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 37,1-14

The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by the spirit of Yahweh and set me down in the middle of the valley, a valley full of bones. He made me walk up and down and all around among them. There were vast quantities of these bones on the floor of the valley; and they were completely dry. He said to me, 'Son of man, can these bones live?' I said, 'You know, Lord Yahweh.' He said, 'Prophesy over these bones. Say, "Dry bones, hear the word of Yahweh. The Lord Yahweh says this to these bones: I am now going to make breath enter you, and you will live. I shall put sinews on you, I shall make flesh grow on you, I shall cover you with skin and give you breath, and you will live; and you will know that I am Yahweh." ' I prophesied as I had been ordered. While I was prophesying, there was a noise, a clattering sound; it was the bones coming together. And as I looked, they were covered with sinews; flesh was growing on them and skin was covering them, yet there was no breath in them. He said to me, 'Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man. Say to the breath, "The Lord Yahweh says this: Come from the four winds, breath; breathe on these dead, so that they come to life!" ' I prophesied as he had ordered me, and the breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet, a great, an immense army. Then he said, 'Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They keep saying, "Our bones are dry, our hope has gone; we are done for." So, prophesy. Say to them, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I am now going to open your graves; I shall raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am Yahweh, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people, and put my spirit in you, and you revive, and I resettle you on your own soil. Then you will know that I, Yahweh, have spoken and done this -- 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

The hand of the Lord "brings [the prophet] out" in spirit to show him a valley filled with dry bones. "These bones are the whole house of Israel," the Lord tells the prophet, "They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.'" It seems like we are listening to the words of many people in our world, women and men who have lost hope, whose lives have dried up in pain and lack of love, elderly people left alone to die in a nursing home, people abused by war and exhausted by misery. Yes, this valley of dry bones does not seem very different from the pandemic that hit the entire world and whose consequences seem truly make the world devoid of future, life, and hope. Is there an answer to the pain and death that have touched the lives of many? God says to the prophet: "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live." In challenging times, the Word of God answers moments of great suffering. God does not abandon us to death, much less to pessimism and inconclusive victimhood. That invitation today is therefore addressed to us, to our communities, to the whole Church, but also to every woman and man who have lost hope and closed themselves up in fear and a sense of impossibility. God's spirit, as in the creation story, can revive dry bones, can restore life, can give life and a future. The spirit comes from the four winds, from the four parts of the world, as if to say that the Word of God recreates a new centre, a new life for all.