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)

Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (2Kgs 25:1-12): In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege walls on every side. The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month, when famine had gripped the city, and the people had no more bread, the city walls were breached. Then the king and all the soldiers left the city by night through the gate between the two walls that was near the king’s garden. Since the Chaldeans had the city surrounded, they went in the direction of the Arabah.

But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook him in the desert near Jericho, abandoned by his whole army. The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on him. He had Zedekiah’s sons slain before his eyes. Then he blinded Zedekiah, bound him with fetters, and had him brought to Babylon.

On the seventh day of the fifth month (this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the representative of the king of Babylon. He burned the house of the Lord, the palace of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every large building was destroyed by fire. Then the Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the last of the people remaining in the city, and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the last of the artisans. But some of the country’s poor, Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, left behind as vinedressers and farmers.
Responsorial Psalm: 136
R/. Let my tongue be silenced, if I ever forget you!
By the streams of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. On the aspens of that land we hung up our harps.

Though there our captors asked of us the lyrics of our songs, and our despoilers urged us to be joyous: «Sing for us the songs of Zion!».

How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land? If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand be forgotten!

May my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not, If I place not Jerusalem ahead of my joy.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 8:17): Alleluia. Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 8:1-4): When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

“Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean”

Fr. Xavier ROMERO i Galdeano (Cervera, Lleida, Spain)

Today, the Gospel presents us with a leper, full of pain and aware of his illness, who approaches Jesus and says, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean” (Mt 8:2). We too, seeing the Lord so near yet feeling our heads, hearts, and hands so far from His plan of salvation, should feel eager and able to utter the same plea as the leper: "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean" (Mt 8:2).

However, a question arises: Can a society that lacks a sense of sin ask the Lord for forgiveness? Can it request any form of purification? We all know many people who suffer and whose hearts are wounded, but their tragedy is that they are not always aware of their personal situation. Despite everything, Jesus is always with us (cf. Mt 28:20), waiting for the same request: " Lord, if you wish..." (cf. Mt 8:2). Yet, we must also cooperate. St. Augustine reminds us with his classic saying: "He who created you without you will not save you without you." Therefore, we must be able to ask the Lord to help us and to desire change with His assistance.

Someone might ask: Why is it so important to recognize, repent, and want to change? Simply because, otherwise, we would still not be able to give an affirmative answer to the previous question, where we said that a society without a sense of sin would hardly feel the desire or need to seek the Lord to ask for His help.

Thus, when the moment of repentance arrives, the moment of sacramental confession, it is necessary to discard the past, the blemishes that infect our bodies and souls. Let us not doubt: asking for forgiveness is a significant moment of Christian initiation because it is the moment when the scales fall from our eyes. And if someone realizes their situation and does not want to convert? A popular saying goes: "There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “By this leper the Lord trains us to be clear of pride and vainglory, to be thankful and grateful.” (Saint John Chrysostom)

  • “Jesus, takes from us our diseased humanity and we take from Him his sound and healing humanity. This happens each time we receive a Sacrament with faith, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which heals us from the leprosy of sin.” (Francis)

  • “The title ‘Lord’ indicates divine sovereignty. To confess or invoke Jesus as Lord is to believe in his divinity. ‘No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit'" (I Cor 12:3).” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 455)