Memory of the Poor

Share On

Memorial of Saint Stephen (+1038), king of Hungary. He was converted to the Gospel and promoted the evangelization of his country.


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 28,1-10

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 'Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, "The Lord Yahweh says this: Because your heart has grown proud, you thought: I am a god; I am divinely enthroned far out to sea. Though you are human, not divine, you have allowed yourself to think like God. So, you are wiser than Danel; no sage as wise as you! By your wisdom and your intelligence you have made yourself a fortune, you have put gold and silver into your treasuries. Such is your skill in trading, your fortune has continued to increase, and your fortune has made your heart grow prouder. "And so, the Lord Yahweh says this: Since you have allowed yourself to think like God, very well, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most barbarous of the nations. They will draw sword against your fine wisdom, they will desecrate your splendour, they will throw you down into the grave and you will die a violent death far out to sea. Will you still think: I am a god, when your slaughterers confront you? But you will be human, not divine, in the clutches of the ones who strike you down! You will die like the uncircumcised at the hand of foreigners. "For I have spoken -- 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

Ezekiel warns: "Because your heart is proud and you have said, ‘I am a god...yet you are but a mortal, and no god." What is the basis of this sin? The city's heart or better its inhabitants' heart is full of pride because of its lust for power and the wealth it has accumulated through trade. This is the mindset that causes many forms of injustice, and inequality that inexorably lead to conflicts and wars. God does not accept a world dominated by the rich and the powerful. The Magnificat sings that God "has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty." The prophetic word sounds as a serious warning: people and nations that only seek their own interests, believing themselves to be masters of other people's lives and of the world's resources will be thrust "down to the Pit," they will be "lowered." This reveals who we really are and what we all need to recognize ourselves to be: we are poor and weak men and women, not omnipotent gods. Ezekiel speaks this warning twice. He knows that in everyone's heart is rooted the temptation to take God's place in a delirium of omnipotence. In reality we are fragile, weak, and mortal. Maybe in the time of the pandemic we have discovered that we are all fragile, subject to pain and death. We will not be saved by riches or arrogance or power. Let us go back to looking at our lives with humility to keep from giving in to the temptation of power and wealth, which produces so much evil in the world and creates some many injustices and great misery.