Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Remembrance of Saint Leo the Great, bishop of Rome, who led the Church through difficult times.

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

Wisdom 2, 23-3,9

For God created human beings to be immortal, he made them as an image of his own nature;

Death came into the world only through the Devil's envy, as those who belong to him find to their cost.

But the souls of the upright are in the hands of God, and no torment can touch them.

To the unenlightened, they appeared to die, their departure was regarded as disaster,

their leaving us like annihilation; but they are at peace.

If, as it seemed to us, they suffered punishment, their hope was rich with immortality;

slight was their correction, great will their blessings be. God was putting them to the test and has proved them worthy to be with him;

he has tested them like gold in a furnace, and accepted them as a perfect burnt offering.

At their time of visitation, they will shine out; as sparks run through the stubble, so will they.

They will judge nations, rule over peoples, and the Lord will be their king for ever.

Those who trust in him will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with him in love; for grace and mercy await his holy ones, and he intervenes on behalf of his chosen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Why live in righteousness if the fate of the righteous seems threatened and their life cut off by violence This is the great question in the book of Wisdom, which also partly tormented Job: why do the wicked prosper and the righteous succumb This question often touches our hearts: why should we tire ourselves so much to do good so that injustice does not prevail, so that evil does not conquer good "But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them" here is the wise response of the author of the book. How many righteous ones have died to do good in order not to give up living in love! The first among these is the Lord Jesus, followed by that immense multitude which Apocalypse speaks, "they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (7:14). A life spent in love is not a wasted one; it is one gained for eternal life. Perhaps in the eyes of human beings, the suffering and tribulation that hit them seemed a misfortune. And yet, even if their lives were brief, they will shine on the Day of Judgment and will show that the true strength was love, not arrogance over others, not pride of trying to save only oneself. For this—continues the book of Wisdom—they "will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever" (v. 8). Jesus himself proclaimed in the beatitudes that the "meek will inherit the earth." The power that conquers and wins is found in meekness and love. This is the Wisdom of life: "Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love" (v. 9). The love that marked the life of the righteous will be a gift for all; the entire world will benefit from it. And their lives have been put into the hands of God: neither evil, nor death will prevail against them.