Memory of Jesus crucified

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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 16, 20-23a

'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.

A woman in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a human being has been born into the world.

So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you.

When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions. In all truth I tell you, anything you ask from the Father he will grant in my name.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Friendship with the Lord is not to be taken for granted, not only because it is in disagreement with the world, but also because it requires a true rebirth, as Jesus himself said to Nicodemus. For this reason Jesus now compares the faith--or the bond of trust with him--to a deliverance, the fruit of a long and tiring gestation. Faith is not the sudden result of whoever thinks he is smart and therefore ready to believe; and neither is it the spontaneous result of a normal life. Here we touch directly the fact that one is not born a Christian, but becomes one and needs to seriously commit too. In fact, as in pregnancy, the woman personally participates in the growth of the new life welcomed in her womb; the child’s development is not the fruit of her ability or some personal quality. Likewise, if the Word of God is welcomed in the heart, it grows, develops, and generates new life, not because we are particularly deserving or capable, but because it acts with power in those who welcome it and allow it to operate, even amidst many difficulties that also we add many times. Therefore we should not be afflicted by the difficulty with which at times we wrestle in living out the Word of God or by the easiness we drop it as we do not act on the Word of God or we believe to know it. This work of encountering the Word of God requires patience and perseverance. If we allow the Word of God to enter our heart and do not place any opposition to it, we will feel the inner self-growing within us. Certainly we will also experience the bitterness of changing and correcting our egocentrism, but this will be to taste more fully the sweetness and depth of God’s love. This is the gift that the Gospel talks about, which no one can deny or take away because it is the fruit of faithful listening.