Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
“… why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
Most often a homily will focus upon one or more aspects of the day’s Gospel Reading. Less often, the homily will focus upon the First Reading (or the Second Reading, if there is one). Very rarely will the day’s Responsorial Psalm be incorporated into the homily. Least of all, among the Scripture passages proclaimed during the Liturgy of the Word, is the simple Gospel acclamation. Have you ever heard a homily that focuses upon the Gospel acclamation, or even cites it?
Today’s Gospel acclamation (as it often does) complements the day’s Gospel Reading. “Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; / you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” This passage, based upon Matthew 11:25, helps us understand Jesus’ rhetorical question: “… why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” The answer is that they do not how because they do not have the humble faith of little children.
Jesus gives a concrete example to help us understand His point. He describes a scene in which two persons have a dispute that’s on its way to a magistrate. Jesus warns about the need for humility in the face of conflict, lest the result be that one is thrown into prison. This is not simply earthly advice, of course. The final “prison” is the place where those who persist in selfish pride dwell forever. The humble, by contrast, will dwell forever as children in the presence of their loving Father.