Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Remembrance of the Virgin Mary, venerated as Our Lady of Lujàn in Argentina.


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 16,5-11

but now I am going to the one who sent me. Not one of you asks, 'Where are you going?' Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this. Still, I am telling you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right, and about judgement: about sin: in that they refuse to believe in me; about who was in the right: in that I am going to the Father and you will see me no more; about judgement: in that the prince of this world is already condemned.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord turns to reassuring his disciples: it is true that soon they will be separated, but they will not be farther away. In fact, the love that has connected them and made them walk together all the way to Jerusalem will not end. And the new state of resurrection allows him to always be with the disciples, wherever they go. The love of Jesus, or we could say Christian love, does not end with the end of physical proximity. Jesus himself asks the disciples, after Easter, to confirm each other in the faith and to witness to the world the love that has united them to him and that which continues to guide them on his ways. The love that the Lord pours in their hearts comes down from on high; it is a special gift of God and it is an extraordinary love: living it, multiplies it and it shrinks into nothing if not practiced. Jesus told them, "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf." The Spirit of love that comes from the Father is transmitted to the disciples by the Son. Its strength evokes a friendship and an affection that connects them in a stable and strong way, rendering them capable of witnessing the same strength of the Spirit. The witnessing of this love by the disciples will always provoke opposition and hostility from those that do not know him--Jesus warns them of this. And enemies will try to endanger the life of the disciples. It is the sad reality of the persecutions that still today are afflicting believers. But the disciples must not be afraid, nor should they decrease faith in their Teacher. Jesus does not leave his own without resources when confronting the blind and wicked forces of evil. He warns them, "I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling." The Lord does not abandon his own to their destinies. Certainly though, the disciples have a great responsibility: that of communicating the Gospel of gratuitous love to this our world so that it distances itself from evil.