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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 (Rom 1:1-7): Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God, which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm: 97
R/. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm.

The Lord has made his salvation known: in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice. He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness toward the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God. Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; break into song; sing praise.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 94:8ab): 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)