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 10, 28-31

Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we have left everything and followed you.'

Jesus said, 'In truth I tell you, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel

who will not receive a hundred times as much, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land -- and persecutions too -- now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.

Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The words of Peter, who made himself speaker on behalf of the other apostles, brought out a behaviour opposite to that of the rich man we heard yesterday. They have, in fact, given up everything and followed Jesus. Hence there is someone who responded to Jesus’ call: it is the “we” used by Peter on behalf of the first disciples and of all those who trustfully surrender to the Lord’s invitation. Peter’s awareness enables Jesus to deepen the sense of following him; it is neither a sacrifice nor a loss compared to a life which would be richer and happier. Moreover, Jesus said in another passage, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”. The Gospel shows the true richness received by Jesus’ disciples. Giving up everything and following him, they receive a hundredfold what they had given up on this earth and persecutions - Jesus does not fail to mention it - together with eternal life in the age to come. The hundredfold is therefore the richness and sweetness given to all those who choose Jesus. Yes, the community of believers becomes a mother, brother, sister and home to each disciple. This brotherhood will never end. Not even death will be able to break it. These words of Jesus are a source of complete joy to us all: the Lord gives us much more than what we leave. The hyperbole of the “hundredfold” shows the sense of abundance and quality of the wealth given the one who strives to follow the Gospel. Jesus’ words are not so much a reassurance to the disciples; rather they express the reality of the “we” of the Church, God’s family, in which all without exception are part and share the joy and wealth. Sometimes individualism fills us with fear and it wants to take the “we” away from us in order to force us to a lonely and self-centred life. Let us not be fooled by the spirit of the world, dominated by the dictatorship of money and materialism! Even now, in this life, following Jesus gives us a life full of brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, and children. It is the life in the Church, in which the last ones, that is, those who were not afraid to leave something of themselves to follow Jesus, will be first, not because of their own merits, but because of the abundance of God’s grace; and they will be able to witness to the world the joy of their choice.