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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday 23rd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Cor 10:14-22): My beloved ones, avoid idolatry. I am speaking as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I am saying. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because the loaf of bread is one, we, though many, are one Body, for we all partake of the one loaf.

Look at Israel according to the flesh; are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? So what am I saying? That meat sacrificed to idols is anything? Or that an idol is anything? No, I mean that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than him?
Responsorial Psalm: 115
R/. To you, Lord, I will offer a sacrifice of praise.
How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me? The cup of salvation I will take up, and I will call upon the name of the Lord.

To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:23): Alleluia. Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 6,43-49): Jesus said to the crowd, «No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit. And each tree is known by the fruit it bears: you don't gather figs from thorns, or grapes from brambles. Similarly the good person draws good things from the good stored in the heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in the heart. For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.

»Why do you call me: ‘Lord! Lord!’ and not do what I say? I will show you what the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly, is like. That one is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock. The river overflowed and the stream dashed against the house, but could not carry it off because the house had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act, is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. The flood burst against it, and the house fell at once: and what a terrible disaster that was!».

«Each tree is known by the fruit it bears»

Fr. Raimondo M. SORGIA Mannai OP (San Domenico di Fiesole, Florencia, Italy)

Today, the Lord surprises us by “advertising” himself. It is not my intention to “shock” anyone with this assertation. It is only our earthly publicity that lessens the great and supernatural things. What induces us to look at publicity with suspicion are, for instance, promises such as those assuring us that, within a few weeks, we will be losing five or six kilograms if using a certain “trick product” (or others to the same extent). But, when we have a hundred per cent guaranteed “product”, and —as in the case of the Lord— nothing is being sold in exchange of money, and we are only asked to believe him while considering him our leader and a model of a certain life style, then this kind of “publicity” should not surprise us and can be accepted as totally legitimate. Has not Jesus been the greatest “publicist” when He said, «I am the Way and the Truth and the Life» (Jn 14:6)?

Today, He affirms that «the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly» is wise and «is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock» (Lk 6:47-48), for he now has a well built house, that can face any kind of weather. On the contrary, if the builder is not so sensible, he will end up in the middle of a pile of rubble and, if he was in the house when the flood burst into it, he may lose not only the house but his own life, too.

Therefore, it is not enough to get close to Jesus, but we have to listen, with the maximum attention, to his teachings and, most of all, to prompt them into action. For even the curious, the heretic or the history or philology scholar may approach him... So only by coming close to him, and basically, by practicing Jesus' doctrine, shall we be able to build a building of Christian saintliness, as a paradigm for the faithful pilgrims and glory of the celestial Church.

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