Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Europe and in the Americas.

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

Proverbs 8, 1-21

Is not Wisdom calling? Is not Understanding raising her voice?

On the heights overlooking the road, at the crossways, she takes her stand;

by the gates, at the entrance to the city, on the access-roads, she cries out,

'I am calling to you, all people, my words are addressed to all humanity.

Simpletons, learn how to behave, fools, come to your senses.

Listen, I have something important to tell you, when I speak, my words are right.

My mouth proclaims the truth, for evil is abhorrent to my lips.

All the words from my mouth are upright, nothing false there, nothing crooked,

everything plain, if you can understand, straight, if you have acquired knowledge.

Accept my discipline rather than silver, and knowledge of me in preference to finest gold.

For Wisdom is more precious than jewels, and nothing else is so worthy of desire.

'I, Wisdom, share house with Discretion, I am mistress of the art of thought.

(Fear of Yahweh means hatred of evil.) I hate pride and arrogance, wicked behaviour and a lying mouth.

To me belong good advice and prudence, I am perception: power is mine!

By me monarchs rule and princes decree what is right;

by me rulers govern, so do nobles, the lawful authorities.

I love those who love me; whoever searches eagerly for me finds me.

With me are riches and honour, lasting wealth and saving justice.

The fruit I give is better than gold, even the finest, the return I make is better than pure silver.

I walk in the way of uprightness in the path of justice,

to endow my friends with my wealth and to fill their treasuries.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Wisdom makes herself heard as the voice of someone calling her children. From atop the heights, at the crossroads, near the city gates, and by the doors of the houses, she travels all over to find her children. This is the Lord’s love, which never stops seeking men and women until they respond to his voice; like Jesus, who sends his servants throughout the city to call the guests to the wedding banquet: "To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live." How often has the voice of God reached us and admonished us, and attempted to share with us the secret of life. In it we have found truth, justice, prudence, intelligence, good advice, success, and strength. These are some of wisdom’s characteristics, which make it extremely precious, more precious than gold or pearls. Wisdom is even a guide for good governance: "By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just; by me rulers rule, and nobles, all who govern rightly." It is worth our effort to invest in seeking wisdom, because she "love[s] those who love [her], and those who seek [her] diligently find [her]." This gives rise to a question for us all: how can we seek wisdom and where can we find her teachings? The book of Proverbs repeatedly identifies wisdom with God’s teachings. Does this only mean the Torah revealed by the Lord to the people of Israel? It seems that wisdom also includes all that the Lord has placed throughout world history and in each person’s conscience. The problem is to "seek" and not to let ourselves be guided by our instinct, habits, or personality, that is, by ourselves. The secret to wisdom is in God. It is a gift that is given to us every time we stand before God. Wisdom encompasses within it all the good, beautiful, and just things that God has put in the world. This is why Wisdom, with a capital "W", has existed with God from the beginning. For us Christians, she is definitively revealed in Jesus, who died and was raised - in his teaching, and in his word. There is nothing that compares to her, because she is God’s gift to humanity.