Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memorial of the prophet Elijah who was taken into heaven and left his mantle to Elisha.
Muslims celebrate the Feast of the Sacrifice (Aid al-Adha).


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

Matthew 12,46-50

He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly his mother and his brothers were standing outside and were anxious to have a word with him. But to the man who told him this Jesus replied, 'Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?' And stretching out his hand towards his disciples he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is an episode reported by all the Synoptics. This shows its importance in the life of the first Christian community. Jesus is speaking to the crowd when his mother and his brothers arrive and seek to meet him. The crowd is large and hinders the relatives from getting near him. The evangelist notes that the relatives remained "outside;" that is they are not among those who were listening to him. It is not only a spatial observation. The evangelist emphasizes that faith does not pass through blood ties, but through listening to the Word of God. To those who tell Jesus that "outside" are his mother and brothers waiting for him, he responds that his mother and his relatives are those who listen to him, precisely those who are "inside" in order to hear the preaching of the Gospel. Jesus in truth wants to clearly indicate his new family, which is the one made of his disciples, of those who trust him and the poor who entrust themselves to him. The Word of God refines "natural" relations and recreates them through the work of the Spirit poured out in our hearts. From listening to the Word of God is born a new family, much broader and firmer than the so called natural one. The bonds of fraternity that Jesus came to create are not founded on ourselves and our worldly belongings but on listening to the Word of God. The Christian community gathered around the Gospel is a blessing for the entire society and especially for those who are alone, poor, abandoned, afflicted, and persecuted. For the latter the community of the disciples is often the only family who welcomes and takes care of them.