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

John 14, 27-31a

Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

You heard me say: I am going away and shall return. If you loved me you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

I have told you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe.

I shall not talk to you much longer, because the prince of this world is on his way. He has no power over me,

but the world must recognise that I love the Father and that I act just as the Father commanded. Come now, let us go.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel passage opens with entrusting peace to the disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Jesus understands well that separation from him--after three years of intense friendship--is difficult and painful for his disciples. He promises them the gift of the Spirit: “The Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” And now he gives them his peace, a messianic peace that includes every blessing of God. It is not just any peace, but that which he himself lives and which is born from the confidence with the Father, from the certainty of not being alone, from the faith of never lacking the support and consolation of God. It is an inheritance that only the disciples have and that they must witness to the world. Therefore Jesus exhorts them not to be afraid, not to be troubled. He repeats the words that he has already said to them: “I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” And he adds that they should even be happy that he is going to the Father. These seem like difficult words to understand. How can they be happy knowing that their dearest friend--the one who has saved them from a life without meaning--is going away? In reality Jesus wants to prepare them for the ministry of his Easter and of his ascension into heaven. In fact, to be at the “right-hand of the Father” does not mean distancing from them and from the world; rather, the Lord will stay close to them wherever they are and will never leave them or anyone alone. The disciples will spread out along the streets of the world to communicate the Gospel, but he will accompany them, supporting them with his own strength. Sure, the prince of Evil, the devil works to break the bond of love between Jesus and his own. Nevertheless Jesus’ death, even if it is the work of Evil, is above all the choice of the Son who, for love, gives his life for the salvation of all. And so Jesus’ physical departure is not the fruit of a betrayal like those that we are used to. How many bonds break, how many separations happen among men and women! The “departure” of Jesus toward the Father is the sign of a greater love, that of the Son toward the Father in heaven. “But I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father.” It is on this path of obedience to God that the disciples discover love’s eternity.