Memory of Jesus crucified

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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

Psalm 67, 2-8

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
     and make his face to shine upon us,

2 that your way may be known upon earth,
     your saving power among all nations.

3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
     let all the peoples praise you.

4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
     for you judge the peoples with equity
     and guide the nations upon earth.

5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
     let all the peoples praise you.

6 The earth has yielded its increase;
     God, our God, has blessed us.

7 May God continue to bless us;
     let all the ends of the earth revere him.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Psalm 67 begins (v.1) and ends (v. 6-7) by invoking God’s blessing, “God, our God, has blessed us. May God continue to bless us” (v.6-7). The psalmist echoes and relives the well-known “priestly blessing” from the book of Numbers, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace” (6:24-26). Invoking a blessing means asking for God’s goodness to descend on the person for whom it is invoked. We know that everything is a gift of God. It is especially meaningful to invite the Lord to “make his face to shine upon us” (v.1) and so to reassure believers that they are always under God’s loving gaze. The psalmist widens his gaze to encompass all nations, hoping that worthy praise may rise up to God, “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equality and guide the nations upon earth” (v.4). This is Israel’s faith in the Lord, who guides the whole of human history. God governs everything, and nothing is left to chance or blind fate. There is certainly no lack of disasters or violence, as we see in our time. And yet history has not slipped from God’s hands. God continues to enrich the earth and make it fruitful (v.6). This entire psalm is marked by a longing for universality: all the nations, all the peoples, all the ends of the earth are called to recognize the true God and praise him. The conviction that sustains this universality is God’s love for all people, with no exceptions. This aspiration is taken up by the entire New Testament. The apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians: “In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph 3:5-6). The universality of the proclamation of the Gospel resounds with particular urgency today because of the barriers and walls of separation that once again are being raised. The apostle Paul extols the new people born of Jesus, to which all men and women are called upon to be part of: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God” (Eph 2:19).