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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Judg 6:11-24a): The angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite. While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press to save it from the Midianites, the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, «The Lord is with you, O champion!». Gideon said to him, «My Lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers told us when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’. For now the Lord has abandoned us and has delivered us into the power of Midian». The Lord turned to him and said, «Go with the strength you have and save Israel from the power of Midian. It is I who send you». But Gideon answered him, «Please, my lord, how can I save Israel? My family is the lowliest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father's house». «I shall be with you», the Lord said to him, «and you will cut down Midian to the last man».

Gideon answered him, «If I find favor with you, give me a sign that you are speaking with me. Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I come back to you and bring out my offering and set it before you». He answered, «I will await your return». So Gideon went off and prepared a kid and a measure of flour in the form of unleavened cakes. Putting the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, he brought them out to him under the terebinth and presented them. The angel of God said to him, «Take the meat and unleavened cakes and lay them on this rock; then pour out the broth». When he had done so, the angel of the Lord stretched out the tip of the staff he held, and touched the meat and unleavened cakes. Thereupon a fire came up from the rock that consumed the meat and unleavened cakes, and the angel of the Lord disappeared from sight. Gideon, now aware that it had been the angel of the Lord, said, «Alas, Lord God, that I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face!». The Lord answered him, «Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die». So Gideon built there an altar to the Lord and called it Yahweh-shalom.
Responsorial Psalm: 84
R/. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord–for he proclaims peace to his people, and to his faithful ones, and to those who put in him their hope.

Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven.

The Lord himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 8:9): Alleluia. Jesus Christ became poor although he was rich so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 19:23-30): Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Then Peter said to him in reply, We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”

“It will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven... Who then can be saved?”

Fr. Fernando PERALES i Madueño (Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we contemplate the reaction provoked by the dialogue of Jesus with the rich young man: “Who then can be saved?” (Mt 19:25). The words our Lord addressed to the rich young man are very tough and severe, but they are supposed to awaken and surprise our drowsiness. They are not isolated words, to be found here and there in the Gospels: this type of message is repeated twenty times. We must remember it: Jesus warns us of the obstacle riches and wealth represent to enter life...

And, despite it all, Jesus loved and called wealthy men, without demanding from them the abandonment of their responsibilities. Wealth, per se, is not bad; its origin is, if it was unjustly acquired or its destination, if it is selfishly employed without bearing in mind the needy, if it closes our heart to the true spiritual values (where there is no need of God).

“Who then can be saved?” Jesus responds: “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). —Lord, You know quite well men's skills to attenuate your Word. I must say it, Lord, help me! Convert my heart.

After the rich young man left, sadly, because he wanted to keep his wealth, Peter spoke and said: —Grant, O Lord, your Church and your Apostles, the capability of abandoning everything for You.

“In the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory...” (Mt 19:28). Your thoughts are aiming towards this “day”, towards the future. You are a man with a tendency towards the end of the world, towards the plenitude of man. Then, Lord, everything will be new, renewed and beautiful.

Jesus Christ says: —"You who have given up everything will sit with the Son of Man... Will receive a hundred times more... and will inherit eternal life..." (cf. Mt 19:28-29).

The future you promise to your disciples, to those who have followed you and have given up all obstacles... is a happy future, and it is the abundance of life, the plenitude of life.

—Thank you Lord. Guide me towards that day!

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “For it is easier for the sun not to give heat, nor to shine, than for the Christian not to send forth light… Do not insult God. If we once get our own affairs in a right state, the other will certainly follow as a natural and necessary consequence.” (St. John Chrysostom)

  • “The Christian vocation is first and foremost a call to love, a love which attracts us and draws us out of ourselves, towards its liberation through self-giving” (Benedict XVI)

  • “The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1,058)