Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Remembrance of the historic Meeting in Assisi (1986), when John Paul II invited representatives of all Christian confessions and the great world religions to pray for peace.

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

Romans 8, 18-25

In my estimation, all that we suffer in the present time is nothing in comparison with the glory which is destined to be disclosed for us,

for the whole creation is waiting with eagerness for the children of God to be revealed.

It was not for its own purposes that creation had frustration imposed on it, but for the purposes of him who imposed it-

with the intention that the whole creation itself might be freed from its slavery to corruption and brought into the same glorious freedom as the children of God.

We are well aware that the whole creation, until this time, has been groaning in labour pains.

And not only that: we too, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we are groaning inside ourselves, waiting with eagerness for our bodies to be set free.

In hope, we already have salvation; in hope, not visibly present, or we should not be hoping -- nobody goes on hoping for something which is already visible.

But having this hope for what we cannot yet see, we are able to wait for it with persevering confidence.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Drawing inspiration from the story of creation, the apostle Paul reminds his readers that the entire universe is subject to "futility," that is, to the foolishness of sin. "For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God." This means that the longing for ransom and redemption is written in the depths of the life of every man and woman, just as it is in the bowels of creation itself. The apostle seems to be making a close connection between humanity, which is waiting for the full manifestation of the Son of God, and creation, living with the same longing. Paul compares creation’s longing to a pregnant woman: "We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now." It is a long wait, which began at the very moment of the fall. Along with creation, believers are also "groaning" on the inside. Indeed, they possess "the first fruits of the Spirit" and push towards the resurrection of creation. When we read this passage from the apostle, we think of the savage destruction of the environment, our climate, and the earth that in our time seems to be accelerating. It is imperative for us to grasp the longing for redemption that, in its own way, creation also feels. From this perspective, we can say that we are all waiting for the "new heavens and the new earth" mentioned in Revelation. But the rebirth of creation passes through the rebirth of men and women. A new world can only be born from new men and new women. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus is the firstborn of the new creation. To us, his disciples, he gives his Spirit, which "helps us in our weakness." It is the Spirit that suggests to us to pray for the world to be transformed according to God’s plan. Prayer becomes the first and defining means by which the believer’s heart, as well as that of creation are transformed .It is through prayer that we hasten the coming of the Kingdom and the establishment of a new earth and a new heaven, a heaven and an earth of love and peace.