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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Friday 23rd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Tim 1:1-2.12-14): Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, my true child in faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Responsorial Psalm: 15
R/. You are my inheritance, o Lord.
Keep me, o God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the Lord, “My Lord are you”. O Lord, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.

I bless the Lord who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 17:17): Alleluia. Your word, o Lord, is truth; consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 6,39-42): Jesus offered this example, «Can a blind person lead another blind person? Surely both will fall into a ditch. A disciple is not above the master; but when fully trained, he will be like the master. So why do you pay attention to the speck in your brother's eye while you have a log in your eye and are not conscious of it? How can you say to your neighbor: ‘Friend, let me take this speck out of your eye’, when you can't remove the log in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the log from your own eye and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your neighbor's eye».

«A disciple is not above the master; but when fully trained, he will be like the master»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the words of the Gospel make us think about how important examples are along with procuring an exemplary life for others. Yes, indeed, we have a saying that goes «“Friar example” is the best preacher», and another one saying «an image is worth a thousand words». Let us not forget that we, Christians, are —with no exception!— guides, as our Baptism confers on us a participation in Christ's priesthood (saving intercession): all of us that have received the baptism, have also received the baptismal priesthood. And all priesthood, beyond its mission to sanctify and teach others, also embodies the munus —the function— to rule and lead.

Yes, with our behaviour —whether we like it or not— we have the opportunity to become a stimulating model for those around us. Let us think, for instance, about the influence parents have over their children, teachers over their pupils, authorities over citizens, etc. And Christians, consequently, must have a particularly lively conscience of this fact. For..., «can a blind person lead another blind person?» (Lk 6:39).

For us, Christians, what the Jews and the first generations of Christians said of Jesus Christ: «He has done all things well» (Mk 7:37); «all that Jesus did and taught» (Act 1:1) should be like a call to attention.

We must try to transform into deeds what we believe in and declare by word of mouth. On one occasion, the Pope Benedic XVI, when he still was Cardinal Ratzinger, asserted that «those adapted Christians are the most threatening danger», that is, those persons that boast of their Christianism but, in actual practice, their behaviour shows they do not manifest the characteristic “radicalism” of the Gospel.

To be radical, though, is not tantamount to be fanatical (for charity is patient and tolerant) or to be immoderate (for moderation is impossible in love matters). As Saint John Paul II has said, «the crucified Lord is an insurmountable testimony of patient love and humble mansuetude»: He is not fanatic or immoderate. But He is radical, so much so, that the centurion who was present at his death felt like saying: «Surely this was a righteous man» (Lk 23:47).