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

2 Corinthians 4,7-15

But we hold this treasure in pots of earthenware, so that the immensity of the power is God's and not our own. We are subjected to every kind of hardship, but never distressed; we see no way out but we never despair; we are pursued but never cut off; knocked down, but still have some life in us; always we carry with us in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our body. Indeed, while we are still alive, we are continually being handed over to death, for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus, too, may be visible in our mortal flesh. In us, then, death is at work; in you, life. But as we have the same spirit of faith as is described in scripture -- I believed and therefore I spoke -we, too, believe and therefore we, too, speak, realising that he who raised up the Lord Jesus will raise us up with Jesus in our turn, and bring us to himself -- and you as well. You see, everything is for your benefit, so that as grace spreads, so, to the glory of God, thanksgiving may also overflow among more and more people.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul, who did not hesitate to extol the apostolic ministry that has the task to communicate to the world the mystery of Christ, is aware of his and of our weakness. Thus, he affirms: "We have this treasure in clay jars." Jesus entrusted his Gospel to the poor hands of his disciples, of his poor community. The contrast between the wealth of the Gospel and the poverty of the disciples makes extremely clear that the authority and the very power of the ministry does not come from men and women, from their power, abilities and strategies, but from God. The apostle reviews his life within this light. He understands that in spite of the tribulations, threats, dangers, difficulties, he has never been abandoned by God. Indeed, in the weakness of his existence "the very life of Jesus" was manifested. In persecution and in abandonment, Paul sees himself similar to Jesus, who was "well acquainted with grief." It is faith that renders the disciple strong even in the face of opposition and adversity. So, Paul does not withdraw when faced by difficulties and dangers, but always proclaims the Gospel to all: "I believed, and so I spoke." We, disciples of the Lord, clothed with the power of faith, are called to communicate the Lord Jesus to all through our lives: in our poor life must however shine the same life of Jesus. Thus, we have the responsibility of not hindering the Word of God so that it may reach the hearts of men and women. The Apostle exhorts us not to lose heart or to be discouraged when confronted by the weakness and evil that strike our lives and that of the world. If on the one hand we experience a weakening of the body, on the other hand, we must strive day by day to renew the 'interior' person, the spiritual person. The sufferings of today, particularly those which assail us on account of the Gospel, do not compare with the glory that is to be manifested in us (see Rom 8:18).