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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 30th (C) in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Sir 35:12-14.16-18): The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites. Though not unduly partial toward the weak, yet he hears the cry of the oppressed. The Lord is not deaf to the wail of the orphan, nor to the widow when she pours out her complaint. The one who serves God willingly is heard; his petition reaches the heavens. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay.
Responsorial Psalm: 33
R/. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. Let my soul glory in the Lord; the lowly will hear me and be glad.

The Lord confronts the evildoers, to destroy remembrance of them from the earth. When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress he rescues them.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. The Lord redeems the lives of his servants; no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
2nd Reading (2Tim 4:6-8.16-18): Beloved: I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Versicle before the Gospel (2Cor 5:19): Alleluia. God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message of salvation. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 18,9-14): Jesus told another parable to some persons fully convinced of their own righteousness, who looked down on others, «Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

»The Pharisee stood by himself and said: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people, grasping, crooked, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give the tenth of all my income to the Temple’.

»In the meantime the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying: ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner’. I tell you, when this man went down to his house, he had been set right with God, but not the other. For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised».

«O God, be merciful to me...»

Fr. Joan Pere PULIDO i Gutiérrez (Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain)

Today, we read St. Luke's Gospel with special attention and interest. A parable addressed to our hearts. Words of life to reveal our human and Christian authenticity, which is based upon the meekness of realizing we are nothing but sinners («O God, be merciful to me, a sinner»: Lk 18:13), and in God's mercy and goodness towards us («For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised»: Lk 18:14).

Today, more than ever before, we need the authenticity to discover the self and emphasize the liberating reality of God's plan, in our lives and in our society. It is our right attitude if we desire the Verity of our faith to reach with all its strength today's men and women. Three are the axies that go along with this evangelic authenticity: power and love and self-control (cf. 2Tim 1:7).

Power, to be cognizant of God's word and keep it in our lives, no matter the difficulties. Especially, in our days, we must pay attention to this point, because in our environment there is plenty of self-deception. St. Vincent de Lérins warned us: «Right now the rottenness of a new heresy starts spreading and this time, to justify itself, it takes over some verses from the Scriptures, which, on top of everything, are interpreted with falsehood and fraud».

Love, to be able to look with tender eyes —that is, with God's eyes— at the person or event we have in front of us. Saint John Paul II encourages us to «foster a spirituality of communion», that —among other things— indicates «above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around».

And, finally, the self-control, to be able to transmit this Verity in today's language, really incarnating God's Word in our life: «They will believe in our deeds more than in any discourse» (St. John Crysostom).