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

Sirach 17, 24-29

But to those who repent he permits return, and he encourages those who have lost hope.

Return to the Lord and renounce your sins, plead before his face, stop offending him.

Come back to the Most High, turn away from iniquity and hold all that is foul in abhorrence.

Who is going to praise the Most High in Sheol if we do not glorify him while we are alive?

The dead can praise no more than those who do not exist, only those with life and health can praise the Lord.

How great is the mercy of the Lord, his pardon for those who turn to him!


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Questions about humanity: who we are, the nature of our mission on earth, run through all of Scripture. In our world, human beings are understood as autonomous persons, with the capacity to decide and to act, to choose and to plan. And it is true: God created human beings and gave them freedom. But this freedom so often becomes absolute, that is, loosed from all bonds and relations. And each individual tries to impose his or her freedom as something that is limitless and unquestionable. It is founded on itself, so it leads to the affirmation of the self, an ego without limits. It establishes a sort of "ego-latry", an idolatry of the ego, to which everything is sacrificed. But God's dream for each one of us does not pass through the affirmation of our strength, but through the awareness of our weakness and the need for it to become an occasion for strong and beautiful love. Knowing and recognizing our sin does not mean failing as a human, rather it means discovering where we really are and the great possibilities that open up before us. In the book of Sirach, the human being is presented as someone who is ready to accept the offering of mercy and consolation God offers and so to embark on a journey back to Him. Those who walk firmly towards the Lord and with the Lord do not deal with evil and do not indulge iniquity. Choosing the company of God means turning our back on every form of injustice. Those who choose to stand beside God and his Word do not follow evil and do not fall into sin. But those who want to be above everyone else will bitterly recognize in the end that they are only "dust and ashes." The true vocation of humanity is to praise God, who is the Lord of the heavenly hosts as well as the Father who is close to all men and women, his children. Sirach observes, "those who are alive and well sing the Lord’s praises." Praise is an act of thanksgiving, because "great is the mercy of the Lord." This mercy reaches the poor and the humble, and humanity rejoices for such a great gift, which is the wellspring of eternal life. This is not a right but a gift, and it is the full fruit of love. ?