Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Remembrance of Saint Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon and martyr (130-202); he went to France from Anatolia to preach the Gospel.


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

Amos 3,1-8; 4,11-12

Listen, Israelites, to this prophecy which Yahweh pronounces against you, against the whole family which I brought up from Egypt: You alone have I intimately known of all the families of earth, that is why I shall punish you for all your wrong-doings. Do two people travel together unless they have agreed to do so? Does the lion roar in the forest if it has no prey? Does the young lion growl in his lair if it has caught nothing? Does a bird fall on the ground in a net unless a trap has been set for it? Will the net spring up from the ground without catching something? Does the trumpet sound in the city without the people being alarmed? Does misfortune come to a city if Yahweh has not caused it? No indeed, Lord Yahweh does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion roars: who is not afraid? Lord Yahweh has spoken: who will not prophesy? I overturned you as God overturned Sodom and Gomorrah; you were like a brand snatched from the blaze and still you would not come back to me -declares Yahweh. So this, Israel, is what I plan to do to you. Because I am going to do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God!

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The recurring problem in the relationship between God and his people is the latter's continuous betrayal of the established covenant. Each time it lives in abundance, Israel forgets the Lord, turns to other gods and lets itself be overwhelmed by corruption. The Lord, who is always more generous than righteous, sends prophets each time so that Israel may repent and return to the covenant. Amos, through seven examples, tries to help to read in depth the history that the people lived and the signs that were shown to them. The Word of God, compared to the roar of the lion, is a spiritual force that comes out with unstoppable impetus, invariably causing the effect for which it is sent. God has chosen the people of Israel for a mission, that of communicating God's love to the ends of the earth: he wants all peoples to be saved. Therefore, it is not a covenant closed within a single people, that of Israel. It is for all peoples, as the prophets will often say. This dream of God about the world is taken up by the Church, called today to build a universal brotherhood. We believers in Jesus do not live for ourselves, but precisely to communicate the gospel of love to all peoples. This is the meaning of the Word that God also entrusts into our hands. When the Word of God is addressed to us, if we really listen to it, we cannot help but communicate it in our turn. We are all called to be prophets. This is the meaning of the final call of Amos: "For this I must make of you: prepare to meet your God!" As we are to become prophets of God's kingdom, let us prepare ourselves to listen to his Word with faith.