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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Sunday 23rd (C) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Wis 9:13-18): Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the Lord intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns. And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out? Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.
Responsorial Psalm: 89
R/. In every age, o Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust, saying, ‘Return, O children of men’. For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night.

You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, o Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. And may the gracious care of the Lord our God be ours; prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands!
2nd Reading (Phlm 9b-10.12-17): I, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus, urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment; I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. I should have liked to retain him for myself, so that he might serve me on your behalf in my imprisonment for the gospel, but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary. Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 118:135): Alleluia. Let your face shine upon your servant; and teach me your laws. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 14,25-33): One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, He turned and said to them, «If you come to me, without being ready to give up your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not follow me carrying his own cross cannot be my disciple.

»Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost to see whether you have enough to complete it? Otherwise, if you have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish’. And when a king wages war against another king, does he go to fight without first sitting down to consider whether his ten thousand can stand against the twenty thousand of his opponent? And if not, while the other is still a long way off he sends messengers for peace talks.

»In the same way, none of you may become my disciple if he doesn't give up everything he has».

«None of you may become my disciple if he doesn\'t give up everything he has»

Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus clearly tells us which is the place all others must take in our hierarchy of love while also explaining how to follow his person portrays our Christian life, a path going through different stages, where we must join Jesus with our Cross: «Whoever does not follow me carrying his own cross cannot be my disciple» (Lk 14:27).

When Jesus tells his disciples: «If you come to me, without being ready to give up your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple» (Lk 14:26), is He entering into a conflict with the Law of God that orders us to honor our parents and to love our fellow men? Certainly not. Jesus Christ already said He had not come to abolish the Law but to completely fulfill it; accordingly, He is the one to render the correct interpretation. When He demands an unconditional love, distinctive of God, He is pleading that He is God, whom we have to love above everything else and for whose love everything else has to be subordinated. By entrusting God with our lives, we shall also be able to love all the others with a sincere and just love. St. Augustine says: «See, now, how you are dragging your yearning for God's truth and perceiving his own volition in the Holy Scriptures».

Christian life is a non-stop journey with Jesus. Now-a-days, theoretically, many claim to be Christians, but, in fact, they are not sharing their journey with Jesus: they stay put at the starting point and do not even begin their trip, or give it up as soon as they can, or just take a different trip with other fellow travelers. The luggage to carry to make the journey of our life along with Jesus is the Cross, each one with his own; but, all along, with our share of suffering for those following Christ, there is also included the consolation which God soothes his beholders with, in all their trials. God is our hope and the source of life is in him.