Memory of Jesus crucified

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The prayer for Christian unity begins. Particular memory of the Catholic Church.


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

Hebrews 4,1-5.11

Let us beware, then: since the promise never lapses, none of you must think that he has come too late for the promise of entering his place of rest. We received the gospel exactly as they did; but hearing the message did them no good because they did not share the faith of those who did listen. We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest, as in the text: And then in my anger I swore that they would never enter my place of rest. Now God's work was all finished at the beginning of the world; as one text says, referring to the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing. And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest. Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of refusal to believe and be lost.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The temptation that Christians face, and about which the author of the Letter issues a warning, is similar to the temptation faced by the Israelites who had reached the border of Canaan, that is, the temptation to "stay behind" and not enter the promised land, the temptation to withdraw from God's love and refuse to be envelop in God's embrace. And yet this is precisely the good news: The Lord came to us to love us. Not does he not take away anything from us but also, he gives us everything. He does "not stay behind" rather he offers his entire life for us. And in the new time begun by Jesus, all of this is even clearer: he came to earth to love us; he not only takes nothing away from us, but gives us everything. Jesus too, we could say, does not "stay behind;" indeed he descended to the point of giving his very life for us. The "rest" proposed to the disciple is this embrace of love, a love to be welcomed and live and a communion in which to dwell. The Church is already living in the day of "rest," the "seventh day," in which God reigns over everyone with love. The author is right to urge believers to strive to enter this rest, "Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs." In fact, entering this "rest" means taking part in the life of the community. The link between "rest" and "house" recalls the gift each Christian receives by being welcomed in the Christian community where they are loved and watched over. The author weaves his words of praise for the Word of God remind us the foundation on which the house is built. It is a certain foundation that is laid once and for all, but it remains living because it "refunds" the community every day. The Word of God, in fact, nourishes believers with food that is ever new, appropriate for every spiritual age, and sustains them so that they might be able to uproot evil and build good. This is why believers are invited to entrust themselves to it if they want to know the depth of their heart; they also need to listen to it if they want to live peace and salvation for themselves and for the world. In scripture it is God himself who speaks to his people and we are his.