Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memory of St. Michael the Archangel. The Ethiopian Church, one of the first among the African churches, venerates him as its protector.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 1,1-3

A revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him so that he could tell his servants what is now to take place very soon; he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John,

and John has borne witness to the Word of God and to the witness of Jesus Christ, everything that he saw.

Blessed is anyone who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed those who hear them, if they treasure the content, because the Time is near.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the last book of the New Testament, and it takes its name from its first word, "revelation," which is the translation of the Greek word "apocalypse," that is, the act of revealing or unveiling. In truth, all of Holy Scripture is a revelation, an unveiling of the mystery of God’s love. And if the First Testament reveals the mystery of God’s love and his plan of salvation, this last book of the New Testament reveals the mystery of Jesus, who came to save the world from sin and death through his death and resurrection. The book - as noted by its author, with whom the tradition identifies John - is also a "prophecy" (v. 3), that is, an unveiling of the meaning of life, an unveiling of the thread of God’s love that runs through the tangle of human experience and draws it to its fulfilment in heaven. John concludes the book with words similar to those he uses at its beginning: "The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place. See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book" (22:6-7). Jesus communicates what he has received from the Father to John through an angel. In reality, we always need an angel to help us hear and understand the mystery of God. The prophet Amos had already said: "Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets" (3:7). The process of revelation never occurs closed within any one of us; it is never a sort of "self-revelation." We are all invited to go out of ourselves and to listen to an Other. The Lord always sends an angel who speaks to us and explains the Gospel. In turn, those of us who then communicate it become "servants" of that word; we are not sent to communicate about ourselves, but rather we are sent to communicate the Word of God, the will of God, the thought of God, and the imminent events that "must soon take place" (v. 1). This is why John can pronounce the first of the seven beatitudes that run through this book: "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it." It is a personal ("blessed is the one who reads") and communal invitation ("those who hear") to listen to the One who speaks. We must each listen to the Word of God personally so that we can create those bonds that allow strangers to become a community of believers.