Sunday, January 29, 2017

¨When I was your age¨ (4th Sunday) (2017-01-29)

4th Sunday (Year A)  29 January 2017

Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13 • Psalm 146 • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 • Matthew 5:1-12a

[__01__]  We read this Sunday from the Matthew, Chapter 5, the Beatitudes and the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, which begins: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”   (Matthew 5:3)

[__01.01__]  “When I was your age … ”  “When I was your age … ”
          If someone begins a sentence like this, it is probably going to be a SERMON, a sermon on the mount from someone more senior, more elder to us.
          “When I was your age … ”
          Someone is going to tell us how it was.
          And, Jesus is telling us how it was, how it is, and how it will be for a disciple, for a follower of his Gospel.
          Jesus is telling us this, to encourage us, not to frighten us, not to scare us, but to encourage us and to challenge us.

[__02_ ]   “When I was your age …”
          When I heard my grandmother and my grandfather speak of their emigration from Ireland and their immigration to the United States, I expected to hear of some challenge. And, occasionally, I was frightened to hear about what each of them endured.
           Without any money and just a few family connections, they had to work as hard as they could in Bayonne, Jersey City, and New York to support their family.
          They returned only very intermittently to see their family in Ireland. In my grandmother’s case, she departed Ireland as a teenager and returned only once at the age of 73.
          My grandfather also reported the inconvenient truth of his arrival in January of 1929 in New York, a few months before the stock market crash of October 1929.   As he said, “I arrived here just in time.”
          “When I was your age …”

[__03_ ]   When our parents or teachers give us these autobiographies, these stories of their lives, they are often trying to tell us, to challenge us. And, I did not dare to disagree with them.
          They are reminding us that we have it easier than they did.

[__04__]   And, I did not dare to disagree with them. And, while, at times, I dared – in my own mind – to think they were not as sophisticated or educated as I am, I also do not know that I could have attained their success or persevered as well.
          What if I were their age?
          In some cases, our elders, our parents, our coaches, our teachers are touching on subjects contained in the Beatitudes. They are encouraging us to do our best, to persevere, while also acknowledging that we will experience, each in our own way --
·        Poverty
·        The sorrow of mourning and grief
·        Meekness, humility
·        Persecution
          These are also the themes of the Beatitudes.

[__05_ ]   And, in the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus our Savior, was also communicating – though not complaining – about these things to us. He is saying that a life of virtue, honesty, integrity that would also bring at times…
·        Poverty
·        Sorrow of mourning and grief
·        Meekness, humility
·        Persecution
            In other words, there will not always be fairness or justice in our lives.
[__06__]    Also, Jesus is reminding us that though we may have money or wealth, status, popularity, education, none of this is as important as our loving relationship with God and loving relationship with others is more important than any of these.

          [** pause **]

          What is the greatest commandment?   “Love God with all of your heart, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Matthew 22:37)

          These are the treasures in heaven which cannot be disturbed or destroyed by the elements of the weather or a bad economy or bad luck.

[__08__]  In fact, theses treasures grow in value when we recall that for example…

[__08.01__]   MONEY AND WEALTH. These are blessings which we both own and are called to share.  We should not be too attached to them, thus all of us are called to the spirit and attitude of poverty and simplicity, of detachment regardless of our bank account, whether we have big money or a little money.
          Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

          These are of great value. Of course, we cherish and treasure these relationships to our mothers and fathers, to our spouse, to our children and grandchildren, our sisters and brothers, our good friends.
          Yet, at times, we are asked to say farewell, to recognize that God has a timeline and a plan for our lives that is not in our calendar or written in our agenda or on our phones.
          At such times, our tears, our lamentations, our sorrows, prayers and our support of each other are important.  We are called to grief and to acknowledge our sorrow, and to grieve together.
          Such honesty about our sadness and pain helps us to grow and to love.         Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

[__08.03__]   STATUS AND POWER.  Certainly, our reputation has value. Your personal reputation has value. It is to be protected. Yet, at times, all of us will be humbled, we will be shaken up. Not everyone is going to admire us, appreciate us.  This does not destroy us.. as Jesus also teaches…
          Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land.
          And, we are blessed when we are a little humble or humbled by an obstacle, a lack of success, a failure.
          Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
          We are not always in the right, we may have to hunger for it or work for this daily bread, to satisfy our hunger.

[__09__]    Today, centuries after his Passion, Death and Resurrection, Jesus is still with us.
          Yes, he is our elder brother still speaking to us, telling us , what it was like, “when he was our age.”
          When he was our age, though was anointed by God as the Messiah, he endured great pain and suffering and did this not for his own glory or to prove his own worth, but to prove our worth, our value.
          Isn’t this true of our parents, our teachers, our coaches, our grandparents, they did things for us not to prove their value but to prove our value. 
          To be Christlike is not only to recognize my value but the value in the other person.
          In a similar way, when we forgive someone, we do this not to show how magnanimous or intelligent or generous we are or great we are, but to show the greatness of the other person.

          And … blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. 
[__10__]     [__fin__]  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

¨Coger¨, ¨Atrapar¨ (3º domingo) (2017-01-22)

3º  domingo (Año A)   22 enero 2017
Isaías 8:23-9:3 • Salmo 27 • 1 Corintios  1:10-13, 17 •  Mateo 4:12-23 

[__01_ ]   [__02__]   / [__03_ ]  En el Evangelio de este domingo, Jesús encuentra a algunos individuos que pueden atrapar. Está caminando por el lago, el mar de Galilea y ve a los pescadores, Andrés, Pedro, Santiago y Juan.
          Y, les está invitando a abandonar un ambiente o un campo e ir a un nuevo ambiente. Sin embargo, no pasan del béisbol al fútbol.
          Ellos están, más bien, pasando de la PESCA a la EVANGELIZACIÓN , de lanzar su red al mar para traer el pez ... a hablar y contar a otros la Buena Nueva del Reino de Dios.
          Y, como dice Jesús, “Síganme y los haré pescadores de hombres.”

          Jesús quiere enseñar a sus discípulos cómo atrapar, cómo atrapar a los peces, cómo atraer a otros discípulos.

[__04__]  OMITIR

[__05_ ]  Jesús creyó que cada uno de sus discípulos podía conectarse, jalar a otros suavemente con cierta técnica.
          Y, él cree que podemos conectar y hacer lo mismo, que podemos coger.
          Es decir, Jesús necesita que tú y yo y Pedro, Andrés, Santiago y Juan traigamos a otros a sí mismo.
          Sí, hará milagros, curará a la gente, hará cosas espectaculares. Sin embargo, ¿qué pasa con aquellos que no son testigos de los milagros espectaculares?
          ¿Qué pasa con los que estaban de pie en la fila de atrás? ¿No es cierto que vamos a aceptar el testimonio de personas en las que confiamos y en quienes creemos?
          Jesús necesita a sus discípulos - y todavía necesita que tú y yo hoy - para que otros conozcan mejor a Dios.
          Lo hacemos tanto por nuestras palabras como por nuestras acciones.

[__06__]  "Atrapar" no es algo que hacemos simplemente porque somos un portero o un jugador en el fútbol, ​​el baloncesto o el fútbol.
          Salimos cada día a coger.
          En la escuela, tratamos de CAPTAR, para aprender lo que se nos enseña. En este entorno, también se nos pide que prestemos atención y utilicemos dos manos. Podemos coger.
          Y, estamos llamados a recuperar si iban a soltar la pelota.
          En la oración y la meditación ante Dios, se nos pide que prestemos atención y utilicemos las dos manos, quizás para dedicarnos a todo nuestro cuerpo y nuestra mente en la oración para que podamos CAPTAR y comprender lo que el Señor nos está diciendo.
          Algunos de nosotros, por ejemplo, usando nuestras 2 manos en oración ... escribiremos y mantendremos un diario un diario de oración para recordar lo que Dios nos está diciendo con nuestras 2 manos.
          Es posible que desee anotarlo con estas dos manos.

Es posible que no lo obtengamos - o lo entendamos - la primera vez.

Estamos aprendiendo a atrapar cada día ya recuperarnos si hubo una intercepción o una bola caída o algo se desliza a través de nuestra red o nuestras manos.

[__07__]  Necesitamos la ayuda de otros - nuestros hermanos y hermanas, otros creyentes, amigos - para ayudarnos en esta recuperación.

A veces, estas relaciones pueden recordarnos cosas que dejamos caer, lo que hemos hecho o lo que no hemos podido hacer.

Y, en tales ocasiones, tratamos de recordar que Dios es amor, Dios nos ama y nos invita después de haber pecado.  Como leemos en la primera carta de San Juan, no hay temor en el amor,
¨En el amor perfecta echa fuera el temor porque el temor supone castigo, y el que teme no es perfecto en el amor.¨  (1 Juan 4:18)

[__08__]   omitir  [__09__]  omitir

[__10__]    Nuestro Salvador nos invita a recordar que Dios es Amor y que el amor de Dios siempre invita a la comunidad, a una relación.

Estamos llamados a edificarnos unos a otros en el amor, en la caridad, en la fe por lo que damos y recibimos de ellos.

Atrapar significa que estamos abiertos al amor de Dios en estas relaciones y que estamos abiertos a ser perfeccionados, aprendiendo más cada día.
Los primeros discípulos y tú y yo también estamos siendo conducidos a un nuevo campo, un nuevo lugar, para hacer - a veces - lo que nunca hemos hecho antes.
Jesús está con nosotros. También es lo que recibimos. Él está en nuestras relaciones, nuestra red. Este es buen partido.  [__fin_ ]  

¨Catch¨ (3rd Sunday) (2017-01-22)

3rd  Sunday (Year A)  -  22 January 2017
Isaiah 8:23-9:3 • Psalm 27 • 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17• Matthew 4:12-23 

[__01__]  Never having played a single down of football in his entire life, there was a young man at my very small college who was recruited to play football … because he could catch.

My friend’s father was the football coach and told me how he discovered this wide receiver.

“One day, I went to watch baseball practice. I saw this outfielder catching fly balls and I asked him if I could do that on the football field. He had never played football but said he would give it a try.   ”

But this former baseball player went on to the most successful wide receiver in the school’s history, and the conference history. And, though he was from a small college where the games were never on television and never big national news… this young man  was noticed and reported on in Sports Illustrated …. And later earned try-out with the NFL Indianapolis Colts later.

He could catch.

[__02_ ]  / [__03_ ]   In the Gospel of this Sunday, Jesus encounters some individuals who can catch. He is walking along the lake, the Sea of Galilee and he sees the fishermen, Andrew, Peter, James and John.

And, he is inviting them to leave one environment or field and go to a new environment. They are not, however, moving from baseball to football.

They are, rather, moving from FISHING to EVANGELIZING ….from casting their net into the sea to bring in the fish… to speaking and telling others the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

And, as Jesus says, “I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew ___)

[__04__]  omitir

[__05_ ]  Jesus believed that each of his disciples could catch.
And, he believes that we can catch.

That is, Jesus needs you and me and Peter, Andrew, James and John to draw others to himself.

Yes, he will do miracles, he will heal people, do spectacular things.  However, what about those who do not witness the spectacular miracles?

What about those who were standing in the back row ?  Isn’t it true that we will accept the testimony of people whom we trust and whom we believe?

Jesus needs his disciples – and still needs you and me today – to bring others to know God better.

We do this both by our words and actions.

He also believed that each of them could be caught, meaning they could be called and taught …and that they could be taken to new places and people.

Do you and I want to catch?

Do you and I want to be caught, to be called and to be taught?

[__06__]   “Catching” is not something that we do simply because we are a goalkeeper or a player in soccer, basketball, or football.

We go out each day to catch.

At school, we try to CATCH, to learn what is being taught to us. In this environment, we are also asked to pay attention and use two hands. We can catch.
And, we are called to recover if were to drop the ball.

In prayer and meditation before God, we are asked to pay attention and to use two hands, perhaps to engage e our whole body and mind in prayer so that we can CATCH – and comprehend – what the Lord is speaking to us.

Some of us, for example, using our 2 hands in prayer… will write and will keep a journal a prayer journal to recall what God is telling us with our 2 hands.

We may want to write it down with these 2 hands.

We may not get it – or understand it – the very first time.

We are learning to catch each day and to recover if there were an interception or dropped ball or something slips through our net or our hands.

[__07_ ]   We need the help of others – our brothers and sisters, other believers, friends  - to help us in this recovery.

At times, these relationships may remind us of things we dropped, what we have done or what we have failed to do.

And, at such times, we try to remember that God is love, God loves us and invites us after we have sinned.

As we read in the first letter of St. John, there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).

Jesus challenges you and me, further, to tell us that we are called to catch others.

This sounds suspicious, dangerous. Do I need a license, a permit, a flashlight in order to catch others?

Jesus is asking us to announce the Good News of the kingdom to others.

We do this in every act of love, of charity, of mercy that we can.  We may also need to pay attention to others.

By the way, we can “catch” others and draw them closer to God not only by noticing what they are doing wrong, but also be encouraging them for what they do right.

As we read in Galatians:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  (Galatians 3:28)

[__08__]  OMITIR


[__10__]  It’s easy to play catch when I only have to worry about myself.

But our Savior is inviting us to recall that God is Love and that God’s love always invites into community, into a relationship. 

We are called to build each other up in love, in charity, in faith by what we give and receive from them.

          Catching means we are open to God’s love in these relationships and that we are open to being perfected, in learning more each day.
          The first disciples and you and I are also being led to a new field, a new place, to do – at times – what we have never done before.
          Jesus is there with us. He is also what we receive. He is in our relationships, our net.  This is the catch.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

RESCATE - AGUA (2 domingo) (2017-01-15)

Year A 2 domingo,    15 enero 2017

[__01_ ]  La vida depende del agua.
La nueva vida espiritual - en el BAUTISMO, el sacramento del BAUTISMO - también depende del don del agua.

La vida depende del agua.

En cada lugar de su jardín, en su jardín o en nuestro sistema solar o galaxia, predecimos la existencia y vida de hojas de hierba que crecen ... o cualquier planta o animal ... basado en la existencia y evidencia de agua.

Siempre que leemos acerca de la NASA u otros proyectos de exploración espacial, leemos acerca de la búsqueda no sólo para la vida sino también para el agua.

Si se descubriera agua - [H2O] -, seguramente la vida seguiría. Si hay plantas vivas o animales, entonces debe haber agua.

El agua nos rescata. El agua nos salva.

[__02_ ]  Juan el Bautista llega en un lugar, en un lugar, con muy poca agua natural. El agua es escasa en las tierras llanas y planas de Oriente Medio y en el área alrededor del río Jordán.
Pero, Juan el Bautista no se refiere simplemente a la DESHIDRATACIÓN ... ya la REHIDRATACIÓN, físicamente.
JTB no se refiere simplemente a las fuentes de agua físicas, humanas o terrestres.

JTB no se preocupa si sus seguidores están bebiendo de 6 a 8 vasos de agua por día.
Sin embargo, JTB estaba preocupado de que la gente de su día no estaban bebiendo, no estaban siendo sumergidos en, los mandamientos de Dios, los caminos de Dios.
Y tú, puedo parecerme a estos primeros seguidores de JTB y de Jesús también.
Es decir, podríamos ser capaces de aceptar un pequeño sorbo, un pequeño sabor de los caminos de Dios. Pero, ¿queremos estar inmersos? ¿Sumergido?

[__03_ ]  Lo que sería un ejemplo de esto ...
Por ejemplo, usted y yo podríamos estar muy dispuestos a seguir la Regla de Oro, que es una regla hermosa y una manera de regular nuestras vidas y de regular nuestras expectativas. ¿Qué es la Regla de Oro?

Leemos en el Evangelio de Mateo, capítulo 7, versículo 12: "Haz a los demás lo que quieras que te hagan. Esta es la ley y los profetas. "(Mateo 7:12)
Así que, es razonable para mí entonces amar a los demás para que yo sea amado, ser amable con los demás para que sean amables conmigo.

Sin embargo, incluso con la Regla de Oro, sólo podríamos patinar sobre la superficie del lago helado de la palabra de Dios, en lugar de estar sumergidos en la palabra de Dios.
Jesús nos invita, no sólo a amar a los que nos aman, sino a amar a aquellos que no nos aman a cambio.
Esto no requiere - o significa - que tendremos relaciones igualmente cordiales o amistad diaria - con todos. Algunas personas, es cierto, podemos tener que amar a distancia ... o quizás necesitamos tiempo para entenderlas.

Cuando somos bautizados, también estamos inmersos, sumergidos en el agua, en la voluntad de Dios ... y esto, por ejemplo, significa orar por los que no nos aman, orar por los que nos persiguen .... (Mateo 5: 43-44)
O ... si somos insultados, no devuelva el insulto por insulto sino devuelva una bendición en su lugar. (1 Pedro 3: 9)

[__04_ ]   Somos bautizados en el agua no sólo para que podamos ser lavados o limpiados en el exterior, sino también para que podamos conocer la misericordia de Dios como alimento en el interior.

Esto invita a una comprensión interna más profunda
Así, por ejemplo, estamos invitados a ...
Sé compasivo (debajo de la superficie de nuestras emociones y sentimientos) cuando podamos sentirnos enojados en la superficie.

Sé un oyente (debajo de la superficie de nuestra mente) ... cuando podríamos usar nuestro cerebro y vocabulario para hablar. ¿Puedo escuchar atentamente lo que otra persona está diciendo?

Y, esto nos invita a ser simpáticos a los demás, a unir nuestros corazones y mentes a los demás.

Por ejemplo, San Pablo escribe y nos recuerda "regocíjense con los que se regocijan y lloran con los que lloran" (Romanos 14: 9).

Pero, podría ser un verdadero reto para mí alegrarme con alguien que se regocija, alguien que es muy feliz alguien que un éxito que también deseo. Mi primera reacción - en la superficie - podría ser alguna envidia o celos. Puede que no quiera regocijarse. A veces, ser feliz - por alguien más - es un sacrificio.

Semejantemente, para llorar con los que lloran. ¿No soy llamado a la compasión de la tristeza de otra persona? Estamos llamados a esto, aunque sabemos que tenemos nuestras propias tristezas y dificultades.
Haciendo esto, aceptamos que el bautismo y la santidad de Dios están destinados a tocar y penetrar nuestras vidas, bajo la superficie, bajo tierra, para que también tengamos vida ... y profundas raíces y conexiones con Jesús como nuestro salvador.     [__fin_ ]

Water Rescue, 2nd Sunday (2017-01-15)

Year A, 2nd Sunday,   January 15, 2017, 

[__01_ ] Life depends on water.
New spiritual life – in the BAPTISM, the sacrament of BAPTISM – also depends on the gift of water.

Life depends on water.

At every place on your lawn, in your garden, or in our solar system or galaxy, we predict the existence and life of blades of grass growing….or any plant or animal  … based on the existence and evidence of water.

Whenever we read about NASA or other space exploration projects, we read about the search not only for life but also for water.

If water – [H2O] – were to be discovered, then surely life would follow.  If there are living plants or animals, then there must be water.

          Water rescues us. Water saves us.

[__02__]  John the Baptist (JTB) arrives in a locale, in a place, with very little natural water. Water is scarce in the plain and flat lands of the Middle East and in the area around the Jordan River.
          But, John the Baptist is not simply concerned with DEHYDRATION …and REHYDRATION, physically.
          JTB is not simply concerned with physical, human or terrestrial sources of water.
          JTB is not concerned with whether or not his followers are drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day.
          However, JTB was concerned that the people of his day were not DRINKING in, were not being immersed in, God’s commandments, God’s ways.
          And you I may resemble these very early followers of JTB and of Jesus as well.
          That is, we might be able to accept a little sip, a little taste of God’s ways.  But, do we want to be immersed? Submerged?

[__03_ ] What we would be one example of this…
          For example, you and I might be very willing to follow the Golden Rule, which is a beautiful rule and a way to regulate our lives and to regulate our expectations.  What is the Golden Rule ?
          We read in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 7, verse 12: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12)
          So, it is reasonable for me then to love others so that I will be loved, to be kind to others so that they will be kind to me.
          However, even with the the Golden Rule, we might only be speed-skating along the surface of the frozen lake of God’s word, rather than being submerged in God’s word.
          Jesus invites us, not only to love those who love us but to love those who do not love us in return.
          This does not require – or mean – that we will have equally cordial relationships or daily friendship – with everyone. Some people, it is true, we may have to love from a distance…or we may need time to understand them.
          When we are baptized, we are also immersed, submerged in water, in God’s will … and this, for example, means praying for those who do not love us, praying for those who persecute us….  (cf. Matthew 5:43-44)
          Or…if we are insulted, do not return insult for insult but return a blessing instead. (1 Peter 3:9)

[__04__]  We are baptized in water not only so that we can be washed or cleansed on the outside but also so that we can know God’s mercy as nourishment  on the inside.

          This invites to a deeper, internal understanding
          So, for example, we are invited to …
          Be compassionate (beneath the surface of our emotions and feelings) when we might feel angry on the surface.
          Be a listener (beneath the surface of our mind) …when we might rather use our brain and vocabulary to speak out. Can I listen carefully to what another person is really saying?

And, this invites us to be sympathetic to others, to unite our hearts and minds to others.

            For example, St. Paul writes and reminds us “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”  (Romans 12:15)

            But, it might be a real challenge for me to rejoice with someone who is rejoicing, someone who is very happy someone who a success that I also desire.   My first reaction – on the surface – might be some envy or jealousy. I might not want to rejoice. Sometimes, being happy – for someone else – is a sacrifice.

            Similarly, to weep with those who weep.  Am I not called to sympathy to the sorrow of another person?  We are called to this, though we know we have our own sorrows and difficulties.

            Doing so, we accept that baptism and God’s holiness are are meant to touch and penetrate our lives lives, beneath the surface, underground so that we might also have life …and deep roots and connections to Jesus as our Savior.