Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memory of the dedication of the Roman basilicas of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican and Saint Paul’s outside the walls.

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

Luke 19, 45-48

Then he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were busy trading, saying to them,

'According to scripture, my house shall be a house of prayer but you have turned it into a bandits' den.'

He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, in company with the leading citizens, tried to do away with him,

but they could not find a way to carry this out because the whole people hung on his words.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus, even though he knew what awaited him in Jerusalem, did not flee; he entered the holy city and set out, perhaps with tears still in his eyes, towards the Temple. Within those walls was the heart of Jerusalem, the place of God’s presence. Unfortunately, love for personal gain had invaded even that space dedicated to God and prayer. Truly that house had been transformed into a place of commerce, of business, of buying and selling. It was certainly no longer the house where the gratuitous love of God for his people appeared unmistakably. Rather what was manifest was how much the spirit of the marketplace had contaminated even the relationship with God. We could say that the temple had become the emblem of the condition of the world: a place which it too was a slave to materialism, of a life understood as a market, as an exchange of goods. For many, even today, what counts in life is to buy and sell, acquire and consume, and nothing more. The gratuitous dimension of life seems to have disappeared, even positively banished. The law of the market has become the new religion, with its temples, its rites, its altars upon which to sacrifice everything. Jesus, angry before that petty spectacle and moreover scandalous, drives out the sellers crying out: "My house shall be a house of prayer." The only true relationship, the only one which has full citizenship in life, is the gratuitous love for God and for one’s brothers and sisters which becomes a space for the real presence of God in every city. Space for God is made in the heart, in one’s own heart, precisely where the dimension of gratuitousness should expand and that of bargaining only for oneself with the purpose of exaggerated profit at almost any prize diminishes. Jesus expelled the sellers from the temple and also expels that materialistic spirit so robustly present in our hearts. And he proclaims the Gospel to us again. The evangelist writes that from that moment Jesus remained in the Temple and began to proclaim the Gospel every day. That place - and we hope it is like that also for our heart—becomes once again the sanctuary of mercy and love. Obviously, there was no lack of opposition to Jesus from the learned and those who considered themselves already in good shape, despite the fact that they continue to have a mercantile mentality deeply rooted in their heart. The poor and the weak, on the other hand, who have need of everything without being able to demand anything, ran to him and were "spellbound" at Jesus’ words, as the evangelist notes. The beatitude is thus understood as Jesus had proclaimed at the beginning of his preaching: "Blessed are you poor, because yours is the kingdom of God" (Lk 6:20).