Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Proverbs 1, 20-32

Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in the public squares;

she calls out at the street corners, she delivers her message at the city gates.

'You simple people, how much longer will you cling to your simple ways? How much longer will mockers revel in their mocking and fools go on hating knowledge?

Pay attention to my warning. To you I will pour out my heart and tell you what I have to say.

Since I have called and you have refused me, since I have beckoned and no one has taken notice,

since you have ignored all my advice and rejected all my warnings,

I, for my part, shall laugh at your distress, I shall jeer when terror befalls you,

when terror befalls you, like a storm, when your distress arrives, like a whirlwind, when ordeal and anguish bear down on you.

Then they will call me, but I shall not answer, they will look eagerly for me and will not find me.

They have hated knowledge, they have not chosen the fear of Yahweh,

they have taken no notice of my advice, they have spurned all my warnings:

so they will have to eat the fruits of their own ways of life, and choke themselves with their own scheming.

For the errors of the simple lead to their death, the complacency of fools works their own ruin;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

A plea to seek wisdom is not enough. Now wisdom, portrayed as a woman, cries out. She "cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice. At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks." These verses convey God’s love and passion. God wants us to hear his voice, therefore He raises it, He cries out, and He exhorts us. What must God do if not find every possible way to make us hear his voice and to communicate to us the wisdom of his word? This passage concludes with God insisting upon the necessity of listening: "But those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster." Listening to God’s word brings us peace and security, while life is often tumultuous, because those who frantically seek their own well-being and pursue their own interests are always unsatisfied and unable to achieve peace and serenity in the heart, which they think money can buy. However, between the two extremes of this passage-between the initial cry and the final result-we find God’s bitter statement of fact for those who listen to no one, but themselves: "Because I have called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded, and because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof." We always need to examine ourselves and our response to God’s word. God is insistent, he speaks to us and corrects us, like a father and mother who support us through difficult times and guide us toward a serene and peaceful life. And yet often we do not take God’s advice seriously, and end up all too easily humiliating his word in a life dominated by self-love. The moment comes, however, when we will no longer be able to hear anything. Whoever delays, whoever puts off listening to God till tomorrow, or who today preoccupies themselves only with their problems, should fear the hardening of their hearts. Their heart will grow cold and distant, so distant as to exclude it from God’s friendship. What the text says is not a threat, but a consequence of a life spent listening to itself: "...when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me." When it seems that God is not listening to us, instead of complaining, we ought to ask ourselves if it is the consequence of our sin or because for too long we have not listened to him and therefore today we no longer have the words to address to him.