Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 11, 16-19

'What comparison can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:

We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn't dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn't be mourners.

'For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, "He is possessed."

The Son of man came, eating and drinking, and they say, "Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Word of God continues to take us by hand so that we prepare our hearts to welcome the Lord Jesus who is about to be born. Even for our generation—and we are now at a particularly delicate part of history—it is now time to allow our hearts to be touched by the preaching of the Gospel. It is easy to yield to the temptation to make different excuses in order to avoid the pressing invitation of the Gospel to return to the Lord with all our hearts. Unfortunately, how many times can it also be said about us that: “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.” Especially in moments of crisis, we instinctively tend to think only about ourselves individually and that which concerns our situation: it is the only melody that we know by heart and that we obstinately pursue. We manage to put aside all that disturbs our egocentrism with no problems, justifying ourselves with the strangest excuses. At the end of the day, we only trust ourselves and no one else. And yet, faith, which certainly needs reason, passes through the heart, that is, in entrusting ourselves to God. Our reasoning is often made for our use and consumption so as to defend our independence, our pride, and our self-sufficiency. But even for us, as it was for John the Baptist and the people of his time, the moment to choose comes, which is either to follow Jesus or to continue to follow ourselves. This is a choice that we can no longer postpone and that the forthcoming Christmas helps us to understand and to make. The real “wisdom” of this time is to grasp the great mystery of Christmas: a God who loves us so much that he becomes a child so that he can be close to us. Christmas is the extraordinary “work” of the love of God. Indeed, it is beautiful to be touched by the Child who is coming to us so that each of us may be moved and may welcome him in his or her heart.