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

Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Dan 7:15-27): I, Daniel, found my spirit anguished within its covering of flesh, and I was terrified by the visions of my mind. I approached one of those present and asked him what all this meant in truth; in answer, he made known to me the meaning of the things: «These four great beasts stand for four kingdoms which shall arise on the earth. But the holy ones of the Most High shall receive the kingship, to possess it forever and ever».

But I wished to make certain about the fourth beast, so very terrible and different from the others, devouring and crushing with its iron teeth and bronze claws, and trampling with its feet what was left; about the ten horns on its head, and the other one that sprang up, before which three horns fell; about the horn with the eyes and the mouth that spoke arrogantly, which appeared greater than its fellows. For, as I watched, that horn made war against the holy ones and was victorious until the Ancient One arrived; judgment was pronounced in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, and the time came when the holy ones possessed the kingdom.

He answered me thus: «The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth different from all the others; It shall devour the whole earth, beat it down, and crush it. The ten horns shall be ten kings rising out of that kingdom; another shall rise up after them, different from those before him, who shall lay low three kings. He shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High, thinking to change the feast days and the law. They shall be handed over to him for a year, two years, and a half-year. But when the court is convened, and his power is taken away by final and absolute destruction. Then the kingship and dominion and majesty of all the kingdoms under the heavens shall be given to the holy people of the Most High, whose Kingdom shall be everlasting: all dominions shall serve and obey him».
Responsorial Psalm: Dan 3
R/. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
«You sons of men, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever».

«O Israel, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever».

«Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever».

«Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever».

«Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever».

«Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever».
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 21:36): Alleluia. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 21,34-36): Jesus said to his disciples, «Be on your guard; let not your hearts be weighed down with a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you suddenly as a trap. For it will come upon all the inhabitants of the whole earth. But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is bound to happen and to stand before the Son of Man».

«Watch at all times and pray»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, last day of the Ordinary Time, Jesus clearly warns us about the fate of our pass through life. Should we stubbornly insist on living imbued by the immediacy of our worldly cares, the last day of our earthly existence will come upon us so suddenly that the very blindness of our own greediness will prevent us from recognizing God himself, who will come (do you remember we are just passers-by around here?) to take us towards the divine intimacy of His Infinite Love. Something like what happens to a spoiled child: he is so entertained by “his” toys, that he ends up by forgetting his parents' tenderness and his friends' company. And when he finally realizes what he has done, he disconsolately wails because of his unexpected loneliness.

The antidote Jesus offers us is equally clear: «Watch, therefore, at all times and pray» (Lk 21:36). To watch and to pray... The same advise He gave his apostles the night He was betrayed. The prayer has an admirable prophecy component, often forgotten when preaching, that is, to switch from the mere “seeing” to “watching” the quotidian in its deepest and crudest reality. As Evagrius Ponticus wrote, «Just as sight is the most worthy of the senses, so also is prayer the most divine of the virtues». The classics of spirituality name it “supernatural vision”, i.e. to look through God's eyes. Or what amounts to the same, to know the Truth: about God, about the world, about oneself. The prophets were not only those who “preceded what was about to happen”, but also those who knew how to interpret their present time in its just measurement, scope and density. The end result: they knew, with God's help, how to redress history.

So often we complaint about our world situation. —Where shall all this lead us to? Today, is the last day of the Ordinary Time, it is also a day of definite resolutions. Maybe it is about time that someone may make up his mind and give up his present drunkenness while starting to work for a better future. —Would you like this someone to be you? Then, cheer up! And may God bless you!