Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Isaiah 41, 13-20

For I, Yahweh, your God, I grasp you by your right hand; I tell you, 'Do not be afraid, I shall help you.'

Do not be afraid, Jacob, you worm! You little handful of Israel! I shall help you, declares Yahweh; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

Look, I am making you into a threshing-sledge, new, with double teeth; you will thresh and beat the mountains to dust and reduce the hills to straw.

You will winnow them and the wind will carry them off, the gale will scatter them; whereas you will rejoice in Yahweh, will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

The oppressed and needy search for water, and there is none, their tongue is parched with thirst. I, Yahweh, shall answer them, I, the God of Israel, shall not abandon them.

I shall open up rivers on barren heights and water-holes down in the ravines; I shall turn the desert into a lake and dry ground into springs of water.

I shall plant the desert with cedar trees, acacias, myrtles and olives; in the wastelands I shall put cypress trees, plane trees and box trees side by side;

so that people may see and know, so that they may all observe and understand that the hand of Yahweh has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is easy, especially in difficult times, to forget the Lord's love and mercy and fall prey to fear and dejection. Moreover, in this age of globalization, fear itself seems to have spread and grown: the world seems too vast, and it is easy to be taken in by feelings of fear and mistrust towards others. The word of the prophet comes and reminds believers to notice the merciful presence of God in their life: “Do not fear, I will help you.” This invitation is repeated several times in this passage, as if to break down the door of fear that closes us in on ourselves and keeps us from seeing the many concrete signs of love that have accompanied us throughout our lives. The Lord insists: “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off.” To this can be added: “Fear not for I am with you.” How often in the Gospels must Jesus repeat to the disciples to trust in him and not be afraid! The Lord is the support of his people, relief for the poor, and the liberator of prisoners. And even if it is true that “the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst,” the Lord is coming quickly to their aid. The prophet speaks of the new exodus of the people of Israel from the Babylonian exile: it will be even more liberating than the first. In fact, if during the journey through the desert after their liberation from Egypt, they were quenched with water that flowed from a rock, now the Lord will transform the entire desert into a “a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” This is the love of the Lord, who works wonders for his people. This love reached its climax with Jesus, who not only came down from heaven to be near to us, but even gave his life to save the world from sin and death. We are asked - as the prophet writes - to “see and know” this love and to let it touch our hearts.