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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Tuesday 23rd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Col 2:6-15): Brothers and sisters: As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ. For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ.

You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And even when you were dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross; despoiling the principalities and the powers, he made a public spectacle of them, leading them away in triumph by it.
Responsorial Psalm: 144
R/. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
I will extol you, o my God and King, and I will bless your name forever and ever. Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.

Let all your works give you thanks, o Lord, and let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom and speak of your might.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 15:16): Alleluia. I chose you from the world, that you may go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 6,12-19): Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God. When day came, He called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them whom He called apostles: Simon, whom He named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James son of Alpheus and Simon called the Zealot; Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who would be the traitor.

Coming down the hill with them, Jesus stood on a level place. Many of his disciples were there and a large crowd of people who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem and from the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. They gathered to hear him and be healed of their diseases; likewise people troubled by evil spirits were healed. The entire crowd tried to touch him because of the power that went out from him and healed them all.

«Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God»

Fr. Lluc TORCAL Monk of Santa Maria de Poblet
(Santa Maria de Poblet, Tarragona, Spain)

Today, I would like to center our thoughts on the first words of this Gospel: «In those days, Jesus went out into the hills to pray, spending the whole night in prayer with God» (Lk 6:12). Introductions as this one may go unnoticed in our daily reading of the Gospel, while —in fact— they are of the maximum importance. Today, Jesus, specifically and clearly tells us that the election of the twelve apostles —central decision for our Church's future life— was preceded by a full night in prayer alone, before God, his Father.

How was the Lord's prayer? What we can deduce from his life, it must have been a prayer full of confidence in the Father, of complete surrendering to his will —«for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me» (Jn 5:30)—, of clear union to God's work of salvation. Only through this profound, long and constant prayer —supported always by the action of the Holy Spirit that, at the moment of Jesus' Incarnation, had already fallen over him in his Baptism— could the Lord receive the necessary strength and light to go on with his mission of abiding by the Father to accomplish his work of salvation for mankind. The subsequent election of the Apostles —that as St. Cyril of Alexandria says, «the same Christ affirms having given them the same mission He received from the Father»—, shows us how the rising Church was the fruit of Jesus' prayer to the Father in the Holy Spirit and, therefore, the work of the Holy Trinity. «When day came, He called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them whom He called apostles» (Lk 6:13).

If only all our life as Christians —of disciples of God— could always be immersed in prayer and led by it.