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

Matthew 19,23-30

Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'In truth I tell you, it is hard for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.'

When the disciples heard this they were astonished. 'Who can be saved, then?' they said.

Jesus gazed at them. 'By human resources', he told them, 'this is impossible; for God everything is possible.'

Then Peter answered and said, 'Look, we have left everything and followed you. What are we to have, then?'

Jesus said to them, 'In truth I tell you, when everything is made new again and the Son of man is seated on his throne of glory, you yourselves will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times as much, and also inherit eternal life.

'Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday, we listened to the parable of the young rich man who went away sad from his meeting with Jesus after he had refused to give up his wealth. Jesus takes this episode as an opportunity to give a warning to his disciples, both those of that time and those of today: "it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven." He does not say that it is impossible, but that it is hard. This statement has had a deep impact on the lives of believers, so much so that on several occasions over the centuries believers have wondered about its meaning. First we must clarify that being rich is not a bad thing in and of itself, but rather that it requires a great heart, because those who are rich are easily enslaved by their possessions. And today, we have to be very careful, given that the prevalent mentality of our time is marked by the predominance of material things, the obsession with money, and the race to consume. Everyone, even a disciple of Jesus, risks falling prey to the myth of ownership and becoming a slave to the reigning materialism. It truly is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. This statement seems so paradoxical that the disciples conclude that salvation is impossible. Jesus is warning them about the dangers of wealth, especially to those who let themselves be influenced and guided by it. Only those who put the Lord first can put wealth and money to good use, because they do not make it into an idol or the ultimate purpose of their lives; rather they use it for the good of others. At this point Peter, asks Jesus what he and the other disciples will be given in exchange for having given up their wealth and following him. Jesus’ response is rich with rewards. He promises that the disciples will receive a hundred times what they gave up, and they will receive it - and this is important - in this life, along with eternal life in the future. This "a hundredfold" is the community of brothers and sisters gathered in his name: it is a large and beautiful family and it is the rich and fertile land on which the Lord lets his disciples live. It is the gift of the Church, the family of God, which prepares us for the inheritance of eternal salvation.