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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week 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.
Versicle 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 set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

«I have come to set the earth on fire»

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

Today, the Gospel presents us Jesus as a person of great ambitions: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (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. “How great is my anguish until it is accomplished!” (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, though, you say, “That’s enough, that’s the lot,” then you’ve even perished. Don’t stop on the road, don’t turn round and go back, don’t wander off the road. You stop, if you don’t forge ahead; you go back, if you turn back to what you have already left behind; you wander off the road, if you apostatize. The lame man on the road goes better than the sprinter off the road.” And he adds: “Always be dissatisfied with what you are, if you want to arrive at what you are not yet. Because wherever you are satisfied with yourself, there you have stuck. Always add some more, always keep on walking, always forge ahead.” Are you advancing or have you stopped? Implore the help of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Hope!