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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Monday 29th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Rom 4:20-25): Brothers and sisters: Abraham did not doubt God's promise in unbelief; rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God and was fully convinced that what God had promised he was also able to do. That is why it was credited to him as righteousness. But it was not for him alone that it was written that it was credited to him; it was also for us, to whom it will be credited, who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over for our transgressions and was raised for our justification.
Responsorial Psalm: Lk 1
R/. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty savior, born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Mt 5:3): Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 12,13-21): Someone in the crowd spoke to Jesus, «Master, tell my brother to share with me the family inheritance». He replied, «My friend, who has appointed me as your judge or your attorney?». Then Jesus said to the people, «Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life».

And Jesus continued with this story, «There was a rich man and his land had produced a good harvest. He thought: ‘What shall I do? For I am short of room to store my harvest. So this is what he planned: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones to store all this grain, which is my wealth. Then I may say to myself: My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself’. But God said to him: ‘You fool! This very night your life will be taken from you; tell me who shall get all you have put aside?’. This is the lot of the one who stores up riches instead of amassing for God».

«Even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life»

Fr. Lluc TORCAL Monk of Santa Maria de Poblet
(Santa Maria de Poblet, Tarragona, Spain)

Today, if we do not close our eyes and our ears, the Gospel will strike us through its clarity and directness: «Be on your guard and avoid every kind of greed, for even though you have many possessions, it is not that which gives you life» (Lk 12:15). Where does man's life come from?

We know quite well where Jesus' life comes from, because He, himself, has told us: «For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself» (Jn 5:26). We all know that Jesus' life does not come only from the Father, but it also consists in abiding by his will, as the Father's will is the nourishment for Jesus, and it amounts to carry out His work of salvation among men, by offering his life for his friends, which is the greatest sign of love. Jesus' life is, therefore, a life totally received from the Father and totally handed over to the same Father and, through the love to the Father, to all men. How can human life, therefore, be sufficient per se? How can it be denied that our life is a gift we have received and, because of that, if nothing else, we have to be grateful for it? «Nobody can claim to be the master of his own life» (St. Jerome).

Following this same logic, the missing question could only be: how can our life have any meaning at all if it is a life turned in upon itself, and is satisfied by saying: «My friend, you have a lot of good things put by for many years. Rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself» (Lk 12:19)? If Jesus' life is a gift received and a gift always given with love, our own life —that we cannot deny we have also received— ought to become, following Jesus' life, a total gift to God and to our brothers, because «Whoever loves his life loses it» (Jn 12:25).