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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
1st Reading (Wis 18:6-9): The night of the passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage. Your people awaited the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes. For when you punished our adversaries, in this you glorified us whom you had summoned. For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.
Responsorial Psalm: 32
R/. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting. Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.

See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield. May your kindness, o Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you.
2nd Reading (Heb 11:1-2.8-19): Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age —and Sarah herself was sterile— for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.

All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said, «Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name». He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
Versicle before the Gospel (Mt 24:42.44): Alleluia. Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 12:32-48): Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

«You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect»

Fr. Melcior QUEROL i Solà (Ribes de Freser, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel reminds us and demands from us to always be wide-awake “ the Son of Man will come” (Lk 12:40). We have to always be on the alert; we have to live in tension, “disconnected”, for we are but pilgrims in a passing world, our true fatherland being in heaven. Our life must go towards there; whether we like it or not, our earthly existence is nothing but our projection towards our definite encounter with the Lord, and in this encounter “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (Lk 12:48). Is this not the culminating moment of our life? Let us live our life more intelligently, and realize what our true values are! Stop searching this earth's treasures as so many actually do. Let us elude this mental attitude!

After our world's mentality, what we are worth depends upon what we have! People are valued by the money they have, by the social class and category they belong to and, by their prestige, their power. But all that, in God's eyes, is worth absolutely nothing! Suppose you find out today you have an incurable sickness, and you are given just a month to live..., what will you do with all your money? What good will all your power your prestige and your social class be? They will be good for nothing. You will then realize that all these assets everybody finds so valuable right here, when the time for you has finally come, will be worth nothing. And, if you then look back, you will see that all these values capsize: the true values are in the people around you, in their loving care, in that peaceful look of understanding; they all become the true values, the actual treasures that you —behind this world's gods— had always underestimated.

Try to have the evangelic intelligence to discern what your real treasures are! Don’t let this world's gods be your heart's treasures; let them be love, true peace, wisdom and all the gifts God grants to his favorite sons, instead.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • "Each one of us must prepare for the end: the last day will not bring any harm to anyone who lives each day as if it were the last: live in such a way that you can die peacefully, because he who dies each day does not die forever" (Saint Augustine)

  • “It is the drowsiness of the disciples that opens up possibilities for the power of the evil one. Such drowsiness deadens the soul, so that it remains undisturbed by the power of the evil one at work in the world, and by all the injustice and suffering ravaging the earth” (Benedict XVI)

  • “In positive terms, the battle against the possessive and dominating self requires vigilance, sobriety of heart. When Jesus insists on vigilance, he always relates it to himself, to his coming on the last day and every day: today." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2,730)