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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday 34th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Dan 2:31-45): Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar: «In your vision, o king, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright, terrifying in appearance as it stood before you. The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron, its feet partly iron and partly tile. While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces. The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once, fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer, and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

»This was the dream; the interpretation we shall also give in the king's presence. You, o king, are the king of kings; to you the God of heaven has given dominion and strength, power and glory; men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell, he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all; you are the head of gold. Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours, then a third kingdom, of bronze, which shall rule over the whole earth. There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron; it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others, just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else. The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter's tile and partly of iron, mean that it shall be a divided kingdom, but yet have some of the hardness of iron. As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile, and the toes partly iron and partly tile, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.

»The iron mixed with clay tile means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage, but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay. In the lifetime of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever. That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain without a hand being put to it, which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold. The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future; this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure».
Responsorial Psalm: Dan 3
R/. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

You heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.

All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever.
Versicle before the Gospel (Rev 2:10): Alleluia. Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 21,5-11): While some people were talking about the Temple, remarking that it was adorned with fine stonework and rich gifts, Jesus said to them, «The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down».

And they asked him, «Master, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?». Jesus then said, «Take care not to be deceived, for many will come claiming my title and saying: ‘I am he, the Messiah; the time is at hand’. Do not follow them. When you hear of wars and troubled times, don't be frightened; for all this must happen first, even though the end is not so soon». And Jesus said, «Nations will fight each other and kingdom will oppose kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and plagues; in many places strange and terrifying signs from heaven will be seen».

«There shall not be left one stone upon another»

+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret (Vic, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, astounded, we listen to the Lord's severe warning: «The days will come when there shall not be left one stone upon another of all that you now admire; all will be torn down» (Lk 21:6). Jesus' words can be placed in the antipodes of the so called “indefinite human progress culture” or, if preferred, of the unstoppable evolution of some techno/scientific and political/military leaders of the human species.

Where from? Where to? This, nobody knows and nobody can tell, other than, in the last instance, a supposed eternal matter that denies God while, at the same time, usurping his attributes. Amazing, how they try to make us swallow it hook, line and sinker, who, on their side, refuse to accept the temporality and precarious status typical of our human condition!

As disciples of the Son of God-Made-Man, Jesus, we hear his very words and, while making them ours, we ponder over them. He is saying: «Take care not to be deceived!» (Lk 21:8). This is asserted by He, Who came to bear witness of the truth, while affirming that those belonging to the truth listen to his voice.

And He adds: «The end is not so soon» (Lk 21:9). Which means, on the one hand, that we still have time for salvation and we must take advantage of that; and, on the other, that the end will come, anyway. Yes, Jesus, will come «to judge the living and the dead», as we profess in the Creed.

Dear readers of Contemplating Today's Gospel, dear brothers and friends: a few verses further down this fragment I'm commenting now, Jesus encourages us and consoles us with these words that I repeat in his name: «By your endurance you will gain your souls!» (Lk 21:19).

By trying to be a warm and cordial echo of these words, and with the energy of a Christian hymn, we shall exhort one another: «Let us persevere, as we are already attaining the summit with our hands!».

Monsignor José Angel Saiz Meneses (until now Bishop of Terrassa) was the first bishop who agreed to collaborate with evangeli.net. He has just been promoted as Archbishop of Seville. The comment for next Sunday ("Good Shepherd Sunday") was written precisely by Monsignor Saiz.

You can read his commentary here