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 10, 28-31

Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything and followed you.'

Jesus said, 'In truth I tell you, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel

who will not receive a hundred times as much, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land -- and persecutions too -- now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.

Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The episode that Mark reports is tightly connected with the two previous passages. Peter takes the word and says that the apostles’ attitude has been opposed to that of the rich man who, with a bitter soul, went away from Jesus shortly before. Indeed, they did leave everything - goods and family - and followed him. There are people who respond to Jesus’ call: the "we" that Peter uses on behalf of the first disciples and all those who trustingly abandon themselves to the Lord’s invitation. Peter’s moment of self-awareness allows Jesus to deepen the meaning of following: it is not a sacrifice or a loss compared to a life that otherwise would have been richer and happier. In fact, Jesus himself says elsewhere: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." The Gospel shows us the true wealth obtained by Jesus’ disciples. By leaving everything to follow him, they already receive, on this earth, a hundred times what they left, together with persecutions (Jesus does not fail to mention this), and, in the future, they will receive eternal life. The hundredfold is the richness and the sweetness of the community given to anyone who chooses Jesus. Yes, the community of believers becomes mother, brother, sister, and home for every disciple. And this fraternity will never end. Not even death can destroy it. These words of Jesus are a source of joy for each one of us: the Lord gives us much more than what we leave behind. The hyperbole of the "hundredfold" reveals the sense of abundance and the kind of wealth that those commit themselves to following the Gospel receive.