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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Saturday 1st of Advent

1st Reading (Isa 30,19-21.23-26): Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you. The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher, while from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: «This is the way; walk in it», when you would turn to the right or to the left.

He will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground, and the wheat that the soil produces will be rich and abundant. On that day your flock will be given pasture and the lamb will graze in spacious meadows; the oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with shovel and pitchfork. Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water. On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall, the light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater like the light of seven days. On the day the Lord binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows.
Responsorial Psalm: 146
R/. Blessed are all who wait for the Lord.
Praise the Lord, for he is good; sing praise to our God, for he is gracious; it is fitting to praise him. The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; the dispersed of Israel he gathers.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He tells the number of the stars; he calls each by name.

Great is our Lord and mighty in power: to his wisdom there is no limit. The Lord sustains the lowly; the wicked he casts to the ground.
Versicle before the Gospel (Isa 33,22): Alleluia. The Lord is our Judge, our Lawgiver, our King; he it is who will save us. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mt 9,35-10,1.6-8): Jesus went around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and he cured every sickness and disease. When he saw the crowds he was moved with pity, for they were harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, «The harvest is abundant but the workers are only few. Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest».

Then he called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority over the unclean spirits to drive them out and to heal every disease and sickness. «Go instead to the lost sheep of the people of Israel. Go and proclaim this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. You received this as a gift, so give it as a gift».

«Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest»

Fr. Xavier PAGÉS i Castañer
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, a week into our preparation for the celebration of Christmas, we see that one of the virtues which we have to work on during Advent is hope. Not in a passive way, like that of someone waiting for a train, but active hope, hope which gets us ready to give all that is needed for Jesus to be born again in our hearts.

We can't be happy just thinking about what it is we are hoping for, we have to think about what it is that God hopes of us. He wants us to follow him, just like he did the apostles. He tells us through Isaiah: «This is the way, walk in it» (Is 30:21, today's first reading). God hopes of us that we will give witness, each one in his own particular situation and circumstances that «the kingdom of heaven is near» (Mt 10:7).

Today's Gospel tells of how Jesus, in front of that huge crowd, felt compassion and said «the harvest is abundant but the workers are only few. Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest» (Mt 9:37-38). He has always wanted to be able to count on us, he wants us, in all our diverse circumstances to become real apostles of the world in which we move and live. The mission for which God sent his son to the world depends on us for its continuation. We find in our present day a mass of desperate and disorientated souls, thirsting for the Good News of Salvation that Christ has brought us, and of which we are the messengers. It is a mission which has been entrusted to every one of us. Conscious of our weaknesses and our failings, we get the support we need from constant prayer and are happy that this way we can collaborate with the plan for redemption that Christ has revealed.