Our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and we recommend accepting its use to take full advantage of the navigation

A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

View other days:

Liturgical day: Monday 20th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Judg 2:11-19): The children of Israel offended the Lord by serving the Baals. Abandoning the Lord, the God of their fathers, who led them out of the land of Egypt, they followed the other gods of the various nations around them, and by their worship of these gods provoked the Lord. Because they had thus abandoned him and served Baal and the Ashtaroth, the anger of the Lord flared up against Israel, and he delivered them over to plunderers who despoiled them. He allowed them to fall into the power of their enemies round about whom they were no longer able to withstand. Whatever they undertook, the Lord turned into disaster for them, as in his warning he had sworn he would do, till they were in great distress.

Even when the Lord raised up judges to deliver them from the power of their despoilers, they did not listen to their judges, but abandoned themselves to the worship of other gods. They were quick to stray from the way their fathers had taken, and did not follow their example of obedience to the commandments of the Lord. Whenever the Lord raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge and save them from the power of their enemies as long as the judge lived; it was thus the Lord took pity on their distressful cries of affliction under their oppressors. But when the judge died, they would relapse and do worse than their ancestors, following other gods in service and worship, relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.
Responsorial Psalm: 105
R/. Remember us, o Lord, as you favor your people.
They did not exterminate the peoples, as the Lord had commanded them, but mingled with the nations and learned their works.

They served their idols, which became a snare for them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.

They became defiled by their works, and wanton in their crimes. And the Lord grew angry with his people, and abhorred his inheritance.

Many times did he rescue them, but they embittered him with their counsels. Yet he had regard for their affliction when he heard their cry.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mt 5:3): Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 19,16-22): A young man approached him and asked, «Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?». Jesus answered, «Why do you ask me about what is good? Only one is Good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments». The young man said, «Which commandments?». Jesus replied, «Do not kill, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself». The young man said to him, «I have kept all these commandments, what is still lacking?». Jesus answered, «If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all that you possess and give the money to the poor and you will become the owner of a treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me». On hearing this answer, the young man went away sad for he was a man of great wealth.

«What good work must I do to receive eternal life?»

Fr. Óscar MAIXÉ i Altés
(Roma, Italy)

Today, the liturgy of the Word submits to our consideration the famous passage of the rich young man, that young man that did not succeed in reacting to the eye-beaming look Jesus Christ cast at him (cf. Mk 10:21). St. John Paul II reminds us that we can recognize in that young man all those that approach Jesus Christ by asking him about the meaning of their own lives: «Master, what good work must I do to receive eternal life?» (Mt 19:16). His Holiness comments that «Jesus' interlocutor feels there is a connection between the moral sense and the fulfillment of his own destiny».

Today, too, how many ask themselves that same question! If we look around us, we may think there are not that many who can see beyond, or, perhaps, that the 21st century man does not need that type of questions, being the answers are no good enough for him.

Jesus answers him: «Why do you ask me about what is good? Only one is Good. If you want to enter eternal life, keep the commandments» (Mt 19:17). It is not only quite legitimate to wonder about the beyond, about the meaning of life, but... we must do it! The young man has asked what he must do to receive eternal life, and Jesus Christ has answered that he must be good.

For some, or for many —it does not really matter— now a days it may seem impossible “to be good”... Or it may seem something with little sense: a piece of nonsense, in fact! But, today, as well as twenty centuries ago, Jesus Christ keeps on reminding us that to enter eternal life we must keep the Commandments of the Law of God: it is not the “A” mark we can aim to, but the only way for us to resemble God so that we may enter in the eternal life hand in hand with our Father-God. Actually, «Jesus teaches us that the commandments are not to be understood as a minimum limit we should not exceed, but rather as an open path leading to a moral and spiritual way of perfection, whose most intimate impulse is love» (St. John Paul II).