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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Monday 32nd in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Titus 1:1-9): Paul, a slave of God and Apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth, in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began, who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior, to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.

For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you, on condition that a man be blameless, married only once, with believing children who are not accused of licentiousness or rebellious. For a bishop as God's steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents.
Responsorial Psalm: 23
R/. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The Lord's are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord? or who may stand in his holy place? He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain.

He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
Versicle before the Gospel (Phil 2:15d.16a): Alleluia. Shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 17,1-6): Jesus said to his disciples, «Scandals will necessarily come and cause people to fall; but woe to the one who has brought it about. It would be better for that one to be thrown into the sea with a millstone around the neck. Truly this would be better for that person than to cause one of these little ones to fall.

»Be careful. If your brother offends you, rebuke him and if he is sorry, forgive him. And if he offends you seven times in a day but says to you seven times: ‘I'm sorry’, forgive him».

The apostles said to the Lord, «Increase our faith». And the Lord said, «If you have faith even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree: ‘Be uprooted and plant yourself in the sea’, and it will obey you».

«If your brother offends you seven times in a day (...), forgive him»

Fr. Pedro-José YNARAJA i Díaz
(El Montanyà, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel speaks of three important topics. In the first place, our behavior with children. If in other occasions childhood has been praised, on this one we are warned of the evil we can cause them.

To scandalize is not to make lots of noise or going mad, as sometimes, we understand it; the Greek word which the evangelist uses is “skandalon”, meaning something which makes you stumble upon or slip, like a stone or a banana peel, to say it clearer. We must highly respect infants, and woe to the one who brings them to sin, in any way! (cf. Lk 17:1). Jesus anticipates the great punishment that waits for him and He does it with very vivid images. In the Holy Land we can still find some very old millstones; they are great round stones with a hole in the midst (they may also remind us, in a larger scale, of the cervical collars we should wear when suffering a traumatism). Putting the stone around the scandalous' neck and throwing him into the sea expresses a most terrible punishment. Jesus uses here an almost black joke sort of language. Woe to us if we cause one of these little ones to fall! And there are many ways to cause them to sin: to lie, to ambition, an unjust triumph. To devote oneself to tasks that will satisfy their vanity...

In the second place, forgiveness. Jesus asks us to forgive, as many times as needed, even in the same day, if the other is sorry, even if our soul resents it: «Be careful. If your brother offends you, rebuke him and if he is sorry, forgive him.» (Lk 17:3). Our capacity to forgive is the thermometer of our charity.

In the third place, the faith: more than mind wealth (in a strict human meaning), is a “mood”, the outcome of God's experience, is to be able to act by leaning on his confidence. «Faith is the beginning of true life», St. Ignatius of Antioch says. Who acts with faith may attain true wonders; this is how the Lord expresses it when He says: «If you have faith even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree: ‘Be uprooted and plant yourself in the sea’, and it will obey you» (Lk 17:6).