Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memory of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr (+258). He reorganized the service to the poor in Rome. Prayer for the poor and for those who serve them in the name of the Gospel.

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

Matthew 18,1-5.10.12-14

At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?'

So he called a little child to him whom he set among them.

Then he said, 'In truth I tell you, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.

And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.

'Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me.

'See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that theirin heaven are continually in the presence of my Father in heaven.

'Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray?

In truth I tell you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all.

Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Having completed his ministry in Galilee, Jesus prepares to go up to Jerusalem, where death awaits him. The evangelist notes that "at that time the disciples came to Jesus," yet their question reveals how far they are from their teacher. The parallel passage in Mark (9:33ff) reports the same scene: Jesus has just announced his passion, and instead of thinking about what they just heard, his disciples start arguing about who is the greatest. How great a distance there is between the concerns of the Teacher and those of the disciples! In truth, it is a situation that still repeats itself among the disciples today. How often do we forget about the Gospel because we are only concerned about ourselves and about our place in society? Jesus did not immediately answer with words. He took a child and placed it "among them," at the centre of the scene, and said to the disciples: "Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." With these words begins Jesus’ fourth long discourse, and it is about the life of Christian fraternity. The beginning is surprising: the disciple is like a child, that is, like a son or daughter, and he or she must always remain a child. Jesus does not say that the child must grow and become an adult. In the kingdom of God we are always children; we are always sons and daughters. He adds that the child is the greatest. So begins the new world that God came to establish.