Memory of the Church

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Memorial of the Saints Addai and Mari, founders of the Chaldean church. Prayer for Christians in Iraq.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Sirach 42, 15-25

Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, and tell of what I have seen. By the words of the Lord his works come into being and all creation obeys his will.

The shining sun looks down on all things, and the work of the Lord is full of his glory.

The Lord has not granted the Holy Ones the power to tell of all his marvels which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed for the universe to stand firm in his glory.

He has fathomed both the abyss and the human heart and seen into their devious ways; for the Most High knows all there is to know and sees the signs of the times.

He declares what is past and what will be, and reveals the trend of hidden things.

Not a thought escapes him, not a single word is hidden from him.

He has embellished the magnificent works of his wisdom, he is from everlasting to everlasting, nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away, he needs no one's advice.

How lovely, all his works, how dazzling to the eye!

They all live and last for ever, and, whatever the circumstances, all obey.

All things go in pairs, by opposites, he has not made anything imperfect:

one thing complements the excellence of another. Who could ever grow tired of gazing at his glory?


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The psalmist sings, "The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork" (Ps 19: 2). The believer recognizes that nature reflects the glory of God and that the works of creation declare the goodness of the Creator. Nature is not in fact a tool in the hands of humanity, but an expression of God's love. The Creator's love is so great that it cannot remain closed in itself; it is by nature expansive, that is, it projects itself outside of itself, it begins new realities, it brings into existence that which did not exist, and it calls forth life where there was nothing fertile. Creation refers to the Creator, just as a work of art refers to the artist. There is no beauty without the will of the One who created it. Creation, as is stated in the book of Genesis (1:2) began with the Word: the light appears when God calls it into existence, and the shadows appear as such because the light reveals the darkness and its intrinsic limits. And what happens with light is repeated with the rest of creation. All things exist because God called them into being so that together they might form the place where human beings could live. Consequently, nature becomes a school in which men and women can contemplate the glory of God and his love. In this sense, men and women, created in God's image, become the great interpreters of creation, called to keep watch over it so that it may always be a place of peace and a garden of love for all. It is within the context of creation - that is, of nature - that the story to which the sacred author alludes unfolds: "For the Most High knows all that may be known; he sees from of old the things that are to come. He discloses what has been and what is to be, and he reveals the traces of hidden things. No thought escapes him, and nothing is hidden from him." It is God who guides history. Human beings are called to participate in keeping watch over and transforming creation along with God, who is its Lord. Human beings are not the creators, but the stewards. Humanity has a great responsibility: both to contemplate the beauty of the creation made by God and to work to make the created world ever closer to the plan that God inscribed in the depths of creation itself. ?