Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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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 Peter 1, 13-21

Your minds, then, must be sober and ready for action; put all your hope in the grace brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Do not allow yourselves to be shaped by the passions of your old ignorance,

but as obedient children, be yourselves holy in all your activity, after the model of the Holy One who calls us,

since scripture says, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'

And if you address as Father him who judges without favouritism according to each individual's deeds, live out the time of your exile here in reverent awe.

For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors was paid, not in anything perishable like silver or gold,

but in precious blood as of a blameless and spotless lamb, Christ.

He was marked out before the world was made, and was revealed at the final point of time for your sake.

Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for this very purpose -- that your faith and hope should be in God.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After having stressed the joy that the disciples should have for having been saved from solitude and sadness, the apostle exhorts them to be alert, temperate and ready to leave. There is indeed a new exodus to realize, and the apostle suggests it with the ancient exhortation made to the people of Israel while they were getting ready to leave Egypt: "Keep the loins of your mind girded." This is a spiritual exodus, that is, an interior journey that leads the believer to conform to Jesus, to live, therefore, according to the Gospel. The image of the exodus that Peter recalls asks of the believers to behave accordingly. Like the ancient people of Israel, also the new one should abandon the selfish mentality of this world and assume the characteristics of children of God. Peter calls them to a conversion that means not being led by self-love but rather by the love for God, listening to and obeying His Word. This is how we become children of God and behave as such. From here, Peter makes his second exhortation that traces directly back to the beginning of the so-called "Law of holiness," written in the Book of Leviticus (Lev 17-26): "Be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy for I am holy.’" "Fear of God" is the beginning of wisdom and also the way to holiness in living not according to ourselves but in friendship with the Lord and in close communion with God. The disciples of Jesus, called to freedom in the footsteps of this ancient Biblical exhortation, receive the direction to the destination of their pilgrimage: the sanctuary that is holiness. It is a responsibility that is born directly from God, from the ambition that He has for his children. The Lord wants that we become holy, like Him who is holy. It is a goal that may seem impossible. It is true, if we look at our being small and sinners. But the Lord has loved and chosen us because of this. We are so precious to the Lord that to redeem us he had to ransom us for a high price, "the precious blood of Christ". Ransomed by Jesus’ blood, born to a new life, we can turn to God, as Peter says in his third exhortation, like a Father, kind and rich in love, in whom we can put all our trust.