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Liturgical day: Tuesday 26th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Job 3:1-3.11-17.20-23): Job opened his mouth and cursed his day. Job spoke out and said: Perish the day on which I was born, the night when they said, ‘The child is a boy!’. Why did I not perish at birth, come forth from the womb and expire? Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth, like babes that have never seen the light? Wherefore did the knees receive me? Or why did I suck at the breasts? For then I should have lain down and been tranquil; had I slept, I should then have been at rest with kings and counselors of the earth who built where now there are ruins or with princes who had gold and filled their houses with silver. There the wicked cease from troubling, there the weary are at rest. Why is light given to the toilers, and life to the bitter in spirit? They wait for death and it comes not; they search for it rather than for hidden treasures, rejoice in it exultingly, and are glad when they reach the grave: Those whose path is hidden from them, and whom God has hemmed in!
Responsorial Psalm: 87
R/. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
O Lord, my God, by day I cry out; at night I clamor in your presence. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my call for help.

For my soul is surfeited with troubles and my life draws near to the nether world. I am numbered with those who go down into the pit; I am a man without strength.

My couch is among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no longer and who are cut off from your care.

You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the dark abyss. Upon me your wrath lies heavy, and with all your billows you overwhelm me.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 102:21): Alleluia. Bless the Lord, all you angels, you ministers, who do his will. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 9,51-56): As the time drew near when Jesus would be taken up to heaven, He made up his mind to go to Jerusalem. He had sent ahead of him some messengers who entered a Samaritan village to prepare a lodging for him. But the people would not receive him because He was on his way to Jerusalem. Seeing this, James and John, his disciples said, «Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?». Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.

«Jesus turned and rebuked them»

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

Today, in the Gospel, we can see how «James and John, his disciples said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to reduce them to ashes?’ But Jesus turned and rebuked them» (Lk 9:54-55). These were Apostles’ shortcomings the Lord corrected.

There is a tale about a water carrier in India who, at the end of a stick of wood he had hanging on his back, he carried two vessels: one was perfectly made but the other was half cracked in its surface and was losing most of the water. This one —quite sadly— used to glance at the other, so perfect, until one day, quite ashamed, told its owner how miserable it felt because due to its cracks it could only give him half of the water he should be selling. But the water carrier told the vessel: —When we get back home look at the flowers growing along the way. And, sure enough, the vessel did look at them: they were indeed the most beautiful flowers, but realizing its cracks were again dropping half of its water, the vessel insisted: —I am worthless, I do everything wrong. But the carrier said: —Did you notice that these flowers only grow on your side of the way? I knew you had cracks so I figured out how to take advantage of them, and I sowed the seeds of the flowers where you dropped the water and, by watering them as you did I am now able to pick these flowers for God's Mother altar. If you were not as you are, this beauty could not have been created.

In a way, we are all like this cracked vessel, but God knows quite well his sons and gives us the possibility to take advantage of our cracks-defects for something good. Thus, the apostle John —that today wants to destroy—, with Lord's correction, becomes, in his letters, the apostle of love. The chastening did not discourage him, but he could rather see the positive side of his burning temperament —impassionate— by placing it at the service of love. Let us hope we will also know how to take advantage of the corrections, drawbacks —sufferings, failures, limitations— to “start and restart”, as St. Josemaria defined saintliness: docile to the Holy Spirit in converting ourselves to God and become his instruments.