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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Tuesday 8th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Sir 35:1-12): To keep the law is a great oblation, and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering. In works of charity one offers fine flour, and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise. To refrain from evil pleases the Lord, and to avoid injustice is an atonement. Appear not before the Lord empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts. The just one's offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.

The just one's sacrifice is most pleasing, nor will it ever be forgotten. In a generous spirit pay homage to the Lord, be not sparing of freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means. For the Lord is one who always repays and he will give back to you sevenfold. But offer no bribes, these he does not accept! Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion. For he is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.
Responsorial Psalm: 49
R/. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
«Gather my faithful ones before me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice». And the heavens proclaim his justice; for God himself is the judge.

«Hear, my people, and I will speak; Israel, I will testify against you; God, your God, am I. Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you, for your burnt offerings are before me always».

«Offer to God praise as your sacrifice and fulfill your vows to the Most High. He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me; and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God».
Verscicle before the Gospel (Cf. Mt 11:25): Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 10,28-31): At that time Peter began to tell Jesus, «We have given up everything to follow you». Jesus answered, «Truly, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands for my sake and for the Gospel, who will not receive his reward. I say to you: even in the midst of persecution he will receive a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands in the present time and in the world to come eternal life. Do pay attention: Many who now are first will be last, and the last, first».

«Truly, there is no one who has left house for my sake and for the Gospel who will not receive his reward in the present time and in the world to come eternal life»

Fr. Jordi SOTORRA i Garriga
(Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, just like that landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard, the Lord is seeking disciples, followers and friends. His, is a universal call. A captivating offer, the Lord entrust us with! On one condition, though. One condition that may dishearten us: «For my sake and for the Gospel» you are to leave «house, brothers or sisters, or father or mother, or children, or lands» (cf. Mk 10:29).

But, is there any compensation? Shall there be any reward? Shall we make any gain out of it? Peter, in the name of the Apostles, reminds the Master: «We have given up everything to follow you» (Mk 10:28), as if asking: what benefit shall we get?

The Lord's promise is very generous: «but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time (…) and in the age to come eternal life» (Mk 10:30). He cannot be surpassed as far as generosity. But He adds: «even in the midst of persecution». Jesus is very realistic and He does not want to deceive anybody. To be a disciple of his, if we are truly so, will bring us troubles and problems. However, Jesus considers persecutions and troubles a reward, for they help us to grow, if we accept and live through them as an opportunity to gain in maturity and responsibility. Whatever act of sacrifice makes us more like Jesus Christ who, by dying in the Cross, saves us.

We have always time to revise our life and get closer to Jesus Christ, especially during the times of Advent and Lent. Through prayer and the sacraments, these times and all times, we can find out whether we are amongst the disciples He is seeking, and decide which our answer must be to that call. Next to radical responses (such as those from the Apostles) there are others. For many, “to leave house, brothers or sisters, or father or mother…” will just mean whatever unable us to live deeply in Jesus' close friendship and, as a consequence, become his testimony before the world. And this is urgent, don't you think so?