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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading (Gal 4:22-24.26-27.31—5:1): Brothers and sisters: It is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman. The son of the slave woman was born naturally, the son of the freeborn through a promise.

Now this is an allegory. These women represent two covenants. One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; this is Hagar. But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children; break forth and shout, you who were not in labor; for more numerous are the children of the deserted one than of her who has a husband. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are children not of the slave woman but of the freeborn woman. For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Responsorial Psalm: 112
R/. Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.
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, who 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 (Cf. Ps 94,8): Alleluia. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 11:29-32): While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign”

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

Today, Christ's sweet —but stern— voice admonishes those who believe they certainly deserve a “ticket” for Paradise, just because they may say: “Jesus, how wonderful you are!” Christ has paid the price of our salvation without excluding anyone but, all the same, some minimum conditions must be kept. And, amongst them, not pretending to have Christ doing all the work while we do nothing at all. That would not only be sheer foolishness, but wicked arrogance. This is why, the Lord does not hesitate to use the word “evil”: “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah” (Lk 11:29). He calls them “evil” because they want to see first His spectacular miracles in order for them to grant their eventual and condescending adhesion.

Not even in front of His own Nazareth countrymen did He agree, because —demanding as they were!— they expected Jesus to sign up His mission as Prophet and Messiah by means of wonderful prodigies. They would like to savor as comfortably seated watchers in a theater. But this is not possible: the Lord offers the salvation, but only to those who submit to Him through an obedience born from the faith, an obedience that waits and says nothing. This total faith (that God Himself has planted in our inside as a seed of grace) is what He wants from us.

A testimony against those believers keeping a caricature of their faith will be the queen of the South, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and it turned out that “there is something greater than Solomon here” (Lk 11:31). There is a proverb that goes: “There's none so deaf as those who will not hear.” Christ, condemned to death, will rise in three days: He will offer salvation to whomever recognizes Him, while all others —when He comes back as a Judge— can wait for nothing but their sentence because of their stubborn disbelief. Let us accept Him with advanced faith and love. We shall recognize Him and He will recognize us as belonging to Him. Don Alberione, servant of God said: “God wastes no light: He lights the lamps as needed, but always on time.”

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • "Because Solomon had built a temple to the Lord, because the Solomon of history had built that temple, our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Solomon, built a temple for himself" (St. Augustine)

  • "Still today, for the “modern Nineveh”, God is looking for messengers of penance. Will we have the courage, the deep faith, the credibility necessary to reach hearts and open the doors to conversion?" (Benedict XVI)

  • "Only the divine identity of Jesus' person can justify so absolute a claim as "He who is not with me is against me" (Mt 12:30); and his saying that there was in him "something greater than Jonah,. . . greater than Solomon", something ‘greater than the Temple...’" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, nº 590)