Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memory of St. Boniface, bishop and martyr. He announced the Gospel in Germany and was killed while celebrating the Eucharist (+754).

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

1 Thessalonians 3, 6-13

However, Timothy has returned from you and has given us good news of your faith and your love, telling us that you always remember us with pleasure and want to see us quite as much as we want to see you.

And so, brothers, your faith has been a great encouragement to us in the middle of our own distress and hardship;

now we can breathe again, as you are holding firm in the Lord.

How can we thank God enough for you, for all the joy we feel before our God on your account?

We are earnestly praying night and day to be able to see you face to face again and make up any shortcomings in your faith.

May God our Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, ease our path to you.

May the Lord increase and enrich your love for each other and for all, so that it matches ours for you.

And may he so confirm your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless in the sight of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The good news that Timothy conveys to Paul regarding the community in Thessalonica is for him happy and consoling news, a "gospel," as the text literally says. Paul is consoled because his labour has not been in vain and is also bearing fruit. The memory of him, with the desire to see him again, is particularly gratifying to Paul, also because they show the concrete sense of gospel communion; it is not just a bond at the psychological level, but a vital relationship which binds the community to the apostle. It is therefore not enough that a community live a busy "faith" and an active "brotherly love" (1:3); if it remains closed in upon itself it does not "stand firm in the Lord" (3:8). Only in communion with other communities does the Lord make himself fully present among the believers. The Thessalonians’ desire to meet up with Paul again (and also that of the apostle to see them again) expresses the concreteness of a communion which consists in real personal relations; it is the essential fabric of fellowship. Paul finds himself four hundred kilometres from Thessalonica, but he spares nothing in order to see them, even by means of envoys. Communion is nourished and solidified through direct and personal contacts, through which manifests itself through love, heartfelt feelings, and loving kindness. Paul, perhaps recalling the faces of the Christians of the community whom he has loved and cared for, is at a loss for what to offer God in thanksgiving. The love for those children which he has begotten to the faith immediately becomes prayer, an "insistent" plea, not only that he may see them again soon, but also that God "restore whatever is lacking in [their] faith"(3:10). Paul is very aware that the believer, as also every community, needs to continually grow in faith and love. Knowledge of Jesus requires a daily hearing of the Word of God. Paul feels the grave responsibility of helping them in this growth. He therefore prays that God will "make smooth" his path to meet them again, seeing that Satan has up to now stood in the way (2:18). But already with this letter he exhorts them to "grow," in fact, to "abound" in love mutually and with everyone, as he himself does with them. The love that God bestows on his children is like a fountain which continually overflows because it knows no limits. Whoever receives into his heart the love of God lives from Him and now already possesses the future.