Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memorial of St. Gregory the Great (540-604), pope and doctor of the Church

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

Luke 4, 38-44

Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was in the grip of a high fever and they asked him to do something for her.

Standing over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to serve them.

At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them.

Devils too came out of many people, shouting, 'You are the Son of God.' But he warned them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them,

but he answered, 'I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.'

And he continued his proclamation in the synagogues of Judaea.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus left the synagogue and entered the house of Peter where the mother-in-law of the apostle was lying in the bed, ill. Jesus bent over her, rebuked the fever. And the fever, the evangelist writes, left her and the mother-in-law was freed. Jesus’ whole life had been bending towards the poor, the weak, and, in this case, toward an elderly woman. In her we see the many old people who are now surrounded by indifference and wickedness, and forced to remain prisoners of sadness waiting for a sad ending. The Lord Jesus, leaning over her, gave back strength so that she could rise from bed and begin to serve again. Old age is not a shipwreck; it is not a defeat. If accepted and helped, it can be a time of new vitality. Just think, for example, of prayer, which can be a new vocation rediscovered in the last years of life. The evangelist suggests that Jesus stayed at the house until the day’s end and that everyone brought the sick to the front door. Peter’s house, now Jesus’ house, essentially, became a reference point for the people of that city to bring the weak, the poor and the sick. All were going to knock on that door, sure that they would be answered. Should it not be that way for every Christian community? Should we not all be a real door of hope for those who seek comfort and help? Unfortunately, we are still far from this Gospel image. But where this happens, the Christian community relives the joy of the disciples when they saw men and women healed by the power of the Gospel of love. We have to distance ourselves from scepticism—all rationalized—about miracles. Of course, we must not only understand these as events “miraculous”. In truth, there are many ways in which miracles happen, and not just in the body. In the Gospels, even if there are only thirty-five miracles counted, we often talk about the “miracles, wonders and signs” performed by Jesus. They were the visible signs of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven among us, of the new world that Jesus inaugurated. Everything was bent on building a new world right now, where love, justice, peace, happiness and prosperity for all reigned. This power to do miracles and to build a new world was given by Jesus to his disciples of all time. Even to us. And Luke tells us from where comes this power to perform miracles and transform the world: “At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place” to pray. This was the source of his strength. It is a great lesson for each of us. Turning to God in prayer at dawn means giving a good direction to the day and receiving from God the strength to witness to his love. Together with Jesus we will not be stuck in our habits. Jesus will take us with him to communicate the Gospel throughout the world.