Memory of the Poor

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 1, 1-6

At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but

in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages.

He is the reflection of God's glory and bears the impress of God's own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command; and now that he has purged sins away, he has taken his seat at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.

So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.

To which of the angels, then, has God ever said: You are my Son, today I have fathered you, or: I shall be a father to him and he a son to me?

Again, when he brings the First-born into the world, he says: Let all the angels of God pay him homage.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Letter to the Hebrews - characteristic of a sermon addressed to first-generation Christians who were going through a particularly difficult moment - opens with a general overview of salvation history. It is immediately clear that the protagonist of this story is God himself. In fact, in ancient times, God decided to begin speaking to humanity in various ways, especially through the prophets. It is clear that the God of the Bible chose to enter into dialogue with men and women. God did not remain distant and alone. God wanted and continues to and wants to continue in dialogue. The Holy Scriptures are nothing other than the story of this dialogue that continues each time anyone opens them. In this sense, we can say that the spirituality of a believer consists, above all, in listening to the Word that God speaks to us. The believer is someone who listens. It is not a coincidence that the author of this Letter complains about the lazy way in which, as he has observed, Christians listen to the Scriptures. By not listening they “have become dull in understanding” (5:11). Listening to God was central for Israelites. In fact, their history began when God decided to speak to their fathers: “God, spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets.” The Lord never failed to speak his Word to the people of Israel, whether in happy or sad occasions. And in the history of the chosen people, there have been difficult, grievous moments when they became deaf to God's words. And this is the heart of the new time which God himself inaugurated: that the Lord, “in these last days...has spoken to us by a Son.” Driven by his boundless love, the Father in heaven sent to humanity the Word that “was with the beginning,” as it is written in John's prologue. This Word, addressed to God and completely and utterly bound to him, has also been spoken to us: it became flesh and set up its tent among men and women. This is the mystery that has been revealed to us and which we must accept: in these last days, God has chosen to speak to us directly, without any intermediary, through his own Son. The letter opens with a hymn to the power of the Son, “reflection of the glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.” It then continues with a Christological interpretation of the Psalms, starting with verse 5: “ which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have begotten you?' Or again, ' I will be his Father, and he will be my Son'?” This hymn about the glorification of Jesus, by contrast, brings to mind the hymn of Jesus' self-emptying found in the letter to the Philippians. The Letter to the Hebrews does not recall this self-abasing, but sings of Jesus' enthronement “at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” The Word that was the source of creation has become flesh. And through it, we can enter into a direct dialogue with God. This direct relationship with God frees us from loneliness and death. Listening to him, obeying him, and working according to his will comprises the mystery of our salvation and that of the world.