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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Monday 31st in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Rom 11:29-36): Brothers and sisters: The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now disobeyed in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor? Or who has given him anything that he may be repaid? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To God be glory forever. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm: 68
R/. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
But I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, o God, protect me. I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.

«See, you lowly ones, and be glad; you who seek God, may your hearts revive! For the Lord hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not».

For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah. They shall dwell in the land and own it, and the descendants of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 8:31b-32): Alleluia. If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, says the Lord. Alleluia.

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).