Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memory of the death of Gandhi. With him we remember all those who, in the name of non-violence, are peacemakers.

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 10, 32-39

Remember the great challenge of the sufferings that you had to meet after you received the light, in earlier days;

sometimes by being yourselves publicly exposed to humiliations and violence, and sometimes as associates of others who were treated in the same way.

For you not only shared in the sufferings of those who were in prison, but you accepted with joy being stripped of your belongings, knowing that you owned something that was better and lasting.

Do not lose your fearlessness now, then, since the reward is so great.

You will need perseverance if you are to do God's will and gain what he has promised.

Only a little while now, a very little while, for come he certainly will before too long.

My upright person will live through faith but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.

We are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faith until our souls are saved.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the beginning of the third part of the Letter to the Hebrews. The author is trying to encourage Christians to be consistent and persevere in the Christian life. It was a particularly trying time for the Christian communities of that era, as they were beset by many difficulties. To a certain degree, they had apparently given up, or at least had become slow to give witness because, perhaps, they were living their Christian faith in a more individualistic, and therefore less meaningful and less prophetic way. The author reminds these Christians of the fervour they had at the time of their conversion, when they courageously faced every sacrifice to witness to the Gospel: not only did they not retreat before difficulties and dangers, but they faced them together “cheerfully.” The author reminds these Christians of when they were “exposed to abuse and persecution” and lived in deep solidarity with each other: “you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions.” The reason for this courage was their conviction that they “possessed something better and more lasting.” Unfortunately, the fervour of the beginning, as Revelation states: the “love you had at first” (Rev 2:4), had grown cold, and a certain laziness in following the Gospel had crept in along with a spirit of resignation in the face of additional difficulties. We are all quite familiar with this kind of giving up, even though we do not live in situations as difficult as those faced by the Christians of that era. It is not hard to be overwhelmed by the laziness and resignation typical of a selfish and consumerist society that erodes the prophecy of the Gospel from within. Christians run the risk of losing all hope and vision and consequently of failing to work for a new, less violent world with greater solidarity. The author instead urges us to rediscover the virtue of constancy, that is, to persevere in following the Gospel and to not abandon “parrhesia”, the trust in God that represents the true strength of a believer. This trust allows us to stand firm even in a world that is hostile to the Gospel and its followers. Laziness and fatigue risk locking us in the present and diminishing our sense of expectation of the coming of the Lord. Without a sense of expectation, our hope vanishes and we stop fighting for a better world. Without a sense of expectation, we feel less need to pray and work, while we more easily give in to individualism and the mentality of our world.