Memory of the Poor

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Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico

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

Psalm 25, 4-9

4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
     teach me your paths.

5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
     for you are the God of my salvation;
     for you I wait all day long.

6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
     for they have been from of old.

7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
     according to your steadfast love remember me,
     for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

8 Good and upright is the Lord;
     therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

9 He leads the humble in what is right,
     and teaches the humble his way.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This psalm, the first in a series that concludes with psalm 34, is a prayer that rises from the mouth of the poor who invoke salvation: asking for forgiveness from their sins, and guidance about the path to follow. Along with the entire people, the psalmist is living through a particularly difficult period, so difficult that his very faith is being tested. Perhaps the period refers to the time after the exile, when those who were most faithful, upon arriving in their homeland, were not welcomed and therefore felt lonely and disillusioned. In their distress, they wondered whether it had been worthwhile to remain faithful to the law of the Lord. And they started to doubt whether God really kept his promises. In this difficult context, the first part of the psalm reveals both trust and concern: “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me” (v. 1-2). These are words that come from someone who wants to trust in the Lord, notwithstanding the difficult situation in which he finds himself, a situation that seems to favour his enemies. He knows that the Lord has not abandoned him. But he is aware of the responsibility he has to learn the ways of the Lord and, with His help, to follow them. He prays: “Make me know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation” (v. 4-5). Salvation – as the psalmist knows well – consists of listening to the Word of the Lord continuously and putting it into practice faithfully. This is what Jesus will ask of his disciples: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it! (Lk 11:28). The psalmist knows how unfaithful and sinful he has been. But he should not lose hope. His faith is in the Lord and in his love, which is much greater than human sin. He must never stop praying. The psalmist places his invocation on our lips: “Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old” (v. 6). Actually, the beauty of the faith that emerges from the pages of the psalmist comes from the fact that our God is great in love and that his justice is mercy. “Good and upright is the Lord,” the psalmist affirms, adding, “He teaches the humble his way” (v. 8-9). The Lord is truly a good and merciful father. Jesus urges us to imitate him: “Be perfect, as your father in heaven is perfect” (Mt 5:48).