Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 3,1-6

'Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, "Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know about your behaviour: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead.

Wake up; put some resolve into what little vigour you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in your behaviour that my God could possibly call perfect;

remember how you first heard the message. Hold on to that. Repent! If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, and you will have no idea at what hour I shall come upon you.

There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes unstained, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white.

Anyone who proves victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot that name out of the book of life, but acknowledge it in the presence of my Father and his angels.

Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches."


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus presents himself to the Church of Sardis in the fullness of his power as the one "who has the seven spirits of God." And he pronounces the harshest of judgments over it: it is a Church only in name. It deceives itself into thinking it is alive, but instead, it is about to die, drowning in indifference and coldness. If there is no love, if mercy is lacking, or if compassion is rare, any Christian community, even if it is well organized, is dead. It is not works that save but faith, that is, the total abandonment of our lives to the Lord’s will and our absolute dependence on Him and His Word. It is not by chance that the apostle reminds the community to remember the Word they received and to observe it faithfully. The Word of God needs to be listened to every day, just as a house needs its foundation every day. Jesus had repeated this fact on several occasions: "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock" (7:24). Every community and every Christian generation is called to wake up from its torpor and to start listening vigorously to the Gospel and communicating it to the world in a language that it can understand. There are a few people to whom the apostle is speaking in particular, and he asks them to give life back to the community. These few can be understood as individual people, but they are also the part of each one of us that knows it can trust in the Lord. We all have to "dress in white," that is, to let ourselves be guided by the Gospel. We need it, and so does the world. Humanity seems to have been abandoned to its sad fate, with no more dreams or visions, left prey to the disintegrating designs of the Prince of evil. We could be experiencing something like the time of Samuel, described as being a period in which "the word of the Lord was rare in those days." Nonetheless, "the lamp of God had not yet gone out" (1 Sam 3:1-3). We are asked to stay awake and welcome the light of this lamp.