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Allocution, October 23, XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time

Good morning in the Lord. The person who speaks to you is Monsignor Eloy Domínguez, Auxiliary Bishop of this diocese, and today I want to share with you the Word of God on this Sunday; but above all, thank those who make this radio broadcast possible, may God bless you and continue to encourage you in this beautiful task. Today in all the Catholic Churches of the world the gospel according to Saint Luke, chapter 18 verses 9 to 14, is proclaimed. Let us prepare our minds and hearts to listen to and meditate on the word of God.
(Gospel)
Praise our Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever… Amen.
In order for today’s gospel to be understood, we must first explain who the Pharisees and publicans were. The Pharisees were a religious sect within the Jewish religion, the largest sect in the time of Jesus. It is said that there were six thousand sectarians, very observant of their religion and observed the law of Moses very well. They were prayerful, but this was where their sin was, which is what Jesus censures in the gospel that has just been proclaimed. Because they were so compliant with their religion and their law, they believed themselves better than others and despised sinners. Pride took over them, and as we can see, this did not please God. It was a false cult, they were like tombs whitened inside and out, full of rotting corpses.
On the other hand, there were the publicans. Who were the publicans? They were tax collectors, officials of the Roman empire. The country where Jesus lived was a Roman colony, they, the Jews, had not been free for many years, because they had lost their freedom and now the Romans were the ones who ruled. For this reason, the people hated and despised them, because not only did they charge the amount of money they had to, but they also charged more in order to pocket it for themselves.
However, the Gospel fragment written by Saint Luke, which is presented to us for our reflection this Sunday, puts the publican in a process of conversion. Process that began where every conversion process has to begin. Acknowledging all the things he did wrong. And he feels the internal pain for his sins. Carry a weight in your soul because of all the harm you have done to other people, you have extorted them and you have exploited them. He has lived at the expense of others, but the grace of God touched him and that is when he decided to ask God for forgiveness for the evil he had done.
Today’s gospel scene is graphic. In front, in the temple, is the Pharisee thanking God because he is a good religious. He fulfills the law of Moses, but adds something worse: “and I am not like that publican, who is at the back of the temple because the publicans were public sinners.” Here is another great sin of the Pharisee, believing that, by following religion, one is superior to others. Self-sufficiency dominated his soul while the kneeling publican asked God for forgiveness for all the sins committed. He humbled himself before God. Jesus, with that scalpel that he had to know the souls of people, added: “I assure you that the publican returned home justified, because everyone who exalts himself will be humiliated, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The publican recognized his sins and did not dare to reach the front of the temple and, however, the Pharisee, a good follower of the Jewish religion, did not go down justified by self-sufficiency and pride.
I invite you today, this Sunday, to make an examination of conscience. Let’s look inside ourselves before God with sincerity and I ask you, who are we? The proud Pharisee or the publican who recognized himself as a sinner and needed God to make him good, because in the end, the Pharisee, since he fulfilled all the commandments, did not need God, God was more than enough for him, since he considered himself good for the compliance with the law. His self-sufficiency dominated him, not only with respect to others, but also with respect to God. The Pharisee’s thesis was; I am good and therefore I do not need God.
I ask you, how many times have we, religious people, thought that and we do not realize the sin, the pride in relation to God. We want to be good without counting on God’s help. We can also be self-sufficient when we think we know it all. Where? In studies, at work, in life. We are proud to believe that our families are better than others and when we see the case of people who life has taken them down very tortuous paths and have many defects and public sins, then we believe we are better than them and we say the same as the Pharisee. “We are not like them.”
How many wounds will those people have in their lives to be like this? What personal and family history have they had in their life that has made them that way? Let’s never do that. We do not think we are better than others, because in the end we are not. Here we all have our sins, hidden and public. Why not imitate the publican and every day ask God to forgive our sins, because holy as we know, those who are in heaven? On earth we have a way to become saints, but we are not yet. At the end of our lives, God will say whether we are saints or not, depending on the good or bad works we have done. Let us not harm other people, let us not put others in trouble in order to rise in this life. Let us be humble, prayerful and close to God as the publican in today’s parable was… Amen.
(Singing)
On this day, the Catholic Church celebrates Domund. What is Domund? World Mission Sunday, which is the international day on which all Churches pray especially for the missionary cause. Today in the Churches of the world a collection is organized to collaborate with the mission. With the proceeds, the Church’s presence in the mission territories is sustained, serving as annual support that allows the good news to be announced throughout the world and to be closer to those who suffer. All Christians are called to bear witness to Christ where he is.
(Singing)
Also today, the Cuban Church celebrates the feast of San Antonio María Claret, catechist’s day. The Conference of Catholic Bishops declared him the patron saint of catechesis in our country, for being a great missionary.
Antonio María Claret, holy apostolic missionary, priest and archbishop of Santiago de Cuba during the years 1851 and beginning of 1857, was a figure much loved by the poor and slaves of the Island. Due to his good works and his compassion for the most dispossessed, after his death, he became a figure of spiritual protection for the majority of Cubans. He was 42 years old when he was appointed archbishop of Santiago de Cuba. The motto he chose for his archiepiscopal shield was quite a life project. The love of Christ urges us.
Before embarking for
Cuba and after going to Madrid to receive the pallium and the cross of Isabel la Católica, he made three visits: to the Virgin of Pilar, in Zaragoza, to the Virgin of Monserrat and to the Virgin of Fusimaña in Salen, his small homeland and still It gave him time before leaving to conceive a new foundation. The nuns in their homes or the daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, current Cordimarian affiliation.
Saint Antonio María Claret, lived six years in Cuba, since he was named archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, he was a tireless preacher of the gospel. The territory of the archbishopric of Santiago de Cuba went from Maisí to what is now Ciego de Ávila and this bishop traveled through it on mule, horseback, and cart, visiting all the parishes in the territory he was assigned. This is the reason why he has been named patron of Cuban catechists. On this day, dear catechists, we must become aware of the responsibility that we all have in the Church for education in the faith, especially of the youngest.
The catechist is a Christian who receives a particular call from God by accepting the faith. This call qualifies him for the service of transmitting the faith and for the task of beginning the Christian life. The Holy Father Francis often, when he thinks about catechists, refers to the Christian who has placed himself at the service of the Word of God, who frequents that word daily to make it his food and announce it to others with effectiveness and credibility. Just as together with all the baptized, the catechist is called to announce the joy of the gospel, not only from theory, but mainly from the personal encounter with the Lord, in the sacraments, in his word and in the daily journey. Catechists are those who assume that responsibility on behalf of everyone. But we must all be catechists with our Christian life, our word and our example. Everyone in the community is invited to participate in one way or another in the mission of catechesis. We need many young people who enthusiastically embark on catechizing with a missionary spirit. Cheer up, commit to Jesus, he needs you and you are generous.
Dear catechists who are listening to me, do you have the tireless spirit of Father Clare to announce Jesus Christ? Are you discouraged by the setbacks that catechesis has, which are many? Do you trust God to be the one to open the hearts of those people to whom you announce the gospel: children, adolescents, youth, young people and adults? Always entrust yourselves to the prayers of Saint Anthony Mary Claret and imitate him.
(Singing)
Let us now present with a confident heart our prayer for the entire Church and for the needs of the world. To each plea we respond, “we ask you, sir.”
For the Church, so that it may boldly proclaim the good news of salvation in all corners of the world… Let us pray to the Lord.
We ask you Lord…
For Pope Francis, for Bishop Juan de la Caridad and his assistant Monsignor Eloy Ricardo Domínguez, for the priests of our parish and for all of us in the Church who have the special mission of announcing and encouraging those who announce the good news… Let us pray to the Mister.
We ask you Lord…
At the request of our Father, Pope Francis, let us continue dreaming of a totally missionary Church and a new season of missionary action in Christian communities… Let us pray to the Lord.
We ask you Lord…
For the catechists, so that the Lord illuminates their minds, encourages their hearts and strengthens their health so that they can give themselves generously to the service of the Word… Let us pray to the Lord.
We ask you Lord…
For our brothers, who in one way or another collaborate with their time, their work, their gifts to make the mission and ministry of catechesis possible, so that the Lord blesses them, encourages them and sustains them in the joy of the announcement of the Good News… Let us pray to the Lord.
We ask you Lord…
For all of us, so that we may try to do good and take special care of those who need it most… Let us pray to the Lord.
We ask you Lord…
That with the strength of the Holy Spirit we can reaffirm against all thoughts the faith in the action of the spirit so that we collaborate generously in the mission of the Church… Let us pray to the Lord.
We ask you Lord…
Let us pray on this Sunday of the month of October, month of the rosary to the Blessed Virgin, for all our Christian missionaries and for the work of the catechist in our nation.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, blessed are you among all women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death… Amen.
The Lord be with you… And the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, descend on all of you, especially on the missionaries and catechists and their loved ones and always accompany you. Amen.
Happy Sunday and always encouraged together in the Lord.

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