Saturday, August 27, 2011

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The readings today (Jer. 20: 7-9 and Mt 16: 21-27) are full of paradoxes. The prophet Jeremiah said that was seduced, but we see that his life is not full of loving people towards him, but rejection. Jesus in the gospel preaches that whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself. After those words we can see that The Cross is behind, the sum of all the paradoxes for every Christian. That is our faith. We can announce the victory of Jesus without telling people that He was defeated after He was humiliated.

Jeremiah has a bad reputation. The reputation of someone that is always complaining. What sometimes we forget is that He has something to say and is the word that comes from God and sometimes God is not welcome.

God is welcome when we want Him to resolve a problem, heal from an illness, help us when we are sad, when we want power to control our life. But when is time for Him to lead or when He suggest us to leave idols that we love is not easy to receive the one is speaking in the name of the Lord.

Jeremiah tried to get ride of God because he brought to him many inconvenient. The history tells us that he couldn’t. With god the prophets can become martyrs, but without God may be only clowns. In Jeremiah we see that Love could do more in him even though was making his present uncomfortable but choosing faithfulness to God the criteria of Life.

Lord Jesus, your words, “be perfect just as your heavenly father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), have challenged saints and sinners for 2000 years, and they challenge me today. Lord, I ask you to grant me the grace to follow the steps to holiness by denying myself (purgative way), taking up my cross (illuminative way), and following you (unitive way)

Lord, place in the depth of my soul a great desire to become a saint by denying myself, taking up my cross and following you

Lord Jesus, I ask you for the courage to continue to follow your call to holiness. Help me to know where it is you want me to become more like you, and give me the strength to form myself into the saint of which you have always dreamed. Mother Mary, I entrust my spiritual life into your maternal care. Guide me as you guided your son.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

In The Gospels we see Jesus not getting exited about what we people usually get exited about. We see in Luke chapter 10 vs. 17 and 20 when the disciples returned from preaching the good news: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name… and Jesus responded “Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven”; or Luke 12, 31 when they were warning Jesus about someone that was trying to kill Him …Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you…  and with peace and not paying to much attention He responded “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose... or in the beginning of Mark 1, 37  The excitement because popularity was obvious and they said to Jesus “Everyone is looking for you.”  The Lord, instead of growing in popularity like a politician or a Hollywood star will do today He responded: “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come… or even when they said to Him that His Mother and His brothers were looking for Him in Matthew 12, 47 He responded: “who is my mother? Who are my brothers? For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

It seams that things of the earth; praising, success, and persecution, is not the main problem for Him. But if a pagan woman like the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15, 28 comes to Him and understands that the bread of the sons of Israel may come at least as scraps of bread to her, then Jesus reacts in a different way: Great is your faith woman, let it be done according to your wish.

The Heart of Jesus is, as we see, set up as a clear mission and nothing is more important than that: To announce the coming of the Kingdom of God.

Peter receives a complement from Jesus in 16, 17 “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood* has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father” Peter is clearly talking about the Father and the wishes of the Father to help Jesus be known as the Messiah. But pay attention to the second part. It seems that Jesus want The Good News of The Gospel, the announcement of The Kingdom not to be as any other news on the streets. He wants it to be preached properly, in a process that involves the Holy Spirit also. A process that transform a message from the mouth of the apostle (first we need to be apostles, followers of Jesus) and then to see the message in the ears and hearts of people be transformed in revelation of the Father through the Holy Spirit.

Lord, please help me to go deep into the truth about who you are and not to be satisfied with simply having some vague idea. I want to know you intimately through prayer, Confession, Spiritual Direction, the same way St. Peter and so many saints have known you. Grant me this grace not just for my sake, but also for all those souls with whom I will come into contact.