Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Share On

Memory of St. Anthony of the caves of Kiev (†1073). Father of Russian monasticism, with St. Theodosius he is considered the founder of the monastery of the caves.

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

Jeremiah 8, 14-23

Why are we sitting still? Mobilise! Take to the fortified towns and there fall silent, since Yahweh our God means to silence us by giving us poisoned water to drink because we have sinned against him.

We are hoping for peace -- no good came of it! For the time of healing -- nothing but terror!

From Dan you can hear the snorting of his horses; at the neighing of his stallions the whole country quakes; they are coming to devour the country and its contents, the town and those that live in it.

Yes, now I am sending you poisonous snakes against which no charm exists; and they will bite you, Yahweh declares.

Incurable sorrow overtakes me, my heart fails me.

Hark, from the daughter of my people the cry for help, ringing far and wide throughout the land! 'Is Yahweh no longer in Zion, her King no longer there?' (Why have they provoked me with their idols, with their futile foreign gods?)

'Harvest is over, summer at an end, and we have not been saved!'

The wound of the daughter of my people wounds me too, all looks dark to me, terror grips me.

Is there no balm in Gilead any more? Is no doctor there? Then why is there no progress in the cure of the daughter of my people?

Who will turn my head into a fountain, and my eyes into a spring of tears, that I can weep day and night over the slain of the daughter of my people?


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

What kind of answers can we give when we are in trouble and threatened by death? Israel’s instinct is to blame God for their misfortune: “Gather together, let us go into the fortified cities and perish there; for the Lord our God has doomed us to perish.” How many times have we also blamed God for a difficult time in our lives, a sudden death, or an illness? Perhaps we would have been able to join in Israel’s words: “We look for peace, but find no good, for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.” It is easy and almost instinctive to complain and blame other people for the bad things that happen to us. Of course, we are not responsible for the world’s evil, but we should question ourselves about it. Sometimes the Bible seems to attribute it to God. In fact, from the biblical perspective, everything is connected to God, even if in the first chapters of Genesis it is made very clear that evil comes from the evil one and from human sin, because God’s will is only good. We do not have all the answers. The presence of evil is indeed a mystery, inside of which many causes are interwoven. The painful story of Job teaches that God is not far off when we experience evil, even if he seems to permit it to happen. It is Job who does not recognize God’s presence or see him by his side. In the words of the prophet we hear the power of evil in the world, the cries of many men and women who suffer: “My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick. Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: ‘Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?’” We also hear the cries of pain of many who suffer and seem abandoned even by God, so great is their suffering. Sometimes we struggle to find a remedy, but it is not impossible, even if this fills us with sadness. No, God has not abandoned any evil. He hears the cry of the poor, as he listened to his people in slavery in Egypt.