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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Thursday 2nd in Ordinary Time

Saints January 24th: St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor

1st Reading (Heb 7:25—8:6): Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens. He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.

The main point of what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. Now every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus the necessity for this one also to have something to offer. If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are those who offer gifts according to the law. They worship in a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, as Moses was warned when he was about to erect the tabernacle. For God says, «See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain». Now he has obtained so much more excellent a ministry as he is mediator of a better covenant, enacted on better promises.
Responsorial Psalm: 39
R/. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, «Behold I come».

«In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, o my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!».

I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, o Lord, know.

May all who seek you exult and be glad in you, and may those who love your salvation say ever, «The Lord be glorified».
Verscicle before the Gospel (2Tim 1:10): Alleluia. Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 3,7-12): Jesus and His disciples withdrew to the lakeside and a large crowd from Galilee followed Him. A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan and from the region of Tyre and Sidon, for they had heard of all that He was doing. Because of the crowd, Jesus told His disciples to have a boat ready for Him, to prevent the people from crushing Him. He healed so many that all who had diseases kept pressing towards Him to touch Him. Even the people who had evil spirits, whenever they saw Him, would fall down before Him and cry out, «You are the Son of God». But He warned them sternly not to tell anyone who he was.

«A great number of people also came from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Transjordan and from the region of Tyre and Sidon»

Fr. Melcior QUEROL i Solà
(Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain)

Today, the baptism by John in the Jordan still recent, we should all remember the kind of conversion of our baptism. We have all been baptized into one Lord, into one only faith, «For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body» (1Co 12:13). Here we have the ideal of unity: to form a single body, to be a single unity in Christ, so that the world may believe.

In today's Gospel we see that «A large crowd from Galilee followed him» and also «a great number of people» coming from other places (cf. Mk 3:7-8) are surrounding the Lord. And He paid heed to all procuring, without exception, their good. We have to keep this in mind during the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Let us realize how, throughout centuries, we Christians have divided ourselves into Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans and a long etc. of Christian confessions. A historic sin against one of the essential points of our Church: its unity.

But, let us face today's eclesial reality. Our bishopric's, our parish's, our Christian group's. Are we really one only thing? Is our type of unity really a motive for conversion of those away from the Church? «that all of them may be one, … so that the world may believe» (Jn 17:21), pleaded Jesus to the Father. This is our challenge. That pagans all over may see a group of believers relate one another, gathering by the Holy Spirit, under the Church of Christ: all the believers were one in heart and mind. (cf. Acts 4:32-34).

Let us remember that, as a fruit of the Eucharist, the unity of the Assembly is to manifest itself along with the union with Jesus of each one of us, as we are fed by the same Bread to be a one and only body. Therefore, what the sacraments stand for, and the grace therein instilled, demand from us gestures of communion towards all others. Our conversion is to the Trinity unit (which is a gift coming from Heaven) and our sanctified task cannot avert the gestures of communion, of understanding, of welcome and forgiveness towards our brothers.