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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
1st Reading (Sir 27:4-7): When a sieve is shaken, the husks appear; so do one's faults when one speaks. As the test of what the potter molds is in the furnace, so in tribulation is the test of the just. The fruit of a tree shows the care it has had; so too does one's speech disclose the bent of one's mind. Praise no one before he speaks, for it is then that people are tested.
Responsorial Psalm: 91
R/. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to proclaim your kindness at dawn and your faithfulness throughout the night.

The just one shall flourish like the palm tree, like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be, declaring how just is the Lord, my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
2nd Reading (1Cor 15:54-58): Brothers and sisters: When this which is corruptible clothes itself with incorruptibility and this which is mortal clothes itself with immortality, then the word that is written shall come about: Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, o death, is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Versicle before the Gospel (Phil 2:15-16): Alleluia. Shine like lights in the world as you hold on to the word of life. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 6:39-45): Jesus told his disciples a parable, “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.

“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thornbushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”

“A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good”

Fr. Johannes VILAR (Köln, Germany)

Today there is a thirst for God, there is a frenzy to find meaning in one's existence and actions. The boom in esoteric interest proves it, but self-redeeming theories won't do. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God regrets that his people have committed two evils: they abandoned Him, the source of living waters, and dug cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that cannot hold water (cf. Jer 2:13).

There are those who wander between pseudo-philosophies and pseudo-religions —the blind leading the blind (cf. Lk 6:39)— until, discouraged, like Saint Augustine, with their own effort and the grace of God, they convert, because they discover the coherence and transcendence of revealed faith. In the words of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, “People have a flat, grounded, two-dimensional view. —When you live a supernatural life, you will obtain from God the third dimension: height, and, with it, relief, weight and volume.”

Benedict XVI illuminated many aspects of the faith with scientific texts and pastoral texts full of suggestions, such as his "Jesus of Nazareth" trilogy. I have observed how many non-Catholics orient themselves to his teachings (and those of St. John Paul II). This is not accidental, for there is no good tree that bears rotten fruit; there is no rotten tree that bears good fruit (cf. Lk 6:43).

Great strides could be made in ecumenism, if there were more good will and more love for the Truth (many do not convert because of prejudice and social ties, which should not be obstacles, but they are). In any case, let us thank God for these gifts (Saint John Paul II did not hesitate to affirm that the Second Vatican Council is the great gift of God to the Church in the 20th century); and let us pray for Unity, the great intention of Jesus Christ, for which He himself prayed at his Last Supper.

Thoughts on Today's Gospel

  • “In truth the most difficult of sciences is to know one’s self. Not only our eye, from which nothing outside us escapes, cannot see itself, but our mind, so piercing to discover the sins of others, is slow to recognize its own faults.” (Saint Basil the Great)

  • “We receive a new way of being, the life of Christ becomes our own: we are able to think like Him, to act like Him, to see the world and the things in it with the eyes of Jesus.” (Francis)

  • “The practice of all the virtues is animated and inspired by charity, which "binds everything together in perfect harmony" (Col 3:14); it is the form of the virtues; it articulates and orders them among themselves; it is the source and the goal of their Christian practice. Charity upholds and purifies our human ability to love, and raises it to the supernatural perfection of divine love.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nº 1827)