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

Ezekiel 16,1-15.60.63

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, confront Jerusalem with her loathsome practices! Say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: By origin and birth you belong to the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. At birth, the very day you were born, there was no one to cut your navel-string, or wash you in water to clean you, or rub you with salt, or wrap you in swaddling clothes. No one looked at you with pity enough to do any of these things out of sympathy for you. You were exposed in the open fields in your own dirt on the day you were born. "I saw you kicking on the ground in your blood as I was passing, and I said to you as you lay in your blood: Live! and I made you grow like the grass of the fields. You developed, you grew, you reached marriageable age. Your breasts became firm and your hair grew richly, but you were stark naked. Then I saw you as I was passing. Your time had come, the time for love. I spread my cloak over you and covered your nakedness; I gave you my oath, I made a covenant with you -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- and you became mine. I bathed you in water, I washed the blood off you, I anointed you with oil. I gave you embroidered dresses, fine leather shoes, a linen headband and a cloak of silk. I loaded you with jewels, gave you bracelets for your wrists and a necklace for your throat. I gave you nose-ring and earrings; I put a beautiful diadem on your head. You were loaded with gold and silver and dressed in linen and silk and brocade. Your food was the finest flour, honey and oil. You grew more and more beautiful; and you rose to be queen. The fame of your beauty spread through the nations, since it was perfect, because I had clothed you with my own splendour -- declares the Lord Yahweh. "But you became infatuated with your own beauty and used your fame to play the whore, lavishing your debauchery on all comers. but I shall remember my covenant with you when you were a girl and shall conclude a covenant with you that will last for ever. and so remember and feel ashamed and in your confusion be reduced to silence, when I forgive you for everything you have done -- declares the Lord Yahweh." '

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In tough times, believers need to remember, retrace and reconsider God's loving presence in their history. First of all Israel, and here Ezekiel is addressing Jerusalem, must become aware of what it originally was. Thrown away at birth "in the open field," misunderstood by his own, Israel was picked up by the Lord on the road, cared for, made grow, and adorned with beauty. The description of the Lord's care for his people is meticulously described, as if to say that indeed God has done far more than a king could have done for his children. "But you trusted in your beauty, and played the whore because of your fame, and lavished your whorings on any passer-by." When one forgets one's own origin, the love with which the Lord has helped us and made us grow, pride wins, the ego takes over, and we follow whoever we think will satisfy our expectations, unaware that without the Lord we lose everything He has built in us and for us. This is unfortunately the choice of so many times, when we follow the illusions and easy promises of success of the world in which we are and we distance ourselves from the Lord and from the people in which God has placed us. God's faithfulness allows each of us, even after we have followed ourselves, to return to live that love which only can make our lives beautiful and precious: "I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, in order that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I forgive you all that you have done, says the Lord God."