Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Memorial of Saint Wenceslaus (+929), venerated as a martyr in Bohemia. Memorial of William Quijano, young Salvadorian man of the Community of Sant'Egidio, killed by the violence of the maras in 2009.


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

Luke 9,51-56

Now it happened that as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he resolutely turned his face towards Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, 'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?' But he turned and rebuked them, and they went on to another village.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With this passage, Luke begins Jesus' journey with the disciples toward Jerusalem. Jesus knew that the Gospel-even at the cost of life-should be preached in Jerusalem, in the heart of the people of Israel. The disciples wanted to stop him, but Jesus "with his face set" walked toward the holy city. With the expression "with his face set" the evangelist shows the firm will of the Teacher. Obedience to the Father and the urgency of communicating the Gospel of love have absolute primacy in his life. Therefore, Jesus started toward Jerusalem with decision, that is obeying willingly and in a radical way to the Father's will. The evangelist notes that Jesus sent a few disciples before him to "prepare his entrance." It is a small notation that in fact describes the Church's mission that is preparing the hearts to the direct encounter with Jesus. The first stop was a village in Samaria. As soon as the disciples reached the village in Samaria, they found a distinct rejection by the Samaritans. Probably they wanted to prevent those Galileans to go to Jerusalem passing through Samaria. It was a typically ethnic question marked also by a religious dimension. James and John-annoyed by the harsh attitude of the Samaritans-reacted with similar harshness. Once they returned to Jesus they referred to him their intention to have fire descending from heaven and exterminate them. Jesus respondsed with love to the coldness of those who did not want to welcome him and, as the evangelist Luke notes, reprimanded harshly the violent zeal of the two disciples. Once again, the Gospel vision of life that Jesus proposes to us emerges with clarity: defeating evil through good.