Memory of the Poor

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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

Luke 9,46-50

An argument started between them about which of them was the greatest. Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child whom he set by his side and then he said to them, 'Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me. The least among you all is the one who is the greatest.' John spoke up. 'Master,' he said, 'we saw someone driving out devils in your name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.' But Jesus said to him, 'You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest." The disciples did not start arguing or asking Jesus for some explanations about what he had said about his death. Concern for themselves was much greater. The disciples were children of the worldly mentality which is rooted in all generations. Jesus came to turn this mentality upside down, "making himself obedient unto death and a death on the cross," writes the apostle Paul (Phil 2:8). Jesus asked his disciples to establish relationships of brotherhood and service, not competition or power over others. Uniting a gesture to his words, Jesus took a child at his side as if to identify the child with himself: "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me." In the kingdom of heaven, and therefore also in the community of Jesus' disciples, great are those who make themselves small, those who are children of the Gospel, those who recognize their weakness and entrust everything to the Lord. There is an identity between being children and being disciples. For this reason-according to Jesus' words-a disciple, as a child would recognize the mark of the Father, recognizes the "signs of times' and sees God's action wherever good is fulfilled, even if the person who does it is not part of the group of disciples. To John and to all Christians who want to downplay, or worse, hinder the good deeds of someone because they do not belong to the circle of disciples, Jesus repeats, "Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you." It is a great lesson of wisdom, also a human lesson, which renders Jesus' disciples able to recognize the action of the Spirit in the history of humanity.