Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of Floribert Bwana Chui, a young Congolese of the Community of Sant'Egidio who was killed in 2007 by unknown assailants in Goma for he opposed an attempt of corruption.


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

Hosea 14,2-10

Israel, come back to Yahweh your God your guilt was the cause of your downfall. Provide yourself with words and come back to Yahweh. Say to him, 'Take all guilt away and give us what is good, instead of bulls we will dedicate to you our lips. Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more, or say, "Our God!" to our own handiwork, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.' I shall cure them of their disloyalty, I shall love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned away from them. I shall fall like dew on Israel, he will bloom like the lily and thrust out roots like the cedar of Lebanon; he will put out new shoots, he will have the beauty of the olive tree and the fragrance of Lebanon. They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow wheat again, they will make the vine flourish, their wine will be as famous as Lebanon's. What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when I hear him and watch over him? I am like an evergreen cypress, you owe your fruitfulness to me. Let the wise understand these words, let the intelligent grasp their meaning, for Yahweh's ways are straight and the upright will walk in them, but sinners will stumble.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We cannot present ourselves before the Lord with improvisation or haste. The awareness of our sin, the request for forgiveness, and the awareness of our need are the indispensable requirements for us to let God enter our heart and heal us. The prophet exhorts: "Take words with you." The encounter with God requires interiority, that is an awareness of our own limits and of the need to be saved, being aware that only in God is our salvation. We can thin, of the inner struggle that was experienced by the prodigal son described in the Gospel of Luke. The sadness of his condition and his awareness of his sin are essential for his decision to go back to his father. The son also prepares the words for his return, even if his father will not even let him speak them. Conversion, that is repentance and decision to return to God, requires the abandonment of the slavery to the idols, as well as the renunciation of an instrument of war (horses) in favour of spiritual sacrifices to God, who is mercy: "Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; we will say no more, ‘Our God,' to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy." The forgiveness and love that God offers bring the miracle: Israel is healed in the heart and discovers a new spring. The life of those who convert their hearts and return to God is imagined as a lush garden and a fountain that can provide shelter and quench the thirst of those who come to it.