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

Luke 17, 7-10

'Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, "Come and have your meal at once"?

Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"?

Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord speaks to his disciples. It is an intimate conversation in which Jesus wants to engage everyone, including us. He knows them one by one, he has called them to follow him and he lives with them. He well knows that it is easy for them to leave room for pride in their hearts and to think too highly of themselves, or to feel great and be heroes of all. Therefore he exhorts them to face what servants are called to do. They, unlike the master, are not the first ones in the house, but precisely servants. It is as if to say that none of us is master of his own life; only the Lord is its master. Life is given to each one of us so that we can enjoy it not only for ourselves but spend it for everyone. We have received many gifts, without deserving them: health, well-being, peace, intelligence, love. Of all these goods we are not owners, but guardians and stewards. Moreover, the Christian is called also to serve the Church, that is, the community of brothers and sisters in faith who have become his or her new family. The Church, too, the community of which each one is a part, is a gift which is given to us. And our task is to "serve" this "house" so that it be beautiful and can receive with love whoever knocks and has need of welcome and help. It is even the task of the disciples to put a place at the table for the poor and the weak and to serve them, as if they were Jesus himself. This service of love is the task of Jesus’ disciples, and is our true reward. To live with this spirit of service frees us from the prison of selfishness, from the anxiousness to accumulate goods and satisfactions for ourselves. And it clearly shows that the Christian’s vocation is being at the service of the good and a peacemaker for all. The disciple well knows that he has received everything and should render everything to God. This is the meaning of being useless servants. We are not "useless" in the sense of a self-interested laziness or a false humility. The Lord has chosen us and has entrusted us with a task that we are called to fulfil, but not for self-realization but rather in order to serve the Lord and his dream of love, knowing that we receive everything from him and without him we are truly "useless," that is, without strength.