Memory of the Poor

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Memorial of Saint Scholastica (480 AD – 547ca), sister of Saint Benedict. With her we remember all women hermits and nuns together with all the women who follow the Lord

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

Mark 6, 53-56

Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored there.

When they disembarked people at once recognised him,

and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was.

And wherever he went, to village or town or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were saved.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus went to the other side, reaching the disciples overwhelmed by the waves of the lake of Galilee. His presence calms the sea and the wind, like it calms the heart of each of us when it is in distress and when taken by itself. As soon as they disembark, the Gospel says that “people at once recognized him.” People recognize in him mercy, goodness, the power of healing and forgiveness. For this they come to him from all over, bringing the sick before him. It is a usual scene in the Gospels. Jesus is always surrounded by the crowd: he does not withdraw from their questions, he does not send anyone away, on the contrary, he lives among them. It makes us think of our Christian life, of our communities. A question arises of how we live the power of healing and salvation that the Lord came to give us. Are we concerned about preserving what we have instead of going out to meet the people, of understanding their questions and their needs? It is also true that in this time of crisis, many are looking for us, they ask for help, sometimes even crowd in our welcome centres. Are we ready to welcome their words or does hurry hinder us from the patience of listening? Does it inhibit the power of the grace that the Lord has entrusted us to be communicated? We see how important it was for those people, at least, to touch Jesus. It was so for the haemorrhaging woman. It is not a magic gesture, but it shows the strength of humanity that comes from him, from his love. Jesus does not hold back, he knows how important the contact with others is, especially with those in need; he knows how necessary gestures and words of tenderness are. Often Pope Francis invites us to “touch the wounds of Jesus touching those of the poor.” Today we are all a bit more fearful, dominated by a false respect that makes everybody harder, colder, and brisker. So we lack the gestures of tenderness, of friendship, of which there is so much need. Let others invade our territory, let them cross our boundaries, so that through us they may meet the power of the love of Jesus who heals and saves.