Monday, January 28, 2019

*      Last week Jesus gave his inaugural speech at the Synagogue of Nazareth. Through his words we realized that he introduced his ministry as the Jubilee Year.  He is our Jubilee.
*      Next Sunday Jesus will say of himself that he is a prophet.  
*      As a prophet, he will suffer, like every prophet, the rejection of his own people. 

«  The prophet Jeremiah lived in very painful times: wars, persecutions, deportation to Egypt and finally the deportation to Babylon.  
«  His oracles are full of suffering for the infidelities of his people to the Covenant.  
«  He suffers also for the destruction of his holy city Jerusalem. 
«  He has very harsh words against the leaders of his people, whom he makes responsible for the misfortunes they are suffering. 
«  The central theme of his theology is the Covenantal Theology, he uses images as: 
o   Prostitution to speak of idolatry of his people Israel 
o   When speaking of idols he calls them lovers,   to which some people offer incense and sacrifices.  
«  He has also oracles full of love and gentleness. 
«  Some chapters of the book are like an intimate diary of his relationship with God, whom he loves tenderly and passionately. However, sometimes he experiences God as far, he feels abandoned and even betrayed by the God he loves. 
«  He gives his entire life to God for the service of his people whom he loves tenderly. 

FIRST READING  Jer 1:4-5, 17-19
Ø  God speaks to Jeremiah and says to him  
o   Before you were formed in the womb I knew you  
o   Before you were born I consecrated you  
o   I appointed you prophet of the nations.  
Ø  These words are able to fill anyone with enthusiasm, and to make him or her fall in love with God, but  
Ø  God continues saying to Jeremiah: And now  
o   Be on guard, prepare yourself 
o   Do not be afraid of those who oppose you, those who threaten you.  
o   Because 
§  I have made of you a fortified city  
§  A bronze pillar  
§  An iron wall  
o   Even if they fight against you, do not be afraid, because I, the Lord, will be with you. 
The Lord keeps saying these same words to each one of us.  

Responsorial Psalm Ps 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15-17
R.  I will sing of your salvation.
In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, and deliver me;
incline your ear to me, and save me.
R.  I will sing of your salvation.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety,
 for you are my rock and my fortress.
O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked.
R.  I will sing of your salvation
For you are my hope, O Lord;
my trust, O God, from my youth.
On you I depend from birth;
from my mother's womb you are my strength.
R.  I will sing of your salvation.
My mouth shall declare your justice,
day by day your salvation.
O God, you have taught me from my youth,
and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
R.  I will sing of your salvation

This psalm shows hope and security in the shelter of God’s presence.

GOSPEL Lk 4:21-30
ü  We take the narrative at the Synagogue of Nazareth from the place where we left it last week. 
ü  Jesus has just announced his program of action and let the people know that the Spirit who sends him to proclaim good news has anointed him.    
ü  The people are pleased to listen to him, but the situation is going to change very soon: Is he not the son of Joseph the carpenter? He belongs to our town; he must not be as good as he looks. Maybe he is hiding something.   
ü  Jesus reminds them the saying: no prophet is accepted in his own country and 
ü  He also reminds them about two prophets:  
o   Elijah who was sent to the widow at Zarephath     
o   Elisha who healed a leper who did not belong to the people of Israel.
ü  These comparisons of Jesus made them furious   
ü  They are so angry that they try to kill him
ü  But Jesus walks away from them without harm. His hour has not come yet.  

SECOND READING  1Cor 12:31-13,13
*      Paul includes in his letter to the Community of Corinth this wonderful hymn to love.   
*      This hymn is found not only in the Bible and in many of our hymns and songs, 
*      But it is also considered a Literary piece of art, patrimony of the human race.  
*      When we want to speak about love frequently, we use this hymn of Paul to the Corinthians.  Compared with love nothing has any value: 
o   To speak in tongues  
o   The gift of prophecy, the ability to explain the deepest mysteries of our faith  
o   Moving mountains  
o   Giving everything, even our life, to defend our faith, martyrdom. 
*      Love never dies 
*      Prophecy will be silenced, faith will be transformed into vision  
*      Paul continues and gives a wonderful description of what love really is:  
o   Love is kind, love is patient  
o   Love is neither jealous nor selfish  
o   Love rejoices always in the truth 
o   Love never rejoices in what is evil …   
*      Then he compares what happens in our childhood and adulthood.  
*      We are invited to grow up to adulthood, and abandon what is childlike, to become adults in faith.    
*      Of the three virtues which help us to enter into a relationship with God: faith, hope and charity
*      The greatest is charity=love, the other two will not be necessary when we see God face to face in eternity.    

“Now my companions are at the end of their mission, and afterwards, we will all gather and consult with the Bishop of Barcelona who will arrive now and is my close friend and we will see how the matter will be dealt with. But God our Lord who had decided in his eternal decrees  to guide the flight to the other part of the world, permitted another obstacle that in my opinion, banished some of his ideas, undoubtedly because God’s plans were very different  from those of this holy man and mine, because certainly , neither had he ever thought of the cross God had prepared him entrusting to him the government of this vast island, nor, by then, had I ever thought of crossing those seas. So, I remained in my convent as before, and he continued in his mission, for us to transfer to this new world where he wanted to start his work. Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress, Autobiography 62.
One thing that the Lord gave me to understand is that it is important for a missionary to deny himself in taking food and drink. The Italians have a saying to the effect that no one gives credit to saints who like to eat. People would like to think of missionaries as men who are more heavenly than earthly and that we are like saints' statues that don't need to eat or drink. In this respect, our Lord has given me the very special grace of being able to get along without eating, or with eating very little. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder. Autobiography  403.

CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, Confer. Episc. española

RAVASI, Gianfranco. Según las Escrituras – Ciclo C. San Pablo 2006. 

SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

Monday, January 21, 2019



In this third Sunday in Ordinary time, we move a step forward in the knowledge of Jesus.  
o   After his baptism in the Jordan River, the Father said that Jesus is his beloved son. 
o   At the wedding in Canna the overwhelming abundance of water changed into wine by the word of Jesus and the cooperation of Mary and the servants, reminds us what Isaiah had prophesized about the messianic times.   
o   Today Jesus will tell us that in him the Great Jubilee of God is fulfilled.

«  The books of Ezra and of Nehemiah were a single literary work, which became two books sometime in history. 
«  It is also possible that both books were part of a larger work, which included the books of Chronicles.   
«   The end of Chronicles is repeated in the beginning of the book of Ezra.   
«  Ezra-Nehemiah recount the return from the Babylonian exile.  This return entailed the restauration of Jerusalem and the reconstruction of the Temple.   
«  The books of Ezra and Nehemiah present the events not in a chronological order but in a theological order, according to the authors’ point of  view.

o   Return from exile  (Ez 1-6)

o   The memories of Ezra  (Ez 7-10)

o   The memories of Nehemiah   (Neh 1-7)

o   Renewal of the Covenant  (Neh 8-10)

o   The book of  Nehemiah’s memories

«  These two books were included in the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures before Chronicles; because the content of Chronicles is already present in the books of Samuel and Kings.    
«  The people of Israel had always been a people different from all the other peoples that surrounded it.  Its traditions, its laws, its faith in the only true God  who had spoken to Abraham and had made a covenant with Moses; but now with Ezra and Nehemiah Judaism is born;  It rests on four pillars: 
o   The Hebrew race as a sign of identity, which is transmitted only from parents to children. 

o   The law, as a rule of life and, as the manifestation of God’s fidelity. 

o   The land, as the place which God himself gave to the chosen people.  

o   The temple of Jerusalem as the place where God the creator dwells.  

FIRST READING  Neh 8,2-4a, 5-6, 8-10

Ø  Ezra reads the book of the Law to all, who are able to understand. This book is probably the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew text.    

Ø  Some scholars think that this book is the book of Deutoronomy, others an abbreviated version of the Pentateuch as we have it now, others think that it could be the Pentateuch as we have it now.   

Ø  The reading of the book happens the day before the feast of the tabernacles, which is celebrated at the end of the summer tasks. 

Ø  There is a kind of solemnity in this liturgical act of reading the book of the Law:   

o   Ezra stands up

o   He opens the book so that all can see it   

o   Ezra blesses God and, all the people says Amen, yes we praise you our God.    

o   After having read the Law, the religious and civil leaders invite the people to rejoice, to celebrate, eating and drinking and, not being sad.  

o   Because their strength is in the joy of the Lord  

o   Every Sunday we are also invited to the feast, that Jesus himself has prepared for us in his bread and in his wine, in his community, the community of faith to which we belong.  

o   This feast is prepared for us by the Lord, by means of our leaders in faith, the priests of the Lord.


R.   Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

*      This psalm is a hymn to the Creator and to the Law 

*      The responsorial psalm is taken from the part dedicated to the law.  

*      It sings the beauty of the Law and says something very beautiful “it is joy for the heart, rest for the soul and gives light to the eyes.   

GOSPEL LK 1:1-4; 4,14-21

ü  We begin, with Jesus, his missionary ministry of proclaiming the good news.

ü  The liturgy invites us, before we listen to Jesus inaugural speech in the Synagogue of Nazareth, to read again the beginning of Luke’s Gospel.   

o   Luke says to us that what he is about to say to us comes from the tradition of the Christian community, the community of the followers of the Teacher.  

ü  Let us go now to chapter 4 and listen to Jesus  

ü  Luke explains to us that Jesus goes to the Synagogue, as usual. Jesus, who has come back to his home town, he goes to the synagogue on Saturday, like any  good Israelite.   

ü  It seems that it was customary to invite to read those, who were visiting, Jesus is not a foreigner he is a son of the town, but he has been away for a long time, and everyone is saying great things that he has done in other places.       

ü  They give to him the book of the prophet Isaiah in the section called Third Isaiah.   

ü  Jesus reads with solemnity: The Spirit    

o   Is upon me…

o   He has sent me to heal, to console… 

ü  And the text of Luke continues at this point mentioning a quotation from the book of Leviticus:   

o   To proclaim the year of grace…  

ü  When he finishes to read Jesus sits down, gives his “homily.” He begins  with these words:

o   Today in your presence, this Scripture has been fulfilled.  

ü  Let us reflect on what Jesus is saying in the Synagogue of Nazareth  

o   The first part of the reading is taken  from the prophet Isaiah 

§  Announcing the mission of the Messiah, of the one who is to come, of the one who will have the fullness of the Spirit upon him  

§  His mission will  restore what is incomplete, will do good according to the needs of others   

§  To bring good tidings to the poor, who really need to hear a good word 

§  To proclaim liberty to those who do not have it; how many situations in which liberty, freedom is lacking! He has come to give back to us the freedom that God wants for each one of us. 

§  To give back sight to those who are blind, how many blindness we have! 

§  To liberate the oppressed, what does oppress us today? What does oppress our brothers and sisters today? 

§  And this is to proclaim the year of grace, that is to say THE JUBILEE described in Leviticus 25, 8 and ff. 

§  The Jubilee Year, the year of grace because it is the year of the great pardon.  

ü  This is the way, in which Jesus, according to the Gospel of Luke, begins his ministry.   This proclamation in Luke corresponds to the Beatitudes that Matthew has at the beginning of the great sermon of the Mountain. In this passage, Jesus tells us how his followers have to behave. And truly the beatitudes are the portrait of Jesus, as the proclamation in the Synagogue of Nazareth is the description of Jesus ministry of compassion 

ü  John Paul II in the document “Toward the Third Millennium says that, Jesus in Nazareth describes his ministry in terms of the Jubilee Year.  

ü  Jesus is the incarnation, the fulfillment of the Jubilee Year. 

SECOND READING   1Cor 12:12-14, 27

*      We continue the Reading of the letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

*      Today Paul explains to his community what it means to be a church.  

*      Last week he said to us that we all receive the same Spirit, who gives his gifts plentifully; according to the service  we have been called to do.   

*      Today he advances a step forward in the teaching about the meaning of being a church; he uses the comparison with the human body.  

*      Paul did not know what we know now of the human body, but he gives a very practical description.    


Let the one who reads these notes not wonder to see them so disordered, because I never thought that I had to write such things. So, I started with such confusion and shame that I had not been able to do it in order. That’s why many things, which out to be at the beginning, are in the middle and others, which are to be in the middle are at the end. They will also miss the dates, because of my own carelessness but not for lack of truthfulness, since by the grace of God, I have always abhorred lies.  Let it be for the glory of God and of the most Blessed Mother.  Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress, Autobiography 232
Their Majesties are surrounded by self-serving men who are always hunting and grasping after titles, honors, greater salaries, and sums of money; but I, as I have said, have gained nothing; rather, I have lost much. Her Majesty wanted me by all means to accept the office of Guardian of Montserrat—the church, hospital, etc.-but I declined. Both she and the Commissioner General asked me many times to take the post, and when I learned that the buildings had already been advertised for sale in the Official Bulletin, I finally accepted, just to save them. And what did I gain by it all? I had to pay 5,000 duros out of my own pocket for repairs on the church and the hospital.
I can say much the same of the royal monastery of the Escorial, which neither is nor has ever been a source of profit to me; rather, it has brought me nothing but troubles and pains, and it has been the occasion of persecutions, slanders, and bills.  Three times I tried to resign from its presidency, but failed. Well, God be praised for it all: if the Lord wants me to carry this cross, all I can do is submit to his will. My God, I want nothing of this world, nothing but your grace, your holy love and heavenly glory. St Anthony Mary Claret, Autobiography 635-636


            CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiografía.

PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiografía

MUÑOZ, HORTENSIA y TUTZÓ, REGINA. París y Claret: dos plumas movidas por el mismo Espiritu. Llamados a renovar la iglesia. Misioneras Claretianas 2010.     

SCHÖKEL , Luis Alonso, La Biblia de nuestro Pueblo.

SAGRADA BIBLIA, Versión Oficial de la Conferencia Episcopal Española