Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 1,21-28

They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority. And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.' But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!' And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.' And his reputation at once spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With his small community of disciples, Jesus enters Capernaum, the capital of Galilee. He chooses to make of it the home of the little group of disciples he has gathered. He does not withdraw far from the ordinary life of men and women to lead a quiet life with his small group. He did not come to carve out a space for his own existence and for his own personal satisfaction. The Father had sent him to deliver men and women from loneliness, sin, and death. He settles in Capernaum, the most important city in the north of the country as if to live in the midst of the real human family. Capernaum represents every city of then and of our present time. Jesus wants to transform them in places of peace and fraternity. The Christian community, even if it is a small one, is sent by Jesus to weave the strength of the Gospel into the fabric of the city and to affirm that only Jesus is the Lord of life, not money or power and even less injustice and corruption. The evangelist Mark writes that Jesus "immediately" goes to synagogue and begins to teach. The first "service" that the Church provides in the city is to communicate the Gospel. The Church has nothing else to say but the Gospel and the power of love it transmit to change the lives of all. There is not a special program to implement. Indeed the only program is the Gospel that changes the heart and the mind of those who listen to it deeply. This is the meaning of Mark's notation when he writes that Jesus spoke like "as one having authority, and not as the scribes." He immediately revealed what kind of authority he had when he freed a man from an unclean spirit. It is a powerful, affective word that rules even over the unclean spirits that though unwillingly obey him The Gospel is an authoritative word: it does not oppress people, does not condemn rather it delivers and saves them.