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

Mark 1, 21-28

They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach.

And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.

And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted,

'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.'

But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!'

And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him.

The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.'

And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With his small community of disciples, Jesus enters Capernaum, the largest Galilean city of the time. He chooses to make his home there with his little group of disciples He does not withdraw, far from the ordinary life of men and women. He did not come to save himself or to achieve personal perfection for himself or a small group of chosen ones. Instead he wanted to save all men and women from loneliness and death. This is why he settles in the most important city in the north of the country. That small group of people did not remain closed in on itself, content solely with their group inner life. Their gaze, starting from the Teacher’s, took in the entire city, indeed the entire region. Indeed, it is the Christian community’s nature not to be turned inwards on itself, but rather to look at the entire city as a “community” of men and women that the Gospel needs to ferment with love. It is not that the Christian community has a project of its own to impose on others. On the contrary, it is good to respect the diversity and plurality of people’s experiences and responsibilities. But the Church does have a mission to weave the strength of the Gospel - the strength of love, justice, and peace - into the fabric of the city. The evangelist notes that Jesus “immediately” goes to synagogue and begins to teach. The first “service” that the Church provides in the city is to communicate the Gospel. Jesus does not delay its proclamation. He does not put off his mission in order to think about how to get the small community settled, though a necessary job. He does not get lost in organization. His first concern is to communicate the Gospel. And he does so with authority, the evangelist notes. The Gospel is a demanding word, one that requires a change of the heart and deeply transforms those who listen to it. This is why all those who heard him were amazed. Jesus was different from the teachers of this time: he did not merely pronounce words; he wanted to change the lives of those who listened to him. He immediately revealed what kind of authority he had when he freed a man from an unclean spirit. The Gospel is an authoritative word because it does not oppress people; on the contrary, it delivers men and women from the numerous wicked spirits that make life sad and bitter even today.