Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

James 1,12-18

Blessed is anyone who perseveres when trials come. Such a person is of proven worth and will win the prize of life, the crown that the Lord has promised to those who love him. Never, when you are being put to the test, say, 'God is tempting me'; God cannot be tempted by evil, and he does not put anybody to the test . Everyone is put to the test by being attracted and seduced by that person's own wrong desire. Then the desire conceives and gives birth to sin, and when sin reaches full growth, it gives birth to death. Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers: all that is good, all that is perfect, is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow caused by change. By his own choice he gave birth to us by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all his creation.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"Blessed is anyone who endures temptation," James writes. Jesus did so first and received "the crown of life." Temptations are not sent by God. The letter expresses it clearly: "God tempts no one." The new translation of the Lord's Prayer rightly no longer says "do not lead us into temptation" but "do not abandon us into temptation" because the Lord does not lead humanity to temptation. How often do we hear say - and sometimes we think so - that evil comes from God? Evil springs from a heart that yields to passions, which allows itself to be dragged by the temptation to think only of oneself. If we give in to these attractive and seductive passions, we fall into sin. So it was for Cain, who could not "dominate instinct" and came to the assassinate his brother. And the Apostle reminds us that it is unhealthy to believe that we can control passions or sin by ourselves, as, in reality, instincts and self-love drag us. Sometimes foolishly believe ourselves able to dominate evil, to control it, and also to keep at bay habits, thoughts, norms. Actually, they dominate us. The Letter reminds us that we can, however, rely on the Lord and thus overcome the onslaught of evil. The Father of light is not uncertain and doubtful, he has no variation or shadow of change, despite the many disappointments we cause Him. The Lord who created heaven and earth, as James assures us, gives his gifts with abundance; and above all generates us with "the word of truth." The preaching of the Gospel is like the maternal principle that generates us for new life. We are the firstborn of God, the germ of the new creation.