Memory of the Poor

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Memorial of Saint John XXIII (+1963) and of the opening of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).


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 11,29-32

The crowds got even bigger and he addressed them, 'This is an evil generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be a sign to this generation. On Judgement Day the Queen of the South will stand up against the people of this generation and be their condemnation, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, look, there is something greater than Solomon here. On Judgement Day the men of Nineveh will appear against this generation and be its condemnation, because when Jonah preached they repented; and, look, there is something greater than Jonah here.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Faith does not come after wondrous signs; if anything, faith is required for miracles to occur. There are still many people today who are looking for wondrous signs to nourish their faith. And when something extraordinary happens, many people rush to see it. And if these "signs" occur, they are certainly gifts from the Lord, and we need to thank Him for this help. But we must pay more attention than we normally do, to the "sign" of signs, which the Lord has given to all, the "sign of Jonah." Without this "sign" the others are exterior and sometimes deceiving. The early community read these words of Jesus in light of the Resurrection. Just as the inhabitants of Nineveh converted after hearing the preaching of Jonah, even though he did not perform any miracles, so too must people convert today, knowing that Jesus is far "greater than Jonah." We must communicate to the world the mystery of Easter, that is Jesus' passage from death to resurrection, that is victory of good over evil, life over death, and love over hatred. This mystery is the heart of Jesus' story: he came to the earth to give his life to the point of dying on the cross for our salvation, and the Father raised him from the dead. This Gospel is much more valuable than the wisdom of Solomon and much stronger than the preaching of Jonah. The Gospel is not an optional addition to the history of peoples. It is their salvation. This Gospel passage asks the Church and the disciples to be aware of it and, at the same time, to be its humble witnesses.