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

Mark 1, 21-28

They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach.

And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.

And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted,

'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.'

But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!'

And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him.

The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.'

And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With his small community of disciples, Jesus enters Capernaum, the largest Galilean city of the time. He chooses it as a hometown for himself and for the small group of disciples he had gathered. He does not withdraw far and distant from the ordinary lives of the people. In fact, he did not come to save himself or to reach his personal perfection. On the contrary, he wanted to save all from loneliness and death. This is why he settled in this lively city nearby the lake. The small group of people does not remain closed in on themselves, content solely with their own lives. Their gaze, starting from the Teacher’s, looked at the entire city, even more at the entire region. From this, we can say that the Christian community should not be turned inwards on itself, but rather should look at the entire city as a "community" of men and women that the Gospel should ferment with love. The Christian community does not have a project of its own to impose on others, but rather it has the mission to include the strength of the Gospel in the fabric of the city’s life. The evangelist writes that as soon as Jesus entered in the city, he went directly to the synagogue to preach. The first service that the Church does in the city is to communicate the Gospel. Jesus does not delay its proclamation. He does not put off his mission in order to think about the certainly needed accommodations for the small community. In sum, he does not waste time in the organization of the house, in the definition of the programme or in listing the goals. How many times we cover our laziness, or worse our little faith, with the pretence of preparing programmes that we think are indispensable. Rightly so, John Paul II said that "we already have a programme: the Gospel." What truly counts is to communicate the Gospel with authority, the authority of love as Jesus himself did. He spoke with authority and not like the scribes. What does it mean? It means that the Lord wanted to touch the hearts of people in order to change them, to make them better, to make them beat with his mercy. The Gospel is a demanding word, one that requires the change of the heart, and which transforms deeply those who listen to it. This is why all those who listen to it are amazed. Jesus is different from the scribes: he does not merely pronounce words; he wants to change the lives of those who listen to him. Jesus’ authority is revealed as he delivers a man who was possessed by an impure spirit. The Gospel is an authoritative word because it does not oppress people; on the contrary, it delivers the men and women who are possessed by numerous wicked spirits that make them slaves, even today.