Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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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

Mark 1,21-28

They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority. And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.' But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!' And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.' And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With his small community of disciples, Jesus enters Capernaum, the largest Galilean city of the time. There He chooses to make his home with the little group of disciples he has gathered. He does not withdraw far from the ordinary life of men and women to lead a quiet life with a small group of friends. He did not come to carve out a space for his own existence and for his own personal satisfaction surrounded by a group of people who held him in high esteem. He wanted to save all men and women from loneliness and death. This is why he settles in Capernaum, the most important city in the north of the country. With this small group of people Jesus wants to transform the entire city, and then all cities and countries. Indeed, it is the Christian community's nature, even if it is a small one, not to be turned inwards on itself, but rather to look at and care for the entire city as a "community" of men and women that the Gospel needs to ferment with love. It is not that the Christian community has a project of its own to impose on others. But it does have the mission to weave the strength of the Gospel into the fabric of the city and to affirm that only Jesus is the Lord, not money or power and even less injustice and corruption. The evangelist notes that Jesus "immediately" goes to synagogue and begins to teach. The first "service" that the Church provides in the city is to communicate the Gospel. The Gospel is a demanding word, one that requires a change of the heart and deeply transforms those who listen to it and provokes a true change. This is why all those who heard him were amazed. Jesus was different from the scribes: he did not merely pronounce words; he changed the lives of people starting with the poor. He immediately revealed what kind of authority he had when he freed a man from an unclean spirit. The Gospel is an authoritative word because it does not oppress people; on the contrary, it delivers men and women from the many evil spirits that hold them as slaves.