Memory of the Poor

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Prayer for the unity of the Churches. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Europe and in the Americas.

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

Mark 3, 22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul is in him,' and, 'It is through the prince of devils that he drives devils out.'

So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables,

'How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last.

And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last.

Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot last either -- it is the end of him.

But no one can make his way into a strong man's house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man. Only then can he plunder his house.

'In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered;

but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.'

This was because they were saying, 'There is an unclean spirit in him.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel passage unveils the strange alliance that forms between the "family members" (cfr. Mk 3:20-21) and the scribes in order to stop Jesus’ preaching. According to his relatives, Jesus is crazy - he is out of his mind and exaggerates; for the scribes he is possessed by a demon. The last accusation is obviously much more serious than the first, as it places Jesus on the side of God’s enemy. According to this accusation, Jesus acts under the inspiration of evil forces. Whatever the reason, neither the relatives nor the scribes understand the extraordinary fact that people come to Jesus and are happy, glad, and full of hope. Goodness creates envy; it breaks illicit balances or simply questions, troubles and asks for a comparison. The Pharisees and even the relatives cannot stand that Jesus - that the Gospel - breaks the balances established by their egocentrism and that life may get out of their control. Therefore, they try to discredit him before the people, so that no one may come to him. How many times do people try to discredit the Church’s authority, the community, or the single believers with lies and gratuitous accusations? However, Jesus answers back to the scribes, and after ridiculing them with the example of the house that is divided on itself, he invites everyone not to trust in their own forces and not to be sure of themselves, since in such a way, they underestimate evil and succumb to it. Only Jesus is able to tie up the strong man (evil) and therefore not be jeered by it. The poor, the sick, and the sinners have realized this, and this is why they were looking for him trusting his mercy and strength. It is a great lesson for us, too, as we are often tempted by self-sufficiency and consequently unable to invoke God’s help.