Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of Saint John Chrysostom ("golden mouth"), bishop and doctor of the Church (†407). The most common liturgy of the Byzantine Church takes its name from him.


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

1 Timothy 1,1-2.12-14

Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength. By calling me into his service he has judged me trustworthy, even though I used to be a blasphemer and a persecutor and contemptuous. Mercy, however, was shown me, because while I lacked faith I acted in ignorance; but the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Recalling the mission entrusted to him to preach the Gospel, Paul remembers the moment when the Lord met him on the road to Damascus. And he thanks him for his great kindness and mercy because he called him when he was "a blasphemer, a persecutor and a violent man." Paul wonders how God has been able to choose him despite all this. He lives like a miracle the fact that he was judged worthy to serve the Gospel. Paul knows that the only reason for his mission comes from above: "I received mercy." As it is for every disciple. Paul, in any case, does not justify his past life because of his ignorance of the Gospel. He recognizes that he had let himself be guided by the blind force of evil that always leads to unjustified and unjustifiable violence. And this is why his gratitude to God is even greater for the overflowing gift he received. From that moment the apostle lives a new life in communion with Christ, from whom he draws the strength of faith and the urgency of charity. He does not forget the past life, which has now been restored, but this memory becomes a reason for humility and gratitude. He calls himself "the least of the apostles," not "unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God" (1Cor 15:9), "the very least of all the saints" (Eph 3:8). Paul has now become an example for the disciples of all time. He is the clear testimony that no one is so far from God that he cannot be reached by the mercy of God. The confession of praise ends in a prayer of thanksgiving. Of the king, how can I not make the greatest honour to the Lord who shows such a wide love for sinners?