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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Monday 23rd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Cor 5:1-8): Brothers and sisters: It is widely reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans, a man living with his father’s wife. And you are inflated with pride. Should you not rather have been sorrowful? The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst. I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced judgment on the one who has committed this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus: when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit with the power of the Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not appropriate. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens all the dough? Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our Paschal Lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Responsorial Psalm: 5
R/. Lead me in your justice, Lord.
For you, O God, delight not in wickedness; no evil man remains with you; the arrogant may not stand in your sight. You hate all evildoers.

You destroy all who speak falsehood; the bloodthirsty and the deceitful the Lord abhors.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad and exult forever. Protect them, that you may be the joy of those who love your name.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 10:27): Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 6,6-11): On another Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. There was a man with a paralyzed right hand and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees watched him: Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did, they could accuse him. But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to the man, «Get up and stand in the middle». Then he spoke to them, «I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do good or to do harm, to save life or destroy it?». And Jesus looked around at them all. Then He said to the man, «Stretch out your hand». He stretched it out and his hand was restored, becoming as whole as the other. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another how they could deal with Jesus.

«Get up and stand in the middle (...). Stretch out your hand»

Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB (Mendoza, Argentina)

Today, Jesus provides us with an example of the freedom, which we speak so much about. But, contrary to what most claim or consider as “freedom”, Jesus' freedom, is totally associated and adhered to the Father's actions. He will say: «I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does» (Jn 5:19). And the Father only does and acts out of love.

Love cannot be imposed but forces us to act, pulls us together and largely reverts to life. Jesus' command: «Get up and stand in the middle» (Lk 6:8) has the vivifying strength of he who loves and responds to the Word. And, the last part of his order: «Stretch out your hand» (Lk 6:10), that concludes the miracle, definitely restores life and strength to what was powerless and dead. “To save” is to draw from death, and this same word translates as “healing”. By healing, Jesus is saving whatever that poor ailing man had dead, and this is a clear sign of God's fatherly love for his creatures. Thus, in the new creation, where the Son does only what He sees his Father doing, the new law that will prevail will be the law of the acting love rather than that of a “dormant” relaxation, including doing good to the brother in need.

Therefore, a conjugated freedom and love is the key for today. Freedom and love conjugated Jesus' way. Today, what St. Augustine used to say: «love and do as you please», is perfectly valid to learn to totally identify ourselves with Christ our Saviour.

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