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Have you seen the copper yet?

Mk 12, 38-44

Perhaps we have already used the expression at some point: "you saw the copper", for example "Of course, I knew that he was not so honest for just two days and the copper was already seen".

Copper as a commercial mineral is found in objects bathed in a pinkish-gold color that is achieved through many polishing and hammering, but copper in its natural state is green. When you buy something copper it looks cool, but after a while it turns green. That is where the detail of the saying is, you meet a person and it is in such a way, but after a certain time you see that it shows itself as it really is, in this case the color is the personality, first it is pink and then it shows its true color green color, or first it is honey and then gall hehehe. This is how it sometimes happens, when we least expect it, what we really think or want comes out, hehehe, and even if you "try to fix it" later, we could see the copper...

The same was the case with coins. The expression "copper is out" dates back to when gold coins began to be made, but there were people who made them out of copper (a much cheaper metal) and plated them with gold to pass them off as pure gold. This was able to deceive others. Of course, until one day, due to the use of the coins and because they looked different, someone scratched one of those coins and saw that the copper was beginning to show, that is, they removed the copper. That is why the coins are verified by scratching them to see if they were made of gold and if they "remove the copper". This is how counterfeit coins or jewelry were discovered, which with friction reveal a copper interior despite being covered in a more valuable metal.This expression means, then, to show the true intentions or thoughts when someone tries to hide them.

We are in the last three weeks (November 4, 11, 18, 2018) before the feast of Christ the King (November 25, 2018), with which we close the cycle of this ordinary liturgical year and we will venture into a new time, Advent. , which prepares us for the great Advent of Christ, when he will come surrounded by glory as Judge of all the earth. For this reason, during these three weeks, the Lord, Jesus, is challenging us so that we seriously decide for a life of living and authentic faith, because before him there is no copper that does not come uncovered or silver that does not come heavy.

Last Sunday, the Gospel of Mark narrated to us the encounter of Jesus with several Masters of the Law, who were well recognized for the type of clothing they wore and the bearing with which they presented themselves in front of the whole world. But a Teacher of the Law in particular goes to the center, to the foundation of the life of faith: he wants to know which is the fundamental commandment, since among more than 600 commandments he had been confused, although his heart was in tune with that of Jesus because lived the Shema, the sacred creed of Israel: You shall love the Lord your God with all your being and your neighbor as yourself.

Now, in this Sunday's gospel, Jesus will seriously confront some attitudes of those who live a double life, on the one hand he is deeply religious and that is "to be noticed" but on the other hand his INTENTIONS are not in accordance with the fundamental commandment. And in this Sunday's gospel, Jesus presents us with two contrasting characters, the teachers of the law who take advantage of their position to achieve their own objectives, and the widow devoured in her house who has nothing left to live on but who gives it up. all. Characters who, if scratched a little, with insight into the gospel, show how much gold and how much nickel they have.

Those Masters of the Law who make themselves known walk through the public squares with their long dresses and they like to be greeted by people. They are very considerate and seek to be considered, they arelittle coins gold inIsrael, but only apparently like coins 'apparently gold or silver but actually nickel, at most covered with a light layer of silver. They know the Torah very well, the word of God, they know the laws, they even practice them, they make them public and they even teach them, but all with the intention of gaining an important place because they want to occupy important positions, that is, "the main chair". in greekprōtokathedria, πρωτοκαθεδρία which is the most important place in the synagogue, from where the main character teaches and what it means to want and maintain POWER. But not only in the synagogue, obviously they also want to occupy the first positions in the BANQUETS, of course! full belly happy heart right? the gospel also uses the word in Greekprōtoklisia, πρωτοκλίσια, which is the place of the main guests at banquets, which is served and honored.

Jesus goes with all of them and UNMASKS the apparent "sublime" gestures of those who use the Word of God but for their own purposes, because their intentions are far from the Kingdom of God. Basically these are positions of honor and prestige and are a sign of the power that one wants to acquire and maintain so that from there, from the main chair, one can dominate and be praised.

Jesus does not fall short in his criticism, he goes for everything. His criticism is a RE-constructive criticism because on the one hand it will unmask the appearances of hypocrisy of our supposed gold and silver coins but which are actually nickel coated with a light layer of precious metal; Jesus intends to unmask us from our false religious coins, bathed in the gold of our religiosities but which in reality are a good dress that could favor our attention and we adopt but for our own purposes and nothing similar to those of Christ. I am sure that we have already let ourselves be unmasked by the Lord, if we were not reading these lines, what has he already unmasked you from in your follow-up process? Is there a mask that the Lord Jesus may be pointing out to you, and that you put on or take off depending on the case, but that covers your true intentions? How far are we willing to let Jesus touch our intentions to discover those false gold or silver coins, which are rather pure nickel?

I remember the suffering of a girl who became enthusiastic about a person who was studying religious sciences with her, she swore and perjured him that he was not married, but she put him to the test and it didn't take long for him to "get the copper", that man, who He participated in Bible and moral lessons to later teach in schools and colleges, he was married. Not much to explain, right?

Jesus does not want us in this type of hypocritical or mediocre religious life. Beware! Take care! He told the disciples, avoid that type of life of those well dressed, with religious robes but who devour the house, the widow's estate, of others, because they take away their possessions, but then yes, they go to pray and for a long time, but only to save face or for all to see.

No, Jesus is not fooled! he knows gold and copper well, he is a good connoisseur of precious metals and on the one hand he gives a very severe judgment to those who decide to condemn themselves: "Those will receive a more severe judgment", in Greekkrima, κρίμα; that is, a sentence and a severe one at that. The Lord Just Judge has spoken and for those who lead, who have the role of teaching, of occupying "the main chair", for them, the final sentence will be more severe, especially if their life and intentions "have not yet given the nail" because they follow the norms, the laws, but their intentions are far from the Kingdom of God, to love with all their hearts, with all their minds, with all their intentions and with all their strength, the Lord and their neighbor as the Master from Galilee asks for it. They get entangled in the fleeting and secondary, or in their own intentions"to be seen by all, to occupy the first positions, in the chair and at the banquet" etc. but not to love with everything.

What a recommendation in this second week prior to the Trial of Christ the King! What a warning from Jesus! watch out! Be careful! pretty much avoid it! (Mc 12, 38), Do not be contaminated with those useless laws, with those thoughts that enslave us: to be the first, to have a religious or social status, to be the best, to be the one who decides (at least to be the head of the brooms hehe); be the most voted by all; be well considered etc., etc., etc., the internal laws that govern us and that consent orunconsciously they manipulate us and which we obey as we said last week.

And it is then that Jesus, sitting in front of the treasury, the place where the offerings were deposited in the temple, observes the crowd and notices two types of offerings in particular: those of the rich who deposited a lot and suddenly a widow, whose condition Social in Israel was to be from the poorest class, with the sick and crippled for example, because a widowed woman fell into disgrace without having a man to protect her economically or socially. And Jesus observes both types of offering. The widow left twoleptos λεπτόν In other words, two copper coins of very little value, a quarter of a Roman coin called As, about an eighth part of a peso, that is, it gave about 25 cents of a peso... 

Jesus calls his disciples and instructs them saying: This poor widow has given MORE (pléion, πλεῖον) than all, all those who have also given much (πολλά) it is the same adjective in its positive and comparative form, that is, Jesus confronts according to how much each one has given, but the one who takes priority in this case is the one who has given little economically speaking, but unlike many others, who have given a lot, she has given MORE. 

For Jesus the difference is abysmal, it is more a matter of quality than quantity. Those who deposit a lot deposit what is left over, but the poor woman, the widow, has given her everything, everything she had to live on. Yes, he has given everything he had to live on and his offering is seen by the judge of all the earth, the Lord of Advent, the one who will come again and give a severe sentence or a saving judgment like that of this poor widow, and In such a judgment, everything depends on the intention, on the extent to which we are capable of giving ourselves and giving ourselves 100% without pretending to be seen or praised, or appropriate the goods of others, or use others for my own purposes. own purposes.

But what surprises me the most about this gospel and what has filled me with deep hope is seeing Jesus there, sitting contemplating that situation where people came and went, bringing offerings to the temple, turtledoves, sheep, bulls, each according to his condition, or brought wheat, or left financial offerings instead of sacrificial offerings and burnt offerings. Jesus is sitting there contemplating, praying, meditating, discerning and judging, he, the only one who can judge the whole earth. And there he issues the judgment that each one decides for himself to build, Jesus contemplates that poor widow, with the purse perhaps gnawed and above all almost half empty, whom no one looks at, because she is one more poor among the poor, he sees her approaching the temple, half ragged and above all abandoned from the eyes of the powerful and rich, from the honorable ones of the synagogues in long dresses and surely well perfumed, and that widow, deposits two poor little copper coins, which, when they fall, make no sound produce, or is so opaque that no one can hear them fall.

This is my God, my Lord, the one who is capable of seeing what nobody sees, he is the God who accompanies my life, my options, my decisions and my intentions, there in the secret of my soul, in the depths of my thoughts where only I penetrate, into the abysses of my intentions in which I sometimes get lost, there is my good God who affectionately looks at the most humble and simple acts, those that no one sees but that I, in conscience, face myself and in front of him they are MORE than all those that I do to be well seen by others.

There is my good God who values my two coins, those small and copper ones, those that are nothing but that mean my everything at that moment. Those that I offer in the midst of my solitude when nobody looks at me or nobody cares.

At the university we have a special room-cafeteria for us students, where we can eat and have a coffee or tea. And we want to have it properly cared for because it is our meeting room, recreation room, common study room, etc. On one occasion we found a cloth to clean the table that was new, but someone used it and not wanting to wash it, he immediately threw it away. When others needed it, the rag was there, but thrown in the trash and almost new. Faced with these details, you can pass and you don't care about anything, or deny, but I had the courage to pick it up and wash it because you should have it, it was new, nobody saw me, (now I already told them and it's almost worthless hahaha) but I did it because It was not difficult to give it a little rinse and leave it ready for use, making use of the infinite patience that we owe to others.

It was a simple detail, maybe silly, maybe it didn't even deserve my attention, but I felt happy, then when reading the gospel, the Lord made me remember that moment, he was winking at me with so much love and he said to me, I know every detail of your life, I especially love your details, those that you do for love, although and when nobody looks at you, when for love you offer what nobody knows, your sacrifices, your abilities, your talents and not to be recognized or praised, but for love, because you don't want to go against your conscience.

Thanks to his gaze on the small details of my life, the hidden, the good ones, but also the less good ones, he has made me feel not only highly valued, but he has also filled me with the spaces of solitude that this country, this continent, with People of another language and culture, without my family, without my diocese and without my lifelong friends, cause me to change, often feeling loneliness, but my good God, with this look of yours, which goes through all the moments and corners of my existence with eternal love, I no longer feel alone, because you are there, at every moment and in every corner of my existence, where nobody sees me or nobody values me, but you see me and value every gesture, every detail. And, that even if I were surrounded by those I love or who love me, in reality they would not mean anything in front of your penetrating gaze that knows every cell of my thought, my affection and my intention, because "I am never more accompanied than when I am alone" ( Father Jaime Bonet Bonet).

The song that I propose to you today is calledThis that I am, that I give you, The text helps us to discover what we are in the light of the eyes of the one who looks at us from the depths of his heart and IS NOT SHOCKED BY ANY of my actions or my intentions, and it is a great mystery that he calls us that way. as we are to meet him, he considers my life, our lives as a treasure and therefore we only have to offer him what we really are, our two little coins, we have nothing more to give than what I am, that is what we have to give him .

Your Lord do not despise our humble life! You just have to put EVERYTHING in your hands and better just these two COPPER coins but it is what we really are and what we have to live, not what we have left over, not what we use for our own glory, not what we hide deep down because we don't there is nothing more sincere than the copper that we carry inside.

Lord, do not fear the occasions that copper is seen on me! because they help me to enter into the truth of my existence.

That I do not fear the severity of your sentences already today, at the present moment through circumstances and prayer, that I do not fear letting myself be confronted with your gospel because it will make me a living and real offering like you in this world!

Don't be afraid to face the abysses of my intentions where I get lost, because at the end of my life, your just judge will only ratify the sentence that I myself will have created for myself!

That I can contemplate your look before that widow, poor but unreserved, so that your look that welcomes my two little copper coins, gives me the certainty that there is no space in my life that you are not hugging me!

That there is no action that goes unnoticed before your eyes, because you see my life with an eternal, endless love! and look at my heart

Only in this way, with your gaze of love, can I become an offering in body and soul with all that I am in everything I do and only to seek to please only you, my just judge.

We sang? click here below

This that I am, that I give you (Eduardo Meana)

Sometimes I ask you: why me?

And you only answer me: Because I want

It is a big mystery that you call us

Just as we are to meet you

Then I rediscover a truth

My life our life is your treasure

It is then only a matter of offering you

With all our love, what we are.

What will I give you, what will we give you?

If everything, everything, is your gift

I will offer you, we will offer you

This that we are, this that I am

I give you that

This that I am, this is what I give you

This that we are is what we give you

You do not despise our humble life

It's about putting everything in your hands

Here go my works and my faith

My mates, my slumps and my dreams

And all the people you gave me

From my heart I offer them to you

I saw so many people on a sunny Sunday

I was moved by the beating of so many lives

And guess your gigantic hug

And I know that you received their stories

That's why your altar shines with wine and bread

They are sign and tribute of life

Mystery of offering and receiving us

Humanity that Christ divinizes.

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