Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Share On


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 14,14-19

Now in my vision I saw a white cloud and, sitting on it, one like a son of man with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the sanctuary and shouted at the top of his voice to the one sitting on the cloud, 'Ply your sickle and reap: harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe.' Then the one sitting on the cloud set his sickle to work on the earth, and the harvest of earth was reaped. Another angel, who also carried a sharp sickle, came out of the temple in heaven, and the angel in charge of the fire left the altar and shouted at the top of his voice to the one with the sharp sickle, 'Put your sickle in, and harvest the bunches from the vine of the earth; all its grapes are ripe.' So the angel set his sickle to work on the earth and harvested the whole vintage of the earth and put it into a huge winepress, the winepress of God's anger,

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John sees a new scene: six angels; at their centre is Christ with a crown on his head and a sickle in his hand. He is the Lord and Judge of history. Universal judgment is being announced and prepared. The prophet Joel had already described the "day of the Lord" in the Valley of Decision: "Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the wine press is full. The vats overflow, or their wickedness is great." And on several occasions Jesus himself spoke in terms of vintage and harvest. The first angel warns that judgment is near. He carries "an eternal gospel." It is not the "little scroll" reserved for the disciples, but the announcement of God's primacy and his love for the lives of men and women: "Fear God and give him glory!" We can translate: "Whoever lets him or herself be guided by love will be saved." That is what we read in the last judgment reported by Matthew in chapter 25. The "eternal gospel" is the universal Gospel of love, to which we can join the second beatitude that the apostle places in the book of Revelation: "Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord" because to them is given the kingdom of heaven. Believers find many companions on the journey on the path of love: they are all those who live in other religious traditions or who belong to none, but all united by love for the poor. It is a vast people, much larger than the disciples of Jesus. They are all those who - like the Samaritan who did not belong to the faith of Israel - are nevertheless brought by Jesus as an example of the "believer" who loves and will find salvation. It is this immense people of the merciful who secretly save human history from cruelty. Truly they are all the light of the world and the comfort of the poor. And, as Pope Francis says, because they are merciful they will be "mercied" by God, welcomed into the kingdom. The history of salvation is the history of gestures of love which are eternal.