Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memory of Saint Nil, Russian staretz († 1508). He was the father of monks to whom he taught the Lord’s great love for humanity, exhorting them to ask God for His own feelings (macrotimia in Greek). Memory of the prayer for the new martyrs presided over by John Paul II at the Coliseum in Rome with the representatives of Christian churches.

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

Philippians 4, 4-9

Always be joyful, then, in the Lord; I repeat, be joyful.

Let your good sense be obvious to everybody. The Lord is near.

Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude,

and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, let your minds be filled with everything that is true, everything that is honourable, everything that is upright and pure, everything that we love and admire -- with whatever is good and praiseworthy.

Keep doing everything you learnt from me and were told by me and have heard or seen me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul does not reserve words when exhorting the community of Philippi to rejoice: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” Knowing the difficulties that both Paul and the community were living through, we could marvel at his insistence on rejoicing. And yet, it is joy that liberates the heart from self-love and opens it to “gentleness” toward all. The motive for joy, indeed, resides in the certainty that: “The Lord is near.” This nearness is not only the reason for the disciples’ joy, it is also the strength that allows them to change their hearts and conquer the sadness that envelops the world. But, how is it possible not to be anxious facing a life that is often difficult? How can we not be saddened by the weakness of our body and the feebleness of our feelings? The joy of Jesus’ nearness opens the doors to ceaseless prayer. Paul invites us to present to God every one of our requests to find that peace that the world does not know how to give. This is why prayer needs to be at the centre of the life of every believer and community. From prayer arise new feelings and thoughts that are “honourable, just, pure, pleasing, commendable.” And, in prayer, with renewed hearts and renewed thoughts, let us praise God and make peaceful the life of the world. “The God of peace will be with you,” the apostle affirms.