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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 28th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gal 5:18-25): Brothers and sisters: If you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
Responsorial Psalm: 1
R/. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.

He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers.

Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 10:27): Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 11,42-46): Jesus said, «A curse is on you, Pharisees; for the Temple you give a tenth of all, including mint and rue and the other herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. This ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other. A curse is on you, Pharisees, for you love the best seats in the synagogues and to be greeted in the marketplace. A curse is on you for you are like tombstones of the dead which can hardly be seen; people don't notice them and make themselves unclean by stepping on them». Then a teacher of the Law spoke up and said, «Master, when you speak like this, you insult us, too». And Jesus answered, «A curse is on you also, teachers of the Law. For you prepare unbearable burdens and load them on the people, while you yourselves don't move a finger to help them».

«This ought to be practiced, without neglecting the other»

+ Fr. Joaquim FONT i Gassol
(Igualada, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we can see how the Divine Master gives us a few lessons: amongst them, He speaks of the tithe and also of the coherence educators (parents, teachers and all Christian believers) must have. In today's Mass, the teachings of St. Luke's Gospel appear in a somewhat synthesized form, but Matthew's parallel passages (23:1…) are more comprehensive and concrete. Our Lord's entire line of thought infers that at the heart and soul of our activity there must be justice, charity, mercy and faith (cf. Lk 11:42).

The Old Testament tithing and our present collaboration with the Church, according to laws and norms, follow the same principle. Notwithstanding, to apply the principle of a mandatory law to small things —as the Masters of the Law used to do— is exaggerated and wearing: «Woe to you also, teachers of the Law! For you prepare unbearable burdens and load them on the people, while you yourselves don't move a finger to help them» (Lk 11:46).

It is true that sensible people can show true instances of unselfishness. We have recent personal experiences of people who, out of their harvest, have given to the Church —for worship and the poor— the 10% (tithe); of others, who reserve their first flower (their choicest fruits), or the best fruits of their orchard; or, of others, who come to offer the same amount they have spent on their holiday vacation; and, of others, who just bring the pick of their work for the same purpose. One can guess all of them have assimilated the influence of the Holy Spirit. Love is imaginative; from small things it manages to take out joy and merits before God.

The good shepherd goes before the flock. Good parents are models to follow: example attracts. Good educators make a point of living by the virtues they teach. This is being coherent. Not only to a point, but fully: living a life close to the tabernacle, the devotion to the Mother of God, some small services at home, spreading good Christian humor... «Great souls know how to take advantage of small things» (St Josemaria).