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

Mark 8, 34-9,1

He called the people and his disciples to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

What gain, then, is it for anyone to win the whole world and forfeit his life?

And indeed what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?

For if anyone in this sinful and adulterous generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.'

And he said to them, 'In truth I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just revealed to his disciples the suffering that awaits him in Jerusalem. Indeed, he does not present himself as a triumphant Messiah according to the common thinking of the time; on the contrary, he was going to have to suffer greatly. Besides, he could not remain silent on this point, which not only regards him personally, but also regards the life of each of his disciples. The evangelist Mark has Jesus speak directly to the crowd that is following him: "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." In effect, following Jesus demands the rejection of one’s ego, one’s self-sufficiency, and one’s pride. But it is not just a matter of asceticism, sacrifice, or mortification. Jesus proposes the path to a full life, one that is solid and good for the self and for others. This is why he adds: "For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it." Those who turn in on themselves, who hold back their lives for themselves, or who only think about their own affairs, will end up losing their lives, making it sad and dry. On the contrary, life is multiplied, that is, it becomes richer, if it is spent for the Gospel, if it is spent following Jesus and helping him establish his kingdom of love. Following the Teacher, the disciple takes part in the very dream of God, who wants all people to be saved. This path also includes the cross. And history continues to show us this. It is enough to think about the millions of martyrs who had to suffer torture, anxiety, and death throughout the twentieth century because of their love for Jesus and the Church. And still today, at the beginning of the millennium, the long line of those who save their lives by offering it to the Lord continues. All disciples have to renounce their love for themselves and take on the cross: the one which the opponents of the Gospel lay on their back and the one that weighs on the lives of the weak, the poor, the condemned, the tortured, and the excluded. Whoever spends his life in the service of the Gospel and the poor - Jesus says - saves his soul and reaches the fullness of life.