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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Thursday 29th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Rom 6:19-23): Brothers and sisters: I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature. For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness for lawlessness, so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness. But what profit did you get then from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit that you have leads to sanctification, and its end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: 1
R/. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.

He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers.

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Phil 3:8-9): Alleluia. I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 12,49-53): Jesus said to his disciples, «I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled; but I have a baptism to undergo and what anguish I feel until it is over! Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on, in one house five will be divided; three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law».

«I have come to bring fire upon the earth»

Fr. Joan MARQUÉS i Suriñach
(Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel presents us Jesus as a person of great ambitions: «I have come to bring fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled!» (Lk 12:49). Jesus would like to see the fire of charity and virtue already burning. As if He would be referring to it in passing! He has to undergo a baptism, that is, the trial of the Cross, and He feels anguished until it is all over. It’s only natural, Jesus has plans, and He is in a hurry to see them accomplished. We could say He has a “Divine Impatience”. We also have ideas and projects, and we would also like to see them fulfilled straightaway. Time gets in the way. «What anguish I feel until it is over!» (Lk 12:50).

It is the stress of life. It is the anxiety anyone with great projects feels. On the other hand, having no desires is like remaining at a standstill, dead, restrained; it is being sad, embittered, as being one who derives pleasure from reprehending those who actually work. People who are moving and cause others to move, who are progressing and cause others to progress, are ambitious people.

Have great aspirations! Train your goals onward and upward! Seek your personal perfection, that of your family, that of your work, that of your deeds, that of the assignments you receive. The saints have always aspired to the highest goals. They have not been afraid to face efforts and stress. They have moved. Carry on, move, too! Remember St. Augustine's words: «If you say enough, you are lost. Go further, keep going. Don't stay in the same place, don't go back, don't go off the road. Who does not move forward, stops; who keeps thinking of the starting point, goes backwards; he who reneges goes off the road. It is better to limp along that way than to stride along some other route». And he adds: «If want to be what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have stopped. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing». Are you advancing or have you stopped? Implore the help of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Hope!