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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Friday 17th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Lev 23:1.4-11.15-16.27.34b-37): The Lord said to Moses, «These are the festivals of the Lord which you shall celebrate at their proper time with a sacred assembly. The Passover of the Lord falls on the fourteenth day of the first month, at the evening twilight. The fifteenth day of this month is the Lord's feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first of these days you shall hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work. On each of the seven days you shall offer an oblation to the Lord. Then on the seventh day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and do no sort of work».

The Lord said to Moses, «Speak to the children of Israel and tell them: When you come into the land which I am giving you, and reap your harvest, you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest, who shall wave the sheaf before the Lord that it may be acceptable for you. On the day after the sabbath the priest shall do this. Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the wave-offering sheaf, you shall count seven full weeks, and then on the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, you shall present the new cereal offering to the Lord. The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement, when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves and offer an oblation to the Lord. The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Lord's feast of Booths, which shall continue for seven days. On the first day there shall be a sacred assembly, and you shall do no sort of work. For seven days you shall offer an oblation to the Lord, and on the eighth day you shall again hold a sacred assembly and offer an oblation to the Lord. On that solemn closing you shall do no sort of work.

»These, therefore, are the festivals of the Lord on which you shall proclaim a sacred assembly, and offer as an oblation to the Lord burnt offerings and cereal offerings, sacrifices and libations, as prescribed for each day».
Responsorial Psalm: 80
R/. Sing with joy to God our help.
Take up a melody, and sound the timbrel, the pleasant harp and the lyre. Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast.

For it is a statute in Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob, who made it a decree for Joseph when he came forth from the land of Egypt.

There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. I, the Lord, am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt.
Verscicle before the Gospel (1Pt 1:25): Alleluia. The word of the Lord remains forever; this is the word that has been proclaimed to you. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 13,54-58): Jesus went to his hometown and taught the people in their synagogue. They were amazed and said, «Where did He get this wisdom and these special powers? Isn't He the carpenter's son? Isn't Mary his mother and aren't James, Joseph, Simon and Judas his brothers? Aren't all his sisters living here? How did he get all this?». And so they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, «The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family». And He did not perform many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

«The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family»

Fr. Jordi POU i Sabater
(Sant Jordi Desvalls, Girona, Spain)

Today, as in yesteryears, to speak about God to those we know is a difficult thing to do. In a commentary about Jesus, St. John Chrysostom says: «The villagers of Nazareth do admire him, but their admiration does not go to the point of believing in him but, rather, of feeling envious, as if meaning: ‘Why him and not I’». Jesus knew quite well those who, instead of listening to him, took offense at him. They were his relatives, friends, neighbors He appreciated, but precisely to whom He will not be able to let them have his message of salvation.

We —that cannot work out miracles or have Christ's saintliness— will not incite envies (though, at times, if we are really trying to live as true Christians, we may actually do). However, come what may, we shall often find that those we love the most are those who could not care less about listening to us. To this effect, we must also bear in mind that shortcomings are easier to spot than virtues and, accordingly, those closer to us may wonder: —What are you trying to teach me, who used to do (or still does) this or that?

To preach or speak about God with our own people or family may be difficult but necessary. It must be said that when He was going back home, Jesus was preceded by his miracles and his word. Maybe, in our case, we may need a certain reputation for saintliness, whether at home or away, before “preaching” to those at home.

In his previous comment St. John Chrysostom adds: «Please look at the Master's kindness: He does not punish them for not listening to him but He tells them sweetly: ‘The only place where prophets are not welcome is their hometown and in their own family’» (Mt 13:57)». It is evident Jesus would leave somewhat sadly but nonetheless He would proceed with his preaching until his word of salvation would be welcome by his own people. Likewise, we (that have nothing to forgive or oversee) will have to preach so that Jesus' word reaches those that we love but do not want to listen to us.