Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memorial of Sant’Egidio (Saint Giles), an eastern monk who came to the West. He lived in France and became the father of many monks. The Community of Sant’Egidio took its name from the church dedicated to him in Rome. We remember the beginning of the Second World War and pray for the end to all wars. The Orthodox Church begins its liturgical year.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Thessalonians 5, 1-6.9-11

About times and dates, brothers, there is no need to write to you

for you are well aware in any case that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night.

It is when people are saying, 'How quiet and peaceful it is' that sudden destruction falls on them, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there is no escape.

But you, brothers, do not live in the dark, that the Day should take you unawares like a thief.

No, you are all children of light and children of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness,

so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober.

God destined us not for his retribution, but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

who died for us so that, awake or asleep, we should still live united to him.

So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another, as you do already.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul is trying to warn the Thessalonians not to be anxious about trying to know or calculate the day and the hour of Jesus' coming. He "will come like a thief in the night" (5:2). After all, Jesus himself had advised his disciples, "if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into" (Lk 12:39). ?
The thief, unfortunately, always comes when he is not expected. And so it will be with the coming of Christ. The only thing we know for sure about the last days is that it will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Therefore it is necessary to keep watch “all night." For those who live without giving it a second thought, in "peace and security," the day of the Lord will come without warning and fall upon them with great ruin, like a labour pain from which there is no escape. Many will suffer the fate of the rich fool who said to himself: "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry" (Lk 12:16-20). The apostle asks his readers to stay awake and keep watch, that is, to be "children of light" and "children of the day," like those who live in the light of the Word of God and the clarity of love. Those who do not listen to the Word live "in darkness” and act like those who "fall asleep." The children of the day are sober; they do not let themselves be overcome by their concerns, but are ready to fight the good fight of faith in order to defeat evil and allow good to prevail. They know how to bear the appropriate armour. To the Romans Paul writes: "The night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light" (Romans 13:12). And he says to the Ephesians: "Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood ... Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may to withstand on that evil day. " (Ephesians 6:11-13). The most important armours are faith, charity and hope. They are the weapons of God that guarantee victory; indeed they already contain victory within themselves, if the believer bears and wields them. Indeed, by gathering believers into his community, the Lord has already marked them for salvation. But it is not fate that simply happens to us. Faith is a gift, but it is not given at random: it always requires a personal encounter with Christ. And salvation is nothing more than remaining in this encounter. That is why, "Whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him" (5:10). Jesus is heaven and the fullness of life is still he. This is our bliss. ?