Memory of Jesus crucified

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Remembrance of Saint Therese of Lisieux (+1897), a Carmelite nun with a deep sense of mission of the Church.


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 10,13-16

'Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. And still, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement than for you. And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be raised high as heaven? You shall be flung down to hell. 'Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just urged the seventy-two to travel to every city to preach the Gospel. But he adds that if any of these cities do not accept their preaching, they should leave, even shaking the dust off their sandals. These are harsh words and should also question us on how the life of our cities is organized. Furthermore, the pandemic of the coronavirus asks us directly about the way of living, building and organizing contemporary cities. We all know the great problems and enormous challenges that the cities are called to face. This is why the Gospel preaching must be clearer and more creative. Jesus' disciples have to ask themselves also how to communicate the Gospel so that it may reach the hearts of our cities and peoples. We often risk wearily repeating doctrines and rites, which are most of the times incomprehensible, that pass over people without bringing about any change both in personal and social life. Jesus' own journey to Jerusalem shows the responsibility that Christians have to enter our cities, affirm Jesus' primacy and free them from the many powers that crush the lives of the poor and weak people who live in today's megalopolises. Jesus goes to Jerusalem to give his life, to be the first leavening, the first light, the first seed of a new city built to human scale. Those who do not welcome him, or, worse, refuse him, are cultivating their own ruin. Jesus warns severely that even Tyre and Sidon would have converted if they could have heard the words and seen the works that were being performed at the time. Let us not let the Gospel be preached in vain. We must be aware of our responsibility towards the great cities of today, which the Lord has entrusted to us: "Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me." Every word that is preached comes from on high. This is a responsibility for those who preach to communicate it and for those who listen to welcome it.