Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memorial of the saints Addai and Mari, founders of the Chaldean church. Prayer for Christians in Iraq

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 16, 12-15

I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you to bear now.

However, when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking of his own accord, but will say only what he has been told; and he will reveal to you the things to come.

He will glorify me, since all he reveals to you will be taken from what is mine.

Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: all he reveals to you will be taken from what is mine.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus seems not to want to stop speaking to the disciples. But by now the dinner is almost finished and he says to them, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” There is no reprimand in these words. He chose them himself and he knew well their limits. And he does not hide them. He believes though that the disciples are still incapable of bearing the whole weight of the Gospel. Certainly, the Gospel does not require sages; neither does Jesus go seeking powerful or strong people to entrust his mission to. Rather, he seems to do the opposite. His word, in fact, is not a high doctrine or a complex ideology that only a few are able to understand or deepen. From his teaching a simple and strong energy emerges, an energy which fills the heart and transforms life. Everyone can welcome and live it. It is the energy of love. The disciples are asked only to allow it to operate, to not stop it, to not pose obstacles in its way. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will “guide you to the whole truth.” And it will make us discover the limits and the banalities of the dimensions in which we often close ourselves. The Spirit will free us from our meanness and put us in a circuit of love that makes us embrace many brothers and sisters, that allows us to stop near the poor we meet and find the words that touch the hearts of those who seek friendship and understanding, and which helps us to defeat the logic which pushes us toward distinguishing ourselves and prevailing. Let’s allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit and we will discover the future, we will dream a different tomorrow. The Spirit, which is source of life and inspiration, helps us to be creators with Him of that common future to all peoples and therefore also to us. In this sense there is a growth in the understanding of the Gospel. Father Alexander Men, a priest who was killed in Moscow at the beginning of the 90s used to say that we are still at the beginning of our understanding of the Gospel--many words we still have to understand in all of their depth. St. John XXIII, years before, shortly before his death said, “It is not the Gospel which changes, it is we who understand it better.” This is the work of the Spirit, still today and throughout the generations.