Memory of Jesus crucified

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Feast of Saints Cyrillus (†869) and Methodius (†885), fathers of the Slavic Church and patrons of Europe.


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 11,29-32; 12,19

One day when Jeroboam had gone out of Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah of Shiloh accosted him on the road. Ahijah was wearing a new cloak; the two of them were in the open country by themselves. Ahijah took the new cloak which he was wearing and tore it into twelve strips, saying to Jeroboam: 'Take ten strips for yourself, for Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "I am going to tear the kingdom from Solomon's hand and give ten tribes to you. He will keep one tribe for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel; And Israel has remained in rebellion against the House of David from that day to this.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Solomon, a slave to his pride and therefore deaf to the Law of God, had lost his true strength and true support. The kingdom begins to falter and shatter - enemies arise that undermine its stability and unity. The author narrates the revolt of Jeroboam, which does not arise from the logic that normally governs relations between governments, but from God himself who intervenes. The prophet Ahijah of Silo meets Jeroboam and, with a gesture full of symbolism, takes off his cloak. He divides it into twelve pieces and says to Jeroboam: "Take ten pieces, for the Lord, God of Israel says: Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'See, I am about to tear the kingdom from the hand of Solomon, and will give you ten tribes. One tribe will remain his, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.'" Ahijah's symbolic gesture, which recalls Samuel's oracle repudiating Saul, (1 Sam 15:27-28), shows, on one hand, God's fidelity as one who does not abandon the promises made to David and does not deny the decision to "inhabit" in Jerusalem, but also the inevitable ruin of those who do not follow the ways of the Lord. "Walking on the ways" of the Lord, following his Word, means putting oneself in the footsteps of that free and strong love of the Lord who opens the eyes and hearts of all who follow him. And the prophet repeats to Jeroboam the same warnings so that he too will not stray from the ways of the Lord if he wishes the stability and integrity of the kingdom. Solomon, foreshadowing the Herod of Jesus' childhood, learned of the project and tried to kill Jeroboam, who saved himself by taking refuge in Egypt and remaining there until Solomon's death.