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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Hos 11:1-4.8c-9): Thus says the Lord: «When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son. The more I called them, the farther they went from me, sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols. Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer. My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; for I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you».
Responsorial Psalm: 79
R/. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken. From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth. Rouse your power.

Once again, o Lord of hosts, look down from heaven, and see: Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted, the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mk 1:15): Alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 10:7-15): Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give. Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave. As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words-- go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet. Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”

“As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand”

Fr. Antonio BORDAS i Belmonte (L’Ametlla de Mar, Tarragona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel invites us to evangelize, it says: “Preach” (Mt 10:7). The announcement is Jesus’ good news, trying to tell us about the kingdom of God, that He is our savior, sent by the Father to the world and for this reason, the only one who can renew us from within and change the society in which we live.

Jesus proclaimed that "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Mt 10:7). He was the herald of the Kingdom of God that was present among men and women to the extent that good would advance and evil would retreat.

Jesus wants the whole man’s salvation, in body and in spirit; more so, by the enigma that concerns humanity, which is death, Jesus proposes the resurrection. When someone is living dead with sin and recovers the grace, he will experience a new life. This is a great mystery that we begin to experience from our baptism; Christians are called to the resurrection!

Here’s a sample of how Pope Francis seeks the good of man: “This culture of waste has also made us insensitive to wasting and throwing out excess foodstuffs. There was a time when our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor, from the hungry!”

Jesus tells us to always be bearers of peace. When the priests brings the Communion to a sick person he says, 'Lord’s Peace to this house! ". And the peace of Christ remains there, if there are people worthy of it. To receive the gifts of God's kingdom one needs a good inner will. On the other hand, we also see many people making excuses for not receiving the Gospel.

We have a great task among men, and we cannot fail to preach the Gospel after having believed, because we live it and we want others to live it also.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “The visible miracles only come to the eyes of those who see them to draw them to faith in the invisible realities, still more admirable” (Saint Gregory the Great)

  • “The saints can best help us to understand the profound meaning of the Beatitudes.” (Francis)

  • “... It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 2121)

Other comments

“Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey...”

Fr. David COMPTE i Verdaguer (Manlleu, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we want to foresee even the unforeseeable. Today is the age of home servicing and deliveries. And, if today we talk so much about peace, perhaps it is because we need it so badly. Today's Gospel fully deals with these three other “todays”. Let us go step by step.

We want to foresee even the unforeseeable: soon, we shall buy insurance to foresee the possibility our insurer may fail us. Or, perhaps, to foresee our buying a pair of trousers, and the sales clerk giving us a stained or discolored pair! Today's Gospel, with its invitation to travel without any luggage (“Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey”), is inciting us to confidence, to availability. But, look out! this does not mean carelessness! Not even improvisation. Living this reality is only possible through a life deeply rooted in what is truly fundamental: in the person of Christ. Saint John Paul II said: “We must respect an essential principle of the Christian vision of our life: the supremacy of Grace. We should not forget that without Christ, ‘we can do nothing’ (cf. Jn 15:5).”

It is also true that home servicing is proliferating: no more catering! now you can have your Spanish omelet made for you in your own home. This should be the icon of a society where we people have a tendency to do things our own way, to organize our own life by doing without others. Today, Jesus tells us “go”; go out. In other words, do bear in mind, those you have beside you. Let us, therefore, keep them in our mind, open to their needs.

Holidays, a peaceful countryside... are they synonymous of peace? It seems we may have some strong motives to doubt it. Maybe many holidays are nothing but the lethargy of some intimate concern or worry, that, later on, is about to arise again. We Christians do know we are the bearers of peace; even more, we know this peace soaks up all our being —also when we find nothing but an hostile surrounding around us— as far as we closely follow Jesus.

Let, therefore, the force of Christ's Today soak us up! And... “who has truly found Christ cannot keep Him only for himself, he has to announce Him” (Saint John Paul II).