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

John 15, 26-16,4

When the Paraclete comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.

And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.

I have told you all this so that you may not fall away.

They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy service to God.

They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or me.

But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you. I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord turns to reassuring his disciples: it is true that soon they will be separated, but they will not be farther away. In fact, the love that has connected them and made them walk together all the way to Jerusalem will not end. After the dark moments of the passion and death, the risen Jesus will gather them around him again. And the new state of resurrection will allow him to be with the disciples always, wherever they go. The love of Jesus, or we could say Christian love, does not end with the end of physical closeness. Jesus himself asks the disciples, after Easter, to confirm each other in faith and to witness to the world the love that has united them to him and that continues to guide them on his ways. The love that the Lord pours into their hearts comes down, in fact, from on high; it is not the fruit of their efforts; it is a special gift of God and it is an extraordinary love: living it increases it; not practicing it shrinks it into nothing. Jesus tells his disciples, “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning.” The Spirit of love that comes from the Father is transmitted to the disciples by the Son. Its strength evokes a friendship and an affection that connects them in a stable and strong way, rendering them capable of witnessing the same strength of the Spirit. The witness of this love by the disciples will always provoke opposition and hostility from those that do not know him--Jesus warns them. And enemies will try to endanger the life of the disciples. It is the sad reality of the persecutions that still afflict believers today. But the disciples must not be afraid, nor should they lessen their faith in their Teacher. Jesus does not leave his own without resources to confront the blind and wicked forces of evil. He warns them, “I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling.” The Lord does not abandon his own to their destinies. Certainly though, the disciples have a great responsibility: that of communicating the Gospel of gratuitous love to our world so that it takes distance from evil and sin and finds the way of salvation.