miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2015

Synod on the Family-Sinodo de la Familia


“How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life. In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions” (Pope Francis address to a joint session of Congress, 9-24-2015).

We know that the family is the heart, core, soul, of society and the Church; but the family is not a statistic but rather a living thing in every culture and historical moment towards perfection in its being and mission in society and the Church. Due to the role that the family plays in our society and Church, Pope Francis has called a Synod in Rome, October 4— 25, on the topic: The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World.

“Most of you know the story of Saint Katharine Drexel, one of the great saints raised up by this local Church. When she spoke to Pope Leo XIII of the needs of the missions, the Pope— he was a very wise Pope! - asked her pointedly: ‘What about you? What are you going to do?’. Those words changed Katharine’s life, because they reminded her that, in the end, every Christian man and woman, by virtue of baptism, has received a mission. Each one of us has to respond, as best we can, to the Lord’s call to build up his Body, the Church” (Pope Francis’ Homily During Mass at Cathedral in Philadelphia, 9- 26-2015).

“But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother [and be joined to his wife], and the two shall become one flesh.’ Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Mark 10: 6—9).

What are you doing so that your family and the families of our parish can be better?


“Cuán fundamental ha sido la familia en la construcción de este País. Y cuán digna sigue siendo de nuestro apoyo y aliento. No puedo esconder mi preocupación por la familia, que está amenazada, quizás como nunca, desde el interior y desde el exterior. Las relaciones fundamentales son puestas en duda, como el mismo fundamento del matrimonio y de la familia. De modo particular quisiera llamar su atención sobre aquéllos componentes de la familia que parecen ser los más vulnerables, es decir, los jóvenes. Muchos tienen delante un futuro lleno de innumerables posibilidades, muchos otros parecen desorientados y sin sentido, prisioneros en un laberinto de violencia, de abuso y desesperación. Sus problemas son nuestros problemas. No nos es posible eludirlos. Hay que afrontarlos juntos, hablar y buscar soluciones más allá del simple tratamiento nominal de las cuestiones” (Papa Francisco al Congreso de Estados Unidos, 9- 24-2015).

Sabemos que la familia es el corazón, núcleo, alma, de la sociedad e Iglesia; pero la familia no es un ser estático sino un ser vivo que en cada cultura y momento histórico se mantiene en constante movimiento hacia una mayor perfección en su ser y misión en la sociedad e Iglesia. Debido al rol que desempeña la familia en nuestra sociedad e Iglesia, el Papa Francisco ha convocado en Roma, del 4 al 25 de Octubre, un Sínodo con el tema: “La Vocación y la Misión de la familia en la Iglesia y en el mundo contemporáneo”.

“Cuando Santa Catalina Drexel le habló al Papa León XIII de las necesidades de las misiones, el Papa –era un Papa muy sabio– le preguntó intencionadamente: «¿Y tú? ¿qué vas a hacer?». Esas palabras cambiaron la vida de Catalina, porque le recordaron que al final todo cristiano, hombre o mujer, en virtud del bautismo, ha recibido una misión. Cada uno de nosotros tiene que responder lo mejor que pueda al llamado del Señor para edificar su Cuerpo, la Iglesia” (Homilía del Papa Francisco, Filadelfia, 09-26-2015).

“Al principio de la creación Dios "los creó hombre y mujer. Por eso abandonará el hombre a su padre y a su madre, se unirá a su mujer, y serán los dos una sola carne." De modo que ya no son dos, sino una sola carne. Lo que Dios ha unido, que no lo separe el hombre” (Marcos 10: 6—9).

¿Y tú que vas hacer para que tu familia y las familias de nuestra parroquia sean mejores?


Fr. Marco López

viernes, 25 de septiembre de 2015

La rana revolucionaria-The revolutionary Frog

En un pozo profundo vivía felizmente toda una colonia de ranas. Allí vivían, jugaban, comían, cantaban y llenaban de vida el pozo entero. El único peligro era que todos los días por la mañana y por la tarde venía una muchacha con una trenza muy bonita, echaba al pozo un cubo colgado de una cuerda y enseguida lo levantaba lleno de agua y se marchaba. A las ranas no les importaba que se les llevasen un poco de agua, pues había mucha y el nivel nunca bajaba en el pozo, pero sí les preocupaba que el cubo caía con fuerza y podía herir a una rana, y por eso tenían cuidado. En cuanto oían el ruido de la polea por arriba, todas las ranas se sumergían en el agua bien abajo y se quedaban allí hasta que el cubo subía y la muchacha desaparecía.

Había una rana joven que un día se puso a pensar que si el cubo era peligroso también era una oportunidad para subirse, salir del pozo, echar un vistazo alrededor y volver para contar todo lo que había por allá arriba. Desde el pozo veían solo un breve espacio azul que se oscurecía de noche cuando se veían puntitos de luz por arriba, y luego lo único que veían era la cara alegre de la jovencita de la trenza, y todo eso parecía muy interesante y había que explorarlo.

La rana joven dijo todo eso abiertamente, pero todas las demás se opusieron porque aquello no se había hecho nunca, y por consiguiente no había que hacerlo. Y le amenazaron a la joven rana que la castigarían si lo intentaba. La joven rana escuchaba todo aquello sin decir nada. Pero al día siguiente por la mañana se situó sin ser vista en una de los oquedades de la pared del pozo, esperó a que la muchacha viniera y arrojara el cubo, y cuando lo levantó para sacarlo saltó ella al cubo y subió con él en medio del asombro y la protesta de todas las ranas, y desapareció en el campo. Las autoridades del reino de las ranas la declararon desterrada y condenada, y prohibieron que se hablara de ella. Había que salvaguardar la vida del pozo. Nadie ya hablaba de ella aunque todos se acordaban mucho de todo.

Pasó el tiempo, y un día oyeron las ranas del pozo una voz desde arriba que les pareció conocida. Todas miraron hacia arriba y vieron a la rana con un macho y varios renacuajos. Nadie habló, hasta que la rana de arriba explicó: “Aquí arriba hay un mundo muy divertido que se extiende por todas partes. No es como ese poquito de agua allá abajo. Hay hierba verde por todos los campos y además muchos insectos que se pueden atrapar y nos resultan una buena comida. Además hay otras ranas más cultas y educadas que nosotras, machos y hembras, y yo me he casado y tengo cinco hijos y somos muy felices.”

Las autoridades allá abajo le amenazaron a la rana que la capturarían y la ejecutarían porque era un mal ejemplo para todas, pero ella sonrió y se marchó con sus renacuajos. En el pozo empezaron las discusiones, y las autoridades prohibieron que se hablase en absoluto del asunto. Y se dejó de hablar.

Al día siguiente cuando la niña de la trenza echó el cubo al pozo y lo volvió a subir… ¡estaba lleno hasta el borde de ranas y renacuajos!

In a big well lived happily a large colony of frogs. There they lived, they croaked, they ate, they sang, they jumped and they made the well come alive with their own life. The only danger was that every day, once in the morning and once in the evening, a bucket attached to a string fell into it and was immediately lifted full of water. The frogs did not mind that a little water was taken, but the bucket fell with force and could hit any frog and do harm, and so they had to be careful. As soon as the noise of the pulley was heard, all the frogs swam deep into the water and remained there till the bucket was lifted full of water, and the young girl who had come with it went back to her village with her load.

There was a young frog who one day thought that if the bucket was dangerous there was also an opportunity in it to come up, go out, have a look and come to know what was there all around in the wide world. From the well they saw only a blue space that became dark at night with points of light on it, and they only saw also for a few brief instants the smiling face of the young girl with the long plait, and all that was very inviting and had to be seen and explored.

The young frog said all that openly, but they all opposed and threatened it. Such a thing had never been done, and therefore should never be attempted. That would be the end of our race. Our life is in the well, and that is our duty and our welfare. Outside the well there is only a wild forest and a burning desert. We are made to stay here, and it would be a sin for us to go out of here. This is the tradition of our elders. Is that stupid frog going to know more that all of us?

The young frog listened to all that, and it said nothing, but thought much about it. Next day morning it placed itself inside a hole in the wall of the well, waited for the young girl to come and throw the bucket, and when she lifted it to take it outside it jumped into it in the midst of the surprise and the insults of all the other frogs, and went up and out into the surrounding fields. The authorities of the frog kingdom condemned it, exiled it, and forbad any mention of it in the future. Nobody spoke about the runaway frog though they all remembered it. They were a disciplined people.

One day a familiar voice was heard from the top of the well, and all the frogs looked up with full curiosity. They saw their frog friend with a handsome companion and five small tadpoles all smiling. They did not know what to say, and so the frog explained from the top: “Up here there is a splendid world all around us. There is running water in many places, not stagnant in one place as there below; there are green leaves on plants and trees and many insects so that we get daily new things to eat, and there are also other frogs and toads who are more cultured and educated than we are, and I have got married and have five children and we are all very happy.”

The authorities below threatened the frog that they would capture it and execute it as being a bad example to all, but it smiled and went away with its small ones. There was much discussion and unease deep in the well, and the authorities forbad all to speak about it, so that they could say nothing now.

The next day when the girl with the long plait threw the bucket into the well and took it up… it was full to the brim with frogs and tadpoles.

Es pecado ser rico? Is being Rich a sin?

“Como la esclavitud y el apartheid, la pobreza no es natural. Es creada por el hombre y puede superarse y erradicarse mediante acciones de los seres humanos. Y erradicar la pobreza no es un gesto de caridad. Es un acto de justicia. Se trata de proteger un derecho humano fundamental, el derecho a la dignidad y a una vida digna. Mientras haya pobreza, no habrá verdadera libertad” (Nelson Mandela). Muchos personajes de la Biblia fueron hombres ricos: Abraham, Job, Davíd, Salomón. Sin duda Dios no está en contra de la riqueza de ninguna persona o pueblo: ¿Hacia donde correrían en busca de ayuda los inmigrantes si no existieran países prósperos? ¿A quién pedirían trabajo tantas personas con necesidad, si no existieran hombres y mujeres capaces de crear empresas?

Si poseer abundantes bienes materiales no es pecado ¿cuál es la razón de las palabras del apóstol Santiago? “Ahora bien, vosotros, ricos, llorad y dad alaridos por las desgracias que están para caer sobre vosotros. Vuestra riqueza está podrida y vuestros vestidos están apolillados; vuestro oro y vuestra plata están llenos de herrumbre, y esta herrumbre será testimonio contra vosotros y devorará vuestras carnes como fuego. Habéis acumulado riquezas en estos días que son los últimos. Mirad; el salario que no habéis pagado a los obreros que segaron vuestros campos está gritando; y los gritos de los segadores han llegado a los oídos del Señor de los ejércitos. Habéis vivido sobre la tierra regaladamente y os habéis entregado a los placeres; habéis hartado vuestros corazones en el día de la matanza. Condenasteís y matasteís al justo; él no os resiste”.

El pecado de algunos ricos, es mover sus grandes capitales a países pobres para hacerlos producir de manera fácil: pagan salarios miserables a sus trabajadores, hacen trabajar a las personas en condiciones labores inhumanas, manipulan a los gobiernos para pagarles impuestos mínimos; contaminan el medio ambiente de los países pobres creyendo que eso no afectará a los países desarrollados. De esta manera, muchos ricos, que son considerados por la sociedad como exitosos acumulan grandes capitales. Pecado es que las grandes Corporaciones vendan sus productos a precios que les permiten apoderarse de todo el mercado, porque pagan sueldos y prestaciones que únicamente permiten sobrevivir a sus empleados. El pecado de muchos ricos es que hacen donaciones para evadir pagar impuestos al Gobierno.

Pero no basta con señalar la maldad de algunos ricos, no todos, sino preguntarme: ¿Qué puedo hacer yo, aunque no soy millonario, para aliviar el dolor y sufrimiento de quienes no tienen trabajo, casa, comida, seguridad en el mundo de hoy? “Todo aquél que os dé de beber un vaso de agua por el hecho de que soís de Cristo, os aseguro que no perderá su recompensa” (Marcos 9:41). Dios no deja jamás sin recompensa a la persona, familia, o país que socorre al necesitado: “Dichoso el que cuida del débil y del pobre, el día de la desgracia Yahvé lo liberará; Yahvé lo guardará y conservará con vida, le concederá felicidad en la tierra, no lo abandonará a la saña de sus enemigos” (Salmo 41,2-3).

¿Confío lo suficiente en Dios para incrementar mi apoyo financiero a mi parroquia, para ayudar a quienes mas necesitan a mi alrededor?

“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life. While poverty persists, there is no true freedom.” (Nelson Mandela). Many characters of the Bible were wealthy men: Abraham, Job, David, Solomon. Certainly God is not against the richness of any person or country: Where would immigrants in need run to for help if developed countries did not exist? Who would so many people who are in need of work turn to if there were no men and women capable of starting businesses?

If being rich is not a sin: what is the reason for the words of the Apostle James? “Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter. You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.”

The sin of some rich people is that they move their money to poor countries in order to create a company that will produce their products at a low cost. They pay miserable wages to their employees, provide inhuman work conditions, manipulate Governments in order to pay minimal taxes, and contaminate the environment of poor countries by believing that this will not affect developing countries. In this way, many of the rich, which are considered by society as successful, accumulate large amounts of capital. Sin is large Corporations selling their products at prices that allow them to seize the entire market, because they pay wages and benefits that only allow the minimal survival of their employees. The sin of many rich people is that they make donations to evade paying taxes to the Government.

But it is not enough to point out the wickedness of some, not all, rich people, but to wonder: What can I do, although I am not millionaire, to relieve the pain and suffering of those who do not have a job, home, meal, and/or safety in the world today? “Anyone who give you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward” (Mark 9:41). God never leaves without reward the person, family, or country that helps the needy: “Blessed the one concerned for the poor; on a day of misfortune, the LORD delivers him. The LORD keeps and preserves him, makes him blessed in the land, and does not betray him to his enemies” (Psalm 41:2-3).

Do I entrust in God enough to increase my financial support to my parish, to help those around me who are most in need?

Fr. Marco Lopez

















sábado, 19 de septiembre de 2015

Malvados

Immaculée Ilibagiza es una sobreviviente del genocidio en Rwanda. Un tiempo después de este conflicto ella visitó una prisión para conocer al líder de la pandilla que mató a su mamá y su hermano Damascene. Ya dentro de la prisión, Immaculée tomó la mano del hombre malvado y dijo: “te perdono”. Su carcelero se puso furioso al ver esto, él esperaba que ella escupiera en la cara al malvado. “¿Por qué lo perdonaste?” él demandó. “Perdonarlo es lo único que puedo ofrecer”, respondió Immaculée.

Ser malvado o justo es una responsabilidad y decisión personal. Un abuelito quería explicar a su nieto la existencia del bien y el mal en cada ser humano, para lo cual le dijo lo siguiente: "En cada persona existen dos lobos, uno bueno y otro malo, los dos luchan constantemente entre sí. El niño preguntó: ¿Cuál de los dos ganará la batalla? Aquél a quien tú alimentes, contestó el anciano". “Donde hay envidias y rivalidades, hay también desorden y toda clase de maldad” (Santiago 3,16).

Los malvados crucificaron a Jesús, abortan a los bebes, explotan a los trabajadores, destruyen la inocencia de los niños, niñas, y jóvenes, mostrando contenidos inapropiados en los Medios de Comunicación; tráfican droga, aún sabiendo que con esto destruyen a las futuras generaciones de hombres y mujeres de nuestra sociedad. Sin embargo, hemos sido creados por Dios para ser justos, no malvados.

¿Cómo puedo crecer como justo en mi familia, la comunidad, y en la vida parroquial?

Fr. Marco.



sábado, 12 de septiembre de 2015

How is your faith in God?


“By faith Abel offered to God a sacrifice greater than Cain’s. By faith Noah, warned about what was not yet seen, with reverence built an ark for the salvation of his household. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son” (Heb 11).

“Joseph was well-built and handsome. After a time, his master’s wife looked at him with longing and said, “Lie with me. But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, as long as I am here, my master does not give a thought to anything in the house, but has entrusted to me all he owns. He has no more authority in this house than I do. He has withheld from me nothing but you, since you are his wife. How, then, could I do this great wrong and sin against God?” (Gen 39, 6-10).

By his faith in God, Daniel disobeyed king Dario; Mordecai faced death penalty instead of following the nonsense law of king Ahasuerus. Someone one said: “faith change people, whom then change the things of the world”.

A consequence of his faith in God and his love for the Church, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, resigned to his responsibility a Pope, even knowing that a large sector in the Catholic Church, would not understand his decision, he broke an unnecessary tradition into the Church: Pope must to remain in his ministry till death, no matter even if he has lost his human abilities, and no longer can do anything, being others who decide and do what belongs to the Pope.

By this same faith, Pope Francis is inviting the entire humanity to take care of the world where we live, no matter if the market owners hate him and his message as well; Pope Francis is asking the Europe countries to look for a solution of thousands immigrants in this continent; furthermore, he is ruling in the Catholic Church, to accelerate the process for those couples who live in irregular marriages situations. Pope Francis knows that some extreme conservative Catholics must disagree with his decision, but he is a man of faith, that is why he renounced to use the Pope Mobil from the beginning of his papacy, even though it would be easier for someone to attempt against his life.

During the summer of 1924, the Olympics were hosted by the city of Paris. Eric Liddell, was a committed Christian, who felt that Sunday was the Lord's Day, and during his most important event he refused to run on Sunday, having as consequence of being force to withdraw from the 100 meters race. Liddell continue the following months training for the 400 meters, an event in which he had previously excelled. The day of 400 meters race, when Liddell went to the starting blocks, an American masseur put into Liddell's hand a piece of paper with the quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30, "I will honor those who honor me." He not only won the race, but broke the existing world record with a time of 47.6 seconds. Even though, his success in the 400m was largely unexpected.

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? I demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works”, James Apostle reminded in this Twenty-Four Sunday, second reading.

How is your faith working in your life? What are you doing that proves to you that your faith is alive?

Fr. Marco