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 30, 12-24

Yes, Yahweh says this: Your wound is incurable, your injury past healing.

There is no one to plead your cause; for an ulcer there are remedies, but for you no cure at all.

All your lovers have forgotten you, they look for you no more. Yes, I have struck you as an enemy strikes, with cruel punishment (because of your great guilt and countless sins).

Why cry out because of your wound? Your pain is incurable! Because of your great guilt and countless sins, I have treated you like this.

But all those who devoured you will be devoured, all your enemies, all, go into captivity, those who despoiled you will be despoiled, and all who pillaged you be pillaged.

For I shall restore you to health and heal your wounds, Yahweh declares, you who used to be called 'Outcast', 'Zion for whom no one cares'.

Yahweh says this: Look, I shall restore the tents of Jacob and take pity on his dwellings: the town will be rebuilt on its mound, the stronghold where it ought to stand.

From them will come thanksgiving and shouts of joy. I shall make them increase, they will not decrease; I shall make them honoured, no more to be humbled.

Their sons will be as once they were, their community fixed firmly before me, and I shall punish all their oppressors.

Their prince will be one of their own, their ruler come from their own people, and I shall permit him to approach me freely; for who, otherwise, would be so bold as to approach me, Yahweh demands?

You will be my people and I shall be your God.

Look, Yahweh's hurricane, his wrath, bursts out, a roaring hurricane, to burst on the heads of the wicked;

Yahweh's burning anger will not turn aside until he has performed, has carried out, what he has in mind. In the final days, you will understand this.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This oracle speaks first of wounded people and then of people who have been healed. At first it seems like Israel’s wounds are incurable, and that there is nothing that can heal the people because the evil they have committed is so great. They have been suffering for years, and remedies are now useless. Israel’s iniquity is so deep and its sins so great that they have gone beyond all measure. Yes, the people have chosen to abandon God, searching for other refuges that have been duly proven false: the gods of the other nations have become idols, because the people of Israel put them in the place of the One who had always been their saviour. Israel could have allowed the other nations to give honour to their ancestral gods, but these gods should never have been considered divinities equal to the Lord of the Universe, the One who made heaven and earth. As we read in the book of Jeremiah itself, “the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit” (2:8). The wound is so grave because Israel’s sin touches the first commandment: “The Lord is our God, the Lord alone” (Dt 6:4). At this point, only the Lord himself could change history and heal his people, bringing them back from exile and beginning the reconstruction of their cities and houses. Only the Lord was capable of having compassion on the people and healing the wounds that were so deep that they seem incurable. The Lord’s compassion was the great medicine that healed the great wound of betrayal: the Lord “has raised up a mighty saviour for us in the house of his servant David” (Lk 1:69). Jeremiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah-King who comes out of the people, from the tribe of Judah and the family of David (v. 21). The disciples of Jesus are the people who belong to the Lord through a covenant of love: “You shall be my people, and I will be your God” (v. 22). The covenant with the Lord is the medicine that heals the wound of loneliness, and continuously listening to his Word is the daily balm that gives us strength on our way.