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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Monday 31st in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Phil 2:1-4): Brothers and sisters: If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also everyone for those of others.
Responsorial Psalm: 130
R/. In you, o Lord, I have found my peace.
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor are my eyes haughty; I busy not myself with great things, nor with things too sublime for me.

Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord, both now and forever.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 8:31b-32): Aleluya. Si os mantenéis fieles a mi palabra, dice el Señor, seréis verdaderamente discípulos míos y conoceréis la verdad. Aleluya.
Gospel text (Lk 14,12-14): On a sabbath, Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He addressed the man who had invited him and said, «When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbors. For surely they will also invite you in return and you will be repaid. When you give a feast, invite instead the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Fortunate are you then, because they can't repay you; you will be repaid at the Resurrection of the upright».

«When you give a feast, invite instead the poor (…). Fortunate are you then, because they can't repay you; you will be repaid at the Resurrection of the upright»

Fr. Austin Chukwuemeka IHEKWEME (Ikenanzizi, Nigeria)

Today, the Lord teaches us the true meaning of Christian generosity: to learn how to devote ourselves to others. «When you give a lunch or a dinner, don't invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives and wealthy neighbors. For surely they will also invite you in return and you will be repaid» (Lk 14:12).

Christians move about in this world as any other person; but the fundamental purpose to deal with our neighbor cannot be either humans rewards or the vainglory; over everything else, we have to seek the Glory of God pretending no other recompense than Heaven. «When you give a feast, invite instead the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. Fortunate are you then, because they can't repay you; you will be repaid at the Resurrection of the upright» (Lk 42:13-14).

The Lord invites all of us to give ourselves unconditionally to all men, motivated only by our love to God and to our brothers in the Lord. «And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again» (Lk 6:34).

Things are like that because the Lord helps us to understand that, if we give ourselves unselfishly, without expecting anything in return, God will repay us with a greater reward and will confirm us as his favorite children. This is why Jesus tells us: «But love you your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest» (Lk 6:35).

Let us beg from the Mother of God enough generosity so that we can elude any temptation of selfishness, as his Son did. «Selfish! You...always looking out for yourself. You seem unable to feel the brotherhood of Christ. In others you don't see brothers; you see stepping-stones. (...)» (St. Josemaria Escriva).

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