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

Luke 17, 7-10

'Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, "Come and have your meal at once"?

Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"?

Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord speaks to his disciples; he wants to have an intimate dialogue with each one of them, and even with us. He knows his own, one by one; he has called them to follow him and live with him. He knows very well how easy it is to leave room for pride in one’s heart and to have a grand self-image, or even to feel good and consider oneself to be the first actor of one’s work. And so he asks them to compare themselves with servants and with what they are called to do. Unlike the master, they are not the first in the house, but precisely the servants. None of us is the master of his or her life; only the Lord is. Life is given to each of us so that we can not only enjoy it, but also spend it for the good of all. We have received much, without deserving it: health, well-being, peace, intelligence, love, faith; we are not owners of all these gifts, but rather guardians and administrators. Even Jesus presented himself as one who serves and not seeks to be served. And at the last supper, he showed this unequivocally, assuming the likeness of a slave who washes the feet of his master. Following this example of Jesus, the disciple is called to serve the Church, the community of brothers and sisters in the faith who have become his new family. The Church, the community in which everyone belongs, is a gift made to us that we are all called to love, to guard, and to serve. Yes, it is the task of every disciple to “serve” this “house” so that it can be beautiful and can lovingly accommodate whoever knocks and needs welcome and help. The disciples must set the table for the poor and weak, and serve them as they would Jesus himself. Jesus has entrusted this service of love to the disciples of Jesus. Such service is our true reward: to live with this spirit of service, free from the prison of egoism, of anxiety to accumulate goods, to satisfy oneself. The entire Church should see itself as a servant of love for the whole world, for all the peoples. In fact, the Church, the community of believers, does not live for itself, to be perfect and perhaps envied. She lives so that all may discover the love of Jesus who came for the salvation of all. The vocation of the Church, and hence of every Christian, is contained in being a servant of good and a worker for peace for all. The disciples know very well that they have received all and must return all to Him. And this is the meaning of being unworthy servants. We are not “unworthy” in the sense of being lazy or having false humility. The Lord has chosen us and entrusted us with the call to bring about not our own fulfilment but rather to serve his dream of love for the world, knowing that we receive all from him and that without him, we are indeed “unworthy” servants, that is, powerless.