Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memorial of the prophet Isaiah.


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

John 10,22-30

It was the time of the feast of Dedication in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us openly.' Jesus replied: I have told you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name are my witness; but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine. The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from my hand. The Father, for what he has given me, is greater than anyone, and no one can steal anything from the Father's hand. The Father and I are one.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The festival of the Dedication of the Temple took place every year in Jerusalem during winter. On this festival, Jesus, the evangelist John tells us, finds himself at the portico of Solomon, which was one of the porticos looking out on the temple plaza. After the resurrection, this is the place where the first Christian community will gather for its meetings as a way of wanting to continue what Jesus said and did. Many are listening to Jesus and are asking him to tell them clearly whether he is the Messiah or not. They no longer want to be uncertain or in doubt. Their requests seem legitimate: “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” In truth, rather than seeking Jesus, or understanding his heart and his thoughts, and thus becoming involved in his mission, those Jews are seeking their own security and tranquillity. Their search is far from that of John the Baptist who left behind his uncertainties and his selfish tranquillity to set out in search of God. His was a desire so profound that not even prison could suffocate it. Our behaviours are often so different: rather than seeking truth and the good, we want to have a tranquil conscience free of any anxiety. Nevertheless, searching for God requires that we abandon our certainties and habits so as to accept a word that comes from outside of us and that helps us. Jesus responded to their requests for clarification by saying that the works he had performed testify to him: “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me.” In truth, their eyes were blurred by egoism and solitude. For this reason Jesus says to them, “But you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.” The point is that without being familiar with the Gospel, no one can draw nearer to God’s mystery. Whoever listens to the Gospel with an open heart will feel how great Jesus’ love is and will understand that no one can steal it out of their hands. The Lord, indeed, is stronger than evil and death.