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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Monday 24th in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Lk 7,1-10): When Jesus had finished teaching to the people, He went to Capernaum. There was a captain whose servant was very sick and near to death, a man very dear to him. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to persuade him to come and save his servant's life. The elders came to Jesus and begged him earnestly, saying, «He deserves this of you, for he loves our people and even built a synagogue for us» (…).

Religion, "laïcité positive" and "secularism"

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, this scene plunges us in a social atmosphere of "endearing humanity": a centurion —a foreigner— is concerned about one of his servants; he sends some elders of the Jews to plead with Jesus to heal his servant who is seriously ill… There is an element that brings them together: "he has built our synagogue". In their multifaceted diversity (origin, culture, social position… even religion), they are united by their respect to "religiosity".

"Laïcité positive" seeks a fair political autonomy: it avoids the "confessional" State, but assumes the deep human fact of the religiosity ("secularism" rejects it). It is essential to insist on the distinction between "politics" and "religion” to protect as much the religious freedom of all citizens as the State responsibility for them. On the other hand, we should become more aware of the irreplaceable role of religion for the formation of consciences and the contribution which it can bring to —among other things— the creation of a basic ethical consensus within society.

—O Lord, we adore You and we pray to you for our authorities.

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