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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Friday 11th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (2Cor 11:18.21b-30): Brothers and sisters: Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. To my shame I say that we were too weak! But what anyone dares to boast of (I am speaking in foolishness). I also dare. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they children of Israel? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I am talking like an insane person). I am still more, with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, far worse beatings, and numerous brushes with death. Five times at the hands of the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I passed a night and a day on the deep; on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many sleepless nights, through hunger and thirst, through frequent fastings, through cold and exposure. And apart from these things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led to sin, and I am not indignant? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
Responsorial Psalm: 33
R/. From all their distress God rescues the just.
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the Lord; the lowly will hear me and be glad.

Glorify the lord with me, let us together extol his name. I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. When the poor one called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mt 5:3): Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 6,19-23): Jesus said to his disciples: «Do not store up treasure for yourself here on earth where moth and rust destroy it, and where thieves can steal it. Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it. For where your treasure is, there also your heart will be.

»The lamp of the body is the eye; if your eyes are sound, your whole body will be in the light. If your eyes are diseased your whole body will be in darkness. Then, if your light has become darkness, how dark will be the darkest part of you!

«Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it»

Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés
(Tarragona, Spain)

Today, the Lord tells us that «the lamp of the body is the eye» (Mt 6:22). St. Thomas claims that when speaking of the eye Jesus refers to man's intentions. When our intention is right, luminous, pointing to God, all our actions are bright, resplendent; but when your intention becomes darkness. how dark will be the darkest part of us! (cf. Mt 6:23).

If we are malicious or wicked, our intention may not be straight, but more often than not this is just because we are lacking some good sense. We live as if we would have been born to pile up riches and we could think of nothing else. To make money, to buy, to possess, to have. We want others to admire us, or perhaps to envy us. We deceive one another, we suffer, we worry and pain and cannot find the desired happiness. But Jesus makes us another proposal: «Store up treasure for yourself with God, where no moth or rust can destroy nor thief come and steal it» (Mt 6:20). Heaven is the barn where good actions are stored, and this sure is a forever lasting treasure.

Let us be sincere and honest with ourselves: where are our efforts directed to, which are our endeavours? True, good Christians must honestly study and labour to make a living, to raise a family, to insure their future and a peaceful life when old, and they must also work with an aim to help the others … All this is, indeed, a characteristic of a good Christian. But, if what you are looking for, is to have more and more all the time, placing your heart in those riches, forgetting any good action, drawing a blank upon the fact we are here just provisionally, that our life is just a passing shadow, is it not true —then— that our eye is in darkness, «how dark will be the darkest part of you!» (Mt 6:23).