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Liturgical day: Saturday 26th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Bar 4:5-12.27-29): «Fear not, my people! Remember, Israel, you were sold to the nations not for your destruction; it was because you angered God that you were handed over to your foes. For you provoked your Maker with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods; you forsook the Eternal God who nourished you, and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you.

»She indeed saw coming upon you the anger of God; and she said: ‘Hear, you neighbors of Zion! God has brought great mourning upon me, for I have seen the captivity that the Eternal God has brought upon my sons and daughters. With joy I fostered them; but with mourning and lament I let them go. Let no one gloat over me, a widow, bereft of many: For the sins of my children I am left desolate, because they turned from the law of God’.

»Fear not, my children; call out to God! He who brought this upon you will remember you. As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him; for he who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy».
Responsorial Psalm: 68
R/. The Lord listens to the poor.
«See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive! For the Lord hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not. Let the heavens and the earth praise him, the seas and whatever moves in them!».

For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. They shall dwell in the land and own it, and the descendants of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall inhabit it».
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mt 11:25): Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 10,17-24): The seventy-two disciples returned full of joy. They said, «Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we called on your name». Then Jesus replied, «I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. You see, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the Enemy, so that nothing will harm you. Nevertheless, don't rejoice because the evil spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven».

At that time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, «I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and made them known to the little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. I have been given all things by my Father, so that no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and he to whom the Son chooses to reveal him».

Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said to them privately, «Fortunate are you to see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings would have liked to see what you see but did not, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it».

«At that time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth’»

+ Fr. Josep VALL i Mundó
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, evangelist Luke tells us what brings Jesus to praise his Father for the benefits granted to Mankind. He rejoices for the revelation made to the very simple at heart, to the smaller ones of the Kingdom. Jesus shows his joy when realizing how they accept, understand and practice what, through Him, God tells them. On other occasions, when in intimate dialogue with his Father, Jesus will also praise him for always listening to Him. He praises that leper Samaritan who, having been healed —along with other nine—, is the only one that returned, and with a loud voice glorified and thanked Jesus for the benefit received.

St. Augustine writes: «What can we better carry in our heart, or say with our mouth, or write with the pen, than these words ‘Thanks to God’? There is nothing that can be said so briefly, nor listened to with more joy, nor make you feel with more elation, nor done with more profit». This is what we are always to do with God and our neighbor, even for those gifts we are not aware of, as St. Josemaria Escriva used to write. Gratitude towards our parents, our friends, our teachers, our pals. Towards everybody that may help us, may spur us, may serve us. And logically, gratitude also, for our Mother the Church.

Gratitude is not a very “common” or practiced virtue, and, nevertheless, is one of the most pleasant to experiment. We must admit, though, that it is not an easy virtue to live with. St. Theresa asserted: «I have such a grateful heart that I could be bribed with a sardine». This has always been the saints' demeanor. And they have done it in three different ways, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out: first, trough the own awareness of the benefits received; secondly, by praising God externally with words; and, thirdly, by trying to pay back our benefactor with deeds, depending upon our own capabilities.