Word of the day
Reading of the day
GAL 4:22-24, 26-27, 31–5:1
Brothers and sisters:
It is written that Abraham had two sons,
one by the slave woman and the other by the freeborn woman.
The son of the slave woman was born naturally,
the son of the freeborn through a promise.
Now this is an allegory.
These women represent two covenants.
One was from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery;
this is Hagar.
But the Jerusalem above is freeborn, and she is our mother.
For it is written:
Rejoice, you barren one who bore no children;
break forth and shout, you who were not in labor;
for more numerous are the children of the deserted one
than of her who has a husband.
Therefore, brothers and sisters,
we are children not of the slave woman
but of the freeborn woman.
For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm
and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Gospel of the day
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."
Words of the Holy Father
The true sign of Jonah is the one that gives us confidence in being saved by the blood of Christ. There are many Christians who think they are saved on the basis of what they do, on the basis of their works. Works are necessary, but they are a consequence, a response to the merciful love that saves us. But works done without merciful love are useless. The Jonah syndrome afflicts those who trust only in their personal righteousness, in their works. (Santa Marta, 14 October 2013)