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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 19th (C) in Ordinary Time

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, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, and make safe investments with God, where no thief comes and no moth destroys. For where your investments are, there will your heart be also.]

»Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wed-ding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open to him. Happy are those servants whom the master finds wide-awake when he comes. Truly, I tell you, he will put on an apron and have them sit at table and he will wait on them. Happy are those servants if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak! Pay attention to this: If the master of the house had known at what time the thief would come, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect».

[Peter said, «Lord, did you tell this parable only for us, or for everyone?». And the Lord replied, «Imagine, then, the wise and faithful steward whom the master sets over his other servants to give them food rations at the proper time. Fortunate is this servant if his master on coming home finds him doing his work. Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property. But it may be that the steward thinks: ‘My Lord delays in coming’, and he begins to abuse the menservants and the servant girls, eating and drinking and getting drunk. Then the master will come on a day he does not expect him and at an hour he doesn't know. He will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful. The servant who knew his master's will, but did not prepare to do what his master wanted, will be punished with sound blows; but the one who did what deserved a punishment without knowing it shall receive fewer blows. Much will be required of the one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one 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 be always wide-awake «for the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect» (Lk 12:40). We have to be always on the alert; we have to live in tension, “disconnected”, for we are but pilgrims of a world that goes by, 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 one who has been given much, and more will be asked of the one entrusted with more» (Lk 12:48). Is not this one the supposed crowning 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 we are worth depending upon what we have! People is 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 it be all your power, your prestige and your social class? They will be good just for nothing. You, then, realize that all these assets everybody find so valuable right here, when the time for you has finally come, they will be worth just nothing. And, if then you look backwards, around you, you 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 which are your real treasures! Let your heart's treasures be, instead of these world's gods, love, true peace, wisdom and all the gifts God grants to his favorite sons.