Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memory of Modesta, a homeless woman refused medical assistance because she was dirty and was left to die in the Termini train station in Rome. Along with her we remember all those without a home who have died.

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 11, 20-31

Tortuous hearts are abhorrent to Yahweh, dear to him, those whose ways are blameless.

Be sure of it, the wicked will not go unpunished, but the race of the upright will come to no harm.

A golden ring in the snout of a pig is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

The hope of the upright is nothing but good, the expectation of the wicked is retribution.

One scatters money around, yet only adds to his wealth, another is excessively mean, but only grows the poorer.

The soul who blesses will prosper, whoever satisfies others will also be satisfied.

The people's curse is on those who hoard the wheat, their blessing on the head of those who sell it.

Whoever strives for good obtains favour, whoever looks for evil will get an evil return.

Whoever trusts in riches will have a fall, the upright will flourish like the leaves.

Whoever misgoverns a house inherits the wind, and the fool becomes slave to the wise.

The fruit of the upright is a tree of life: the sage captivates souls.

If here on earth the upright gets due reward, how much more the wicked and the sinner!


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The question about why the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer, accompanies the story of Job and the reflections of the book of Wisdom. But there is already a simple answer here, a guarantee for those who do good: "Crooked minds are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight. Be assured, the wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will escape." The Lord protects the lives of the righteous, while the lives of those who do evil will be ruined. While the righteous only desire good, the wicked desire anger. It is strange that the text always connects anger with the wicked. We need to reflect on this proverb, because anger can lead us to do evil without noticing it. And how often do we lose our tempers in daily life, in general to defend ourselves or our way of thinking. There is such a thing as righteous indignation, which is what God often expresses in the Bible in front of human sin and injustice towards the poor. This wrath is quite different from the anger that characterizes the lives of our societies. In verses 24-29 the text returns to the theme of wealth, inviting us to use it generously: "Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold what is due, and only suffer want. A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water." Sometimes we are afraid of giving, and while we live, we greedily and jealously hold on to what we have. There is a real dictatorship of materialism that keeps us from living generously. And yet we know that there is more joy in giving than in receiving. Proverbs admonishes us and shows us that the way of generosity leads to life: "Those who trust in their riches will wither, but the righteous will flourish like green leaves." The righteous know that the world is unjust and so know that they have to put their wealth at the service of others. May our righteousness be a tree of life for many, like the great tree under which the many poor of the world can find refuge. May our wisdom, fruit of our faithful listening to the word of God, conquer hearts for love.