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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (Prov 21:1-6.10-13): Like a stream is the king's heart in the hand of the Lord; wherever it pleases him, he directs it. All the ways of a man may be right in his own eyes, but it is the Lord who proves hearts. To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the tillage of the wicked is sin. The plans of the diligent are sure of profit, but all rash haste leads certainly to poverty. Whoever makes a fortune by a lying tongue is chasing a bubble over deadly snares. The soul of the wicked man desires evil; his neighbor finds no pity in his eyes. When the arrogant man is punished, the simple are the wiser; when the wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge. The just man appraises the house of the wicked: there is one who brings down the wicked to ruin. He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.
Responsorial Psalm: 118
R/. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.

The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me.

Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart.

Lead me in the path of your commands, for in it I delight.

And I will keep your law continually, forever and ever.
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 11:28): Alleluia. Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 8:19-21): The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”

Fr. Xavier JAUSET i Clivillé (Lleida, Spain)

Today, we can read a beautiful passage of the Gospel. Jesus is not showing any disrespect for His mother, inasmuch as she has been the first one to hear the Word of God, and He, who is the Word of God, was born from her. At the same time she is who, most perfectly, has fulfilled God's will: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38), was her answer to the Angel of the Annunciation.

Jesus also tells us what we need to do to be like His family: “those who hear...” (Lk 8:21) and to hear Him we must get close to Him, as His own relatives did, when they went where He was, but could not get to Him because of the crowd. But, then, they tried to get closer. While getting closer to the Word of God, it might be convenient for us to ask ourselves if we fight and try to overcome the obstacles we keep finding on the way.. Do I devote, every day, a few minutes to reading, listening to or mulling over the Holy Scriptures? St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us “we must continuously meditate the Word of God (...); this meditation is a powerful help in our fight against sin.”

And, finally, to abide by the Word. It is not enough to hear the Word; we must put it into action if we want to become God's relatives. We must put into practice what we are told! This is why it would perhaps be good to ask ourselves whether we only behave obediently when what we are asked just suits us well or is rather easy to do, or if, on the contrary, when it means giving up our comfort, our own prestige, our material things or whatever leisure time we may have at our disposal..., we use to place the Word between parenthesis, until some better time may come. Let us pray to the Virgin Mary that, as she did once, we may hear and abide by the Word of God, so that we shall, thus, be able to follow the path leading to eternal happiness.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “O only-begotten Son and Word of God, immortal being, you who deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, you who are one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!” (Saint John Chrysostom)

  • “Only the incarnate Word, whose love is fulfilled on the Cross, is perfect obedience.”(Benedict XVI)

  • “By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God. With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, ‘the obedience of faith’ (cf. Rom 1:5).” (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, Nº 143).