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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (Ezra 9:5-9): At the time of the evening sacrifice, I, Ezra, rose in my wretchedness, and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees, stretching out my hands to the Lord, my God. I said: «My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you, o my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads and our guilt reaches up to heaven. From the time of our fathers even to this day great has been our guilt, and for our wicked deeds we have been delivered up, we and our kings and our priests, to the will of the kings of foreign lands, to the sword, to captivity, to pillage, and to disgrace, as is the case today.

»And now, but a short time ago, mercy came to us from the Lord, our God, who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his holy place; thus our God has brightened our eyes and given us relief in our servitude. For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us; rather, he has turned the good will of the kings of Persia toward us. Thus he has given us new life to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins, and has granted us a fence in Judah and Jerusalem».
Responsorial Psalm: Tob 13
R/. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
He scourges and then has mercy; he casts down to the depths of the nether world, and he brings up from the great abyss. No one can escape his hand.

Praise him, you children of Israel, before the Gentiles, for though he has scattered you among them, he has shown you his greatness even there.

So now consider what he has done for you, and praise him with full voice. Bless the Lord of righteousness, and exalt the King of ages.

In the land of my exile I praise him and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation.

Bless the Lord, all you his chosen ones, and may all of you praise his majesty. Celebrate days of gladness, and give him praise.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mk 1:15): Alleluia. The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 9:1-6): Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, "Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them." Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

“Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases”

Fr. Jordi CASTELLET i Sala (Vic, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we are given to live in times when new mental diseases are reaching unsuspected levels never ever known before. At present, our rhythm of life is impelling us towards a stressing race to consume and misrepresent more than our neighbor next door, the whole dragnet being seasoned with a strong dosage of individualism, that is customizing persons isolated from the rest of the world. This loneliness, that many of us are forced to put up with because of social conveniences, job pressure or enslaving practices, is responsible for quite a few of us buckling under depression, neurosis, hysterics, schizophrenia, or some other mental disorders, that may severely endanger a person's future.

“Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases” (Lk 9:1). Diseases we can identify in the same Gospel as mental diseases.

Meeting Christ, the perfect Person, brings about a state of equilibrium and peace that soothes our mood and allows us to rediscover ourselves while providing light and lucidity to our lives and to our approach to the future. The Gospels are the criteria to clarify any doubts; they are good to teach and mentor, to educate both young and older, and to lead persons through the path of life, that path that never has to shrivel.

“Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news.” (Lk 9:6). This is our mission too: to live and ponder over the Gospel, the very word of Jesus, so that it can be imbued into us. Thus, by and by, we shall be able to find the path to follow and the freedom to accomplish. As Saint John Paul II wrote, “Peace has to be accomplished through truth… ; it has to be built in freedom.”

Let Jesus Christ —who called us to faith and eternal joy— overfill us with his hope and love, He who has given us a new life and an inexhaustible future.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “I can't rest as long as there are souls to be saved” (Saint Thérèse of Lisieux)

  • “Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep him for themselves, they must proclaim him” (Sant Joan Pau II)

  • “Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n 900)