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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Thursday 16th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Jer 2:1-3.7-8.12-13): This word of the Lord came to me: Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, following me in the desert, in a land unsown. Sacred to the Lord was Israel, the first fruits of his harvest; should any presume to partake of them, evil would befall them, says the Lord. When I brought you into the garden land to eat its goodly fruits, you entered and defiled my land, you made my heritage loathsome. The priests asked not, «Where is the Lord?». Those who dealt with the law knew me not: the shepherds rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after useless idols. Be amazed at this, o heavens, and shudder with sheer horror, says the Lord. Two evils have my people done: they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.
Responsorial Psalm: 35
R/. With you is the fountain of life, o Lord.
O Lord, your mercy reaches to heaven; your faithfulness, to the clouds. Your justice is like the mountains of God; your judgments, like the mighty deep.

How precious is your mercy, o God! The children of men take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They have their fill of the prime gifts of your house; from your delightful stream you give them to drink.

For with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light. Keep up your mercy toward your friends, your just defense of the upright of heart.
Versicle before the Gospel ((Cf. Mt 11:25)): Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 13,10-17): The disciples went up to Jesus and asked, «Why do you speak to them in parables?». Jesus answered, «To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but not to these people. For the one who has, will be given more and he will have in abundance. But the one who does not have will be deprived of even what he has. That is why I speak to them in parables, because they look and do not see; they hear, but they do not listen or understand. In them the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled: ‘Much as you hear, you do not understand; much as you see, you do not perceive’. For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears hardly hear and their eyes dare not see. If they were to see with their eyes, hear with their ears and understand with their heart, they would turn back and I would heal them.

»But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear. For I tell you that many prophets and upright people would have longed to see the things you see, but they did not, and to hear the things you hear, but they did not hear it».

«Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear»

Fr. Manel MALLOL Pratginestós (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we remember the “encomium” Jesus Christ addressed to those around him in those days: «Blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears, because they hear» (Mt 10:16). And we wonder: can Jesus' words be also intended for us, or only for those who saw and heard him directly? It looks like they, who were lucky enough to share their lives with Jesus, and physically and sensibly remained by his side, should be the only blessed ones. Whereas we should rather belong in the group of the upright people and prophets —without being either the upright ones or the prophets!— we would have liked to see and hear.

But we should not forget the Lord is referring to righteous people and prophets before his arrival, before his Revelation: «For I tell you that many prophets and upright people would have longed to see the things you see, but they did not» (Mt 10:17). The fullness of time is brought with him, and we find ourselves in this fullness; we are already in Christ's time, in Salvation's time... Certainly, we have not seen Jesus with our own eyes, but we have, indeed, known him. We do know him. We have not heard his voice with our own ears, but we have definitely heard his words. We do hear them. The knowledge our faith gives us, even though not perceptible, is a true knowledge, which brings us near the truth making us, therefore, feel happy and jubilant.

Let us be grateful to our Christian faith, let us be joyous. Let us try to make our relationship with Jesus not a remote one, but as close as possible one, as that of those disciples, who were by his side, who saw and heard him, treated him. Let us not look at Jesus from today to yesterday, but from today to today; let us actually share his time, a never-ending time. Prayer —to speak with the Lord— and the Eucharist —to receive him— assure us this nearness to him, and make us really happy while looking at him with the eyes and ears of our faith. «Receive, therefore, God's image, that you lost because of your bad deeds» (St. Augustine).

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