Memory of Jesus crucified

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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

Nahum 2,1.3; 3,1-3.6-7

To Judah See on the mountains the feet of the herald! 'Peace!' he proclaims. Judah, celebrate your feasts, carry out your vows, for Belial will never pass through you again; he has been utterly destroyed. (For Yahweh has restored the vine of Jacob, yes, the vine of Israel, although the plunderers had plundered them, although they had snapped off their vine-shoots!) Disaster to the city of blood, packed throughout with lies, stuffed with booty, where plundering has no end! The crack of the whip! The rumble of wheels! Galloping horse, jolting chariot, charging cavalry, flashing swords, gleaming spears, a mass of wounded, hosts of dead, countless corpses; they stumble over corpses- I shall pelt you with filth, I shall shame you and put you in the pillory. Then all who look at you will shrink from you and say, 'Nineveh has been ruined!' Who will mourn for her? Where would I find people to comfort you?

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The book of Nahum is a very short prophetic text written around the mid-seventh century before Christ. It includes prophesies against the city of Nineveh, the proud capital of Assyria, upset and occupied by the emerging power of Babylon. The prophet reads into this event the righteous judgment of God on one of the fiercest enemies who oppressed Israel. The defeat of the historic enemy is an occasion of joy for the kingdom of Judah: "Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, fulfil your vows, for never again shall the wicked invade you; they are utterly cut off." And here the prophet condemns Nineveh, "Ah! City of bloodshed, utterly deceitful, full of booty—no end to the plunder!" The prophet denounces a world full of violence, a world that has made of war and violence its very being. There are prophetic passages in which God himself inveighs against his people for their injustice and violence. The prophet condemns a system that exploits, corrupts, oppresses and uses unscrupulous violence so much so to compare it with an army: "The crack of whip and rumble of wheel, ... flashing sword and glittering spear, piles of dead, heaps of corpses, dead bodies without end—they stumble over the bodies!" It would be too easy to describe as all this has not disappeared from the history of our time, where money, corruption, and greed create injustice, exploitation and war. But God does not abandon the dream of making peace possible and proclaims it to a people that has suffered from violence and war: "Look! On the mountains the feet of one who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace!" The Lord, the prophet announces, returns to free his people from the oppression of the enemy, and gives them peace.