Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Deel Op

Memorial of Saint John Damascene, a monk and Doctor of the Church who lived in Damascus in the eighth century. He distributed his goods to the poor and joined the lavra of Saint Sabbas nearby Jerusalem. Prayer for Christians in Syria.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Isaiah 25,6-10a

On this mountain, for all peoples, Yahweh Sabaoth is preparing a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of succulent food, of well-strained wines. On this mountain, he has destroyed the veil which used to veil all peoples, the pall enveloping all nations; he has destroyed death for ever. Lord Yahweh has wiped away the tears from every cheek; he has taken his people's shame away everywhere on earth, for Yahweh has spoken. And on that day, it will be said, 'Look, this is our God, in him we put our hope that he should save us, this is Yahweh, we put our hope in him. Let us exult and rejoice since he has saved us.' For Yahweh's hand will rest on this mountain, and Moab will be trodden under his feet as straw is trodden into the dung-heap.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Salvation is presented as a banquet prepared for all the peoples, none excluded. Since the very beginning God's dream is universal. God is the father of all the peoples and wants that we are all saved. The time of Advent gives us a foretaste of the joy of this banquet. Unfortunately, it is common today - even among Christians - for people to think that salvation can be found in personal well-being and the tranquillity of their own lives. There are too many who are excluded from the banquet of life often with violence. Unfortunately globalization has not broadened the table so that all can take part to it. This passage from the Bible reveals us the great dream of God: salvation is for all the peoples. There is no salvation for just a few, perhaps for some group that thinks it is perfect. The prophet suggests that Lord is preparing a banquet for all the peoples. And he prepares it with his own hands, so that all can experience the fullness of communion with him and therefore among them. Aware of the prophetic tradition, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a banquet (Lk 14:15-24) to which God invites "the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame." With a startling image - for indeed the kingdom of God is another world - the rich are absent at the banquet of heaven, not because they are excluded but because they refuse it. However this banquet does not just come at the end of time. It is already starting. Each time bonds of friendship are formed, new familiarity is created, this banquet of heaven starts on earth. The Lord is already at work. In this banquet even death is eliminated. This why we can already sing with the apostle, "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 15:55-57).