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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Ezek 28:1-10): The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre: Thus says the Lord God: Because you are haughty of heart, you say, «A god am I! I occupy a godly throne in the heart of the sea!», and yet you are a man, and not a god, however you may think yourself like a god. Oh yes, you are wiser than Daniel, there is no secret that is beyond you. By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made riches for yourself; you have put gold and silver into your treasuries. By your great wisdom applied to your trading you have heaped up your riches; your heart has grown haughty from your riches.

Therefore thus says the Lord God: Because you have thought yourself to have the mind of a god, therefore I will bring against you foreigners, the most barbarous of nations. They shall draw their swords against your beauteous wisdom, they shall run them through your splendid apparel. They shall thrust you down to the pit, there to die a bloodied corpse, in the heart of the sea. Will you then say, ‘I am a god!’ when you face your murderers? No, you are man, not a god, handed over to those who will slay you. You shall die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners, for I have spoken, says the Lord God.
Responsorial Psalm: Deut 32
R/. It is I who deal death and give life.
«I would have said, ‘I will make an end of them and blot out their name from men's memories’. Had I not feared the insolence of their enemies, feared that these foes would mistakenly boast».

«Our own hand won the victory; the Lord had nothing to do with it». For they are a people devoid of reason, having no understanding.

«How could one man rout a thousand, or two men put ten thousand to flight, unless it was because their Rock sold them and the Lord delivered them up?».

Close at hand is the day of their disaster, and their doom is rushing upon them! Surely, the Lord shall do justice for his people; on his servants he shall have pity.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 8:9): Alleluia. Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich; so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 19:23-30): Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Then Peter said to him in reply, We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

“It will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven... Who then can be saved?”

Fr. Fernando PERALES i Madueño (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we contemplate the reaction provoked by the dialogue of Jesus with the rich young man: “Who then can be saved?” (Mt 19:25). The words our Lord addressed to the rich young man are very tough and severe, but they are supposed to awaken and surprise our drowsiness. They are not isolated words, to be found here and there in the Gospels: this type of message is repeated twenty times. We must remember it: Jesus warns us of the obstacle riches and wealth represent to enter life...

And, despite it all, Jesus loved and called wealthy men, without demanding from them the abandonment of their responsibilities. Wealth, per se, is not bad; its origin is, if it was unjustly acquired or its destination, if it is selfishly employed without bearing in mind the needy, if it closes our heart to the true spiritual values (where there is no need of God).

“Who then can be saved?” Jesus responds: “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). —Lord, You know quite well men's skills to attenuate your Word. I must say it, Lord, help me! Convert my heart.

After the rich young man left, sadly, because he wanted to keep his wealth, Peter spoke and said: —Grant, O Lord, your Church and your Apostles, the capability of abandoning everything for You.

“In the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory...” (Mt 19:28). Your thoughts are aiming towards this “day”, towards the future. You are a man with a tendency towards the end of the world, towards the plenitude of man. Then, Lord, everything will be new, renewed and beautiful.

Jesus Christ says: —"You who have given up everything will sit with the Son of Man... Will receive a hundred times more... and will inherit eternal life..." (cf. Mt 19:28-29).

The future you promise to your disciples, to those who have followed you and have given up all obstacles... is a happy future, and it is the abundance of life, the plenitude of life.

—Thank you Lord. Guide me towards that day!

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “For it is easier for the sun not to give heat, nor to shine, than for the Christian not to send forth light… Do not insult God. If we once get our own affairs in a right state, the other will certainly follow as a natural and necessary consequence.” (St. John Chrysostom)

  • “The Christian vocation is first and foremost a call to love, a love which attracts us and draws us out of ourselves, towards its liberation through self-giving” (Benedict XVI)

  • “The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1,058)