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

Jeremiah 17, 1-8

'The sin of Judah is written with an iron pen, engraved with a diamond point on the tablet of the heart and on the horns of their altars,

while their children remember their altars and their sacred pole beside the green trees, on the lofty hills.

My mountain on the plain, your wealth and all your treasures I shall hand over to be plundered, because of the sin of your high places throughout your territory.

You will have to relinquish your heritage which I gave you; I will enslave you to your enemies in a country which you do not know, for my fiery anger kindled by you will burn for ever.'

Yahweh says this, 'Accursed be anyone who trusts in human beings, who relies on human strength and whose heart turns from Yahweh.

Such a person is like scrub in the wastelands: when good comes, it does not affect him since he lives in the parched places of the desert, uninhabited, salt land.

'Blessed is anyone who trusts in Yahweh, with Yahweh to rely on.

Such a person is like a tree by the waterside that thrusts its roots to the stream: when the heat comes it has nothing to fear, its foliage stays green; untroubled in a year of drought, it never stops bearing fruit.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

What can be done in front of the strength and hardness of sin, which the prophet describes as “written with an iron pen; with a diamond point it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts, and on the horns of their altars?” What is the origin of this sin, so deeply rooted that it is indelibly engraved in the heart of the world? “Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord.” Here is the answer. When people trust in themselves, they irrevocably distance themselves from God. There is no alternative, as the Bible often reminds us: either the Lord or idols; either we listen to Him or we will listen to others. It is impossible to compromise between God and idols. When people put their trust in “flesh”, that is, in themselves or in the reasoning of the world, they condemn themselves to sadness and aridity. In a certain sense, they curse themselves. Those who distance themselves from God and so from the very source of life and love, inevitably become slaves of individualism and violence. And it is from this slavery that flow the sadness and violence that mark so many situations and upset the lives of so many people more and more each day. On the contrary, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.” This is what the Bible often repeats. “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,” (Ps 1:1) the psalmist sings. All pages of the Bible show that true happiness lies in following the Lord every day. Blessing, in fact, is to be close to the Lord, to live in the company of his word. Indeed, those who trust in the Lord and turn to him in faith plant their roots in solid land. They do not fear evil, they do not get discouraged, even in moments of difficulty, like the famine mentioned by the prophet, and do not cease to bear fruits of love and peace. Their strength is in the Lord, as the Psalmist sings: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper” (Ps 1:3).