Memory of the Poor

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Memorial of Saint Scholastica (†547ca), sister of Saint Benedict. With her we remember all women hermits and nuns together with all the women who follow the Lord.


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 Kings 8,1-7.9-13

Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ark of the covenant of Yahweh up from the City of David, that is, Zion. All the men of Israel assembled round King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, at the time of the feast (that is, the seventh month). When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark and the Tent of Meeting and all the sacred utensils which were in the Tent. King Solomon and all Israel, present with him before the ark, sacrificed countless, innumerable sheep and oxen. The priests brought the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place, in the Debir of the Temple, that is, in the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the winged creatures for the winged creatures spread their wings over the place where the ark stood, forming a canopy over the ark and its shafts. There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed in it at Horeb, the tablets of the covenant which Yahweh made with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Now when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Temple of Yahweh, and because of the cloud the priests could not stay and perform their duties. For the glory of Yahweh filled the Temple of Yahweh. Then Solomon said: Yahweh has chosen to dwell in thick cloud. I have built you a princely dwelling, a residence for you for ever.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Once the building of the Temple was completed, it was necessary to dedicate it to God. Israel knew that God's presence among the people was guaranteed by the Tablets of the Law contained in the Ark of the Covenant. Solomon gathered all the people, just as Moses had gathered them when he received the Tablets of the Law. He offered sacrifices to God and had the ark carried by the priests into the "Holy of Holies", the most sacred place of the Temple. It was the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, formerly called the Feast of Harvest, which was celebrated in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, corresponding to today's September-October. The piece points out that "there was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone that Moses had placed there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, when they came out of the land of Egypt." This note clarifies even more the inner dimension of the covenant that God established with Israel. The ark contains only the Word, nothing else. It is the Word in which the Lord who reveals himself, the heart of the Jewish faith and therefore also of the Christian faith. This statement is similar to that which we find at the end of the Gospel of the Transfiguration. The evangelist Mark tells us that the disciples, surrounded by the cloud, "saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus" (Mk 9:8). Only the Word is sufficient. Only Jesus is the foundation upon which our faith rests. . And it is remarkable that, what will happen on the day of the Transfiguration, happened just at the entrance of the ark in the Holy of Holies: "When the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord." The Lord took possession of that place through the entrance of his Word. And anyone who welcomes the Word of God in his or her heart, becomes a Temple of God, and His shadow covers them.