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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Monday 23rd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Col 1:24—2:3): Brothers and sisters: I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his Body, which is the Church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.

It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me. For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you and for those in Laodicea and all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged as they are brought together in love, to have all the richness of assured understanding, for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Responsorial Psalm: 61
R/. In God is my safety and my glory.
Only in God be at rest, my soul, for from him comes my hope. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.

Trust in him at all times, o my people! Pour out your hearts before him; God is our refuge!
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 10:27): Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 6,6-11): On another Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. There was a man with a paralyzed right hand and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees watched him: Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did, they could accuse him. But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to the man, «Get up and stand in the middle». Then he spoke to them, «I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do good or to do harm, to save life or destroy it?». And Jesus looked around at them all. Then He said to the man, «Stretch out your hand». He stretched it out and his hand was restored, becoming as whole as the other. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another how they could deal with Jesus.

«Get up and stand in the middle (...). Stretch out your hand»

Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB
(Mendoza, Argentina)

Today, Jesus provides us with an example of the freedom, which we speak so much about. But, contrary to what most claim or consider as “freedom”, Jesus' freedom, is totally associated and adhered to the Father's actions. He will say: «I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does» (Jn 5:19). And the Father only does and acts out of love.

Love cannot be imposed but forces us to act, pulls us together and largely reverts to life. Jesus' command: «Get up and stand in the middle» (Lk 6:8) has the vivifying strength of he who loves and responds to the Word. And, the last part of his order: «Stretch out your hand» (Lk 6:10), that concludes the miracle, definitely restores life and strength to what was powerless and dead. “To save” is to draw from death, and this same word translates as “healing”. By healing, Jesus is saving whatever that poor ailing man had dead, and this is a clear sign of God's fatherly love for his creatures. Thus, in the new creation, where the Son does only what He sees his Father doing, the new law that will prevail will be the law of the acting love rather than that of a “dormant” relaxation, including doing good to the brother in need.

Therefore, a conjugated freedom and love is the key for today. Freedom and love conjugated Jesus' way. Today, what St. Augustine used to say: «love and do as you please», is perfectly valid to learn to totally identify ourselves with Christ our Saviour.