lord, more than once had told me to write as I like, that I would not fail against the truth, and so, I could say incomparably much more than what I would say. María Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 84.

At about this time I discovered in our house a book called El Roser, the rose-tree, which contained pictures and explanations of the mysteries of the rosary. I learned from it how to recite the rosary, litanies, and other prayers. When my teacher heard of this, he was very pleased and had me kneel by his side in church so that I could lead the rosary. When the older boys saw how this had put me in the teacher's good graces, they learned it too. From then on we alternated in leading every other week, so that all came to learn and practice this holy devotion that, after Holy Mass, is the most profitable. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 45.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Autobiography.

CONFERENCIA EPISCOPAL ESPAÑOLA. SAGRADA BIBLIA  BAC 2012

PAGOLA, José Antonio. El camino abierto por Jesús – 2 Lucas- PPC 2011

PARIS, María Antonia . Autobiography.


Monday, September 2, 2019


23rd  SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME  - CYCLE C - 2019           



Who knows the plans of God? We discover them during the journey of our life, in which the Lord walks by our side, and gives us light   to discover the meaning of the events.  



THE BOOK OF WISDOM

ü  It is a "deutero-canonical" book.  These books have never been accepted by the people of Israel   as being revealed by God, and neither do our brothers of other Christian traditions. However,  our church has always accepted them as revealed by God.  .  

ü  Its traditional name is "Wisdom of Solomon."    

ü  Why of Solomon, if it was written many centuries after the death of Solomon?  

ü  It is a tradition of the people of Israel to attribute all the wisdom literature to Solomon.  

ü  In the first ten chapters of the book, wisdom is greatly exalted, but from chapter eleven on it is justice that is present in all the chapters, and even in the first ten.  

ü  Would that be that justice is a part of wisdom? This is left to our reflection. 

ü  The author finds himself in a cross culture society: Greek and Semitic (Israelite)  

ü  We discover that, through the literary style and language.   

ü  The theme of the book, as Luis Alonso Schoëkel says:   is a treatise on government justice.   

ü  Syria was loosing its power before the growing strength of the Babylonian Empire.  

ü  the author of the book already acknowledges the immortality of the human being "God created man for immortality.... 2,23"   

ü  This verse is a clear answer to the anguish form evil and from suffering of Job and of Qoelet.   

ü  Wisdom is considered as Word and as Spirit.   

ü  We are already in the threshold of the Gospel grace.



FIRST READING. Wis 9:13-18b

v Who knows the mind of God?  

v What men think is always small, insignificant even when it seems great.   

v The author says that the body, that is earthly, prevents us from flying, from rising, it is a dead weight that drags us downward.   

v We do not have to understand this literally, because our body is a body with a spirit, and our soul is an incarnate spirit. As human beings, we are both spirit and matter, which we cannot separate, if we could do so we would not be human beings anymore.    

v We have a hard time understanding the events of our life, of our history, of what surround us. 

v The author asks who will be able to discover and understand fully the thing from heaven.   

v Only the one who has received the Spirit of God can understand what God commands.  

v His Spirit makes straight our path.  



RESPONSORIAL PSALM -Ps 90 3-4,5-6,12-13,14-17

IN EVERY AGE, O LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR REFUGE

You turn man back to dust

saying "Return, o children of men."

for a thousand years in your sight

are as yesterday, now that it is past

or as a watch of the night.

IN EVERY AGE, O LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR REFUGE



You make an end of them in their sleep

the next morning they are like the changing grass

which at dawn springs up anew

but by evening wilts and fades.

IN EVERY AGE, O LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR REFUGE



Teach us to number our days aright

that we may gain wisdom of heart

return, O Lord! how long?

have pity on your servants!

IN EVERY AGE, O LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR REFUGE



Fill us at daybreak with your kindness

that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days

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!

IN EVERY AGE, O LORD, YOU HAVE BEEN OUR REFUGE



ü  All the verses we read this Sunday are a reminder of the greatness of God and of our smallness. 

ü  But the Lord loves us, thus we ask him with great trust to look at us with compassion. 

ü  We also ask him with great trust that his goodness may come upon us, so that our works will please him.   



GOSPEL   LK 14:25-33

Jesus continues to teach on his journey to Jerusalem, and he continues to teach during  our life  journey.

Today we are going to hear from him three simple lessons, which are really only one: the conditions for following him.   

*     The first lesson confuses us "to hate father, mother...” 

·       But to be able to understand what he really means we need to know the language he is using    

·       Jesus speaks in his own native language the Aramean, which belongs to the Semitic group of languages and participates of its characteristics. To hate does not mean the same as it means in our language. To hate is to love less.  

·       Thus, he is telling us that we have to love him more than anybody else, even more than our own self. 

·       What he really tells us is that we cannot love ourselves more than we love him.  

·       If we are sincere, we will acknowledge that when we say that we love very much our family, in this love there is a lot of selfishness. Each one of us may reflect on that.     

·       If we do not love him over everything and everybody else, we cannot be his disciples.  

*     The second example is the man who wants to build.   

·       It seems that the Lord wants to teach us prudence, do not begin if you cannot finish the work, either because you do not have the financial means or enough workers to do it.  

·       If you begin in these conditions you will not be able to complete and you will suffer humiliation

*     The third example is very similar to the second one, but the situation is war, do not go to war against your enemy if you do not have enough soldiers and enough arms, because you are going to be defeated.  

*     The Lord finishes his teaching saying that if we do not renounce all our possessions we cannot be his disciples: 

·       to renounce what we possess seems to be  the same as   to love him more than anything and anybody else. 

·       to renounce seems  also to be the same as the prudence we need in our lives, prudence that will help us to follow him, to be his disciple.   



SECOND READING   Flm 9-10, 12-17

Ø  The letter to Philemon is a personal letter of Paul to his friend Philemon. 

Ø  However, the theme is so important for our Christian life, that those who put together the canon of the Scriptures considered worth to include this letter.  

Ø  The theme is slavery, but it is not a treatise on slavery, but a teaching about the equality, the fraternity among all the human beings.   

Ø  Onessimus is a slave of Philemon who has fled from his master.  

Ø  This could result in his execution, but Onessimus has heard about Paul, the friend of his master, and he goes to him for help.    

Ø  Paul evangelizes and baptizes him, Onessimus becomes a Christian, a member of the community of faith, thus a brother.  

Ø  And then Paul asks Onessimus to return to his master, and gives him this letter addressed to Philemon.   

Ø  Paul asks Philemon to welcome back Onessimus, he asks even more, to receive him as if Onessimus were Paul.   

Ø  This is a short letter that has only one chapter, but it is a letter filled with the tenderness of Paul and the radical demands of the Gospel.  

Ø  We have already seen these demands in today's Gospel as we have heard the Lord saying to us that we have to love him above everything else, even ourselves.   



CLARETIAN CORNER   



All that God our Lord has been pleased to manifest to me regarding the situation of the church, will be found in the notes I handed over to my prelate on June 9 1856, through my confessor D.N.N

The particular notes in those writings must not be presented because the Lord did not state that they be made public by now, but as a friendly advice for the person in question. Rather he wills to keep them secret until the very subject discovers them if he deems it so for the glory of His divine Majesty. God our Lord loves him that much.  Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography  81.

      When I was a little boy I was given a pair of rosary beads, and I was more pleased with them than with the greatest treasure. I used them after school when my classmates and I marched in double file to the nearby church where our teacher led us in reciting a part of the rosary.

      At about this time I discovered in our house a book called El Roser, the rose-tree, which contained pictures and explanations of the mysteries of the rosary. I learned from it how to recite the rosary, litanies, and other prayers. When my teacher heard of this, he was very pleased and had me kneel by his side in church so that I could lead the rosary. When the older boys saw how this had put me in the teacher's good graces, they learned it too. From then on we alternated in leading every other week, so that all came to learn and practice this holy devotion that, after Holy Mass, is the most profitable.

St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 44-45.  



BIBLIOGRAPHY

CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiography.

PAGOLA, José A.  Following in the Footsteps of Jesus. Meditations on the Gospels for Year C.

PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiography

RAVASI, Gianfranco, Según las Escrituras, Año C.

SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso, Comentario a La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.