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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Tim 1:15-17): Beloved: This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm: 112
R/. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever.
Praise, you servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord both now and forever.

From the rising to the setting of the sun is the name of the Lord to be praised. High above all nations is the Lord; above the heavens is his glory.

Who is like the Lord, our God, and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dunghill he lifts up the poor.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:23): Alleluia. Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 6,43-49): Jesus said to the crowd, «No healthy tree bears bad fruit, no poor tree bears good fruit. And each tree is known by the fruit it bears: you don't gather figs from thorns, or grapes from brambles. Similarly the good person draws good things from the good stored in the heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in the heart. For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.

»Why do you call me: ‘Lord! Lord!’ and not do what I say? I will show you what the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly, is like. That one is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock. The river overflowed and the stream dashed against the house, but could not carry it off because the house had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act, is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. The flood burst against it, and the house fell at once: and what a terrible disaster that was!».

«Each tree is known by the fruit it bears»

Fr. Raimondo M. SORGIA Mannai OP (San Domenico di Fiesole, Florencia, Italy)

Today, the Lord surprises us by “advertising” himself. It is not my intention to “shock” anyone with this assertation. It is only our earthly publicity that lessens the great and supernatural things. What induces us to look at publicity with suspicion are, for instance, promises such as those assuring us that, within a few weeks, we will be losing five or six kilograms if using a certain “trick product” (or others to the same extent). But, when we have a hundred per cent guaranteed “product”, and —as in the case of the Lord— nothing is being sold in exchange of money, and we are only asked to believe him while considering him our leader and a model of a certain life style, then this kind of “publicity” should not surprise us and can be accepted as totally legitimate. Has not Jesus been the greatest “publicist” when He said, «I am the Way and the Truth and the Life» (Jn 14:6)?

Today, He affirms that «the one who comes to me and listens to my words and acts accordingly» is wise and «is like the builder who dug deep and laid the foundations of his house on rock» (Lk 6:47-48), for he now has a well built house, that can face any kind of weather. On the contrary, if the builder is not so sensible, he will end up in the middle of a pile of rubble and, if he was in the house when the flood burst into it, he may lose not only the house but his own life, too.

Therefore, it is not enough to get close to Jesus, but we have to listen, with the maximum attention, to his teachings and, most of all, to prompt them into action. For even the curious, the heretic or the history or philology scholar may approach him... So only by coming close to him, and basically, by practicing Jesus' doctrine, shall we be able to build a building of Christian saintliness, as a paradigm for the faithful pilgrims and glory of the celestial Church.