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

Genesis 12, 1-9

Yahweh said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your kindred and your father's house for a country which I shall show you;

and I shall make you a great nation, I shall bless you and make your name famous; you are to be a blessing!

I shall bless those who bless you, and shall curse those who curse you, and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you.'

So Abram went as Yahweh told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.

Abram passed through the country as far as the holy place at Shechem, the Oak of Moreh. The Canaanites were in the country at the time.

Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, 'I shall give this country to your progeny.' And there, Abram built an altar to Yahweh who had appeared to him.

From there he moved on to the mountainous district east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh and invoked the name of Yahweh.

Then Abram made his way stage by stage to the Negeb.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Amidst the confusion and scattering of the nations, the Lord never abandons humanity. Although all the other peoples had established themselves in territories with clearly marked boundaries, each with its own language, God calls Abraham to leave behind his land, the land of his ancestors and his home. The history of salvation, the story of Abraham with God, begins with an exodus. The sacred author emphasizes God’s command: “Go from your the land that I will show you.”? Only by listening to the Lord’s invitation to leave behind our confines can we receive a blessing, that is, life with God, and become a blessing for others. At the beginning of Abraham’s story, the Bible seems to be saying that only by renouncing our tendency to listen only to ourselves and our tradition can we welcome a universal vision of life and the world. Indeed, Abraham, the man who left his land in obedience to the Word of God became a principle of unity and life for the entire world. He is the father of believers, the father of those who choose to listen to God and obey His Word. Listening to the Lord means setting out on new paths. ? Abraham’s faith is concrete: it is based on a life lived in the midst of a nation, on encounters, and on the stages of his journey to the promised land, the land of Canaan (as Palestine was called at that time). But even entering the promised land does not bring an end to searching for and listening to the Lord. For indeed God appears to Abraham just as he reaches the land of Canaan and renews his promise. The company of God is blessing, life, and prosperity. And Abraham needs to remember that God is always with him. This memory, which is the heart of the believer’s life, frees Abraham from the slavery of idols. ?To this end, he builds an altar and sets up his tent next to it. ?Abraham wants to live next to his Lord; he does not want to be separated from the place of his presence. But he knows that the Lord will accompany him on his life’s journey; rather, he goes before him to show him the way. ?And Abraham will always take down his tent and set it up where the Lord leads him. ?He becomes the example of a believer: he does not root himself in his traditions, but knows that his home is next to the Lord, who will accompany him on paths of the world.