Word of the day
Reading of the day
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
ACTS 11:21B-26; 12:1-3
In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.
Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger,
Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to Matthew
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
Words of the Holy Father
There is no relationship with God outside of gratuitousness. Sometimes when we need something spiritual or a grace, we say: ‘Well now I will fast, I will do penance, I will pray a novena..’. While all this is good, “let us be careful: this is not to ‘pay’ for the grace or to ‘purchase’ the grace; this is to expand your heart so that grace may be granted”. Grace is free. With regard to spiritual life, there is always the danger of slipping into the idea of payments, even when speaking with the Lord, as if we wished to bribe the Lord. No! The Lord’s grace is free and you must give it freely. May our life of holiness be this expansion of the heart so that the gratuitousness of God, God’s grace ... may reach our heart”. (Santa Marta, 11 June 2019)