Memory of the Poor
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Memory of the Poor

Memorial of the death of Gandhi, killed in1948 in New Delhi. With him we remember all those who, in the name of non-violence, are peacemakers. Read more

Memory of the Poor
Monday, January 30

Memorial of the death of Gandhi, killed in1948 in New Delhi. With him we remember all those who, in the name of non-violence, are peacemakers.

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

Hebrews 11,32-40

What more shall I say? There is not time for me to give an account of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, or of David, Samuel and the prophets. These were men who through faith conquered kingdoms, did what was upright and earned the promises. They could keep a lion's mouth shut, put out blazing fires and emerge unscathed from battle. They were weak people who were given strength to be brave in war and drive back foreign invaders. Some returned to their wives from the dead by resurrection; and others submitted to torture, refusing release so that they would rise again to a better life. Some had to bear being pilloried and flogged, or even chained up in prison. They were stoned, or sawn in half, or killed by the sword; they were homeless, and wore only the skins of sheep and goats; they were in want and hardship, and maltreated. They were too good for the world and they wandered in deserts and mountains and in caves and ravines. These all won acknowledgement through their faith, but they did not receive what was promised, since God had made provision for us to have something better, and they were not to reach perfection except with us.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The author of the Letter continues the story of the examples of believers with the story of Isaac's sacrifice. It is a page that shows Abraham obedient to God even though he does not understand the profound meaning of the request addressed to him. Believers are those who trust God even if they do not understand, knowing however that they will not be abandoned. Abraham believes that if God asks him for Isaac's sacrifice, he will also know how to give him back. For - the author notes - "God is able even to raise someone from the dead" (11:19). This firm faith also moved the patriarchs Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. They blessed their sons from their deathbeds, assuring them of God's promise. Moses' life was also marked by faith. For this he confronted Pharaoh and, without fear, led the people out of Egypt. In this story of Moses, Christians could find their own story. They too were threatened with severe punishment by the imperial laws and had to endure injustice and humiliation. But faith enables them to overcome the difficulties. The author, without any precise chronological or logical order, then makes a summary list of the "successes" achieved through faith: these are heroic deeds, military victories, political successes and the resurrection of the dead. It is an invitation to believers to remember the power of faith acting in history. Moreover, Jesus also said that a faith as small as a seed "can move mountains" (see Mk 11:23). This is why Christians must not resign themselves to the violence of evil: faith is stronger. Even when violence befalls them, faith will save them. The author recalls, as in a martyrology, the believers who were persecuted. They accepted death for faith, for their bond with the Lord. And he concludes: "Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect" (11:39-40). The believers of the old covenant had been given the promise of an eternal homeland, but no one could then attain it. Only Jesus, high priest and Son of God, opened access to it for all.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9, 3:7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!