Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memory of Saint Brother Charles of Jesus (Charles de Foucauld), the "universal brother," killed in 1916 in the Algerian desert where he lived in prayer and in fraternity with the Tuareg people.


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 25,6-10

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 on mountain Zion for all the peoples: the Lord is father of all peoples and wants everyone to be saved. The time of Advent gives us a taste of the joy of this banquet. Unfortunately, it is common today - even among Christians - for people to reduce their salvation in personal well-being or the tranquillity of their own group. There are still too many today who are excluded not only from banquet of "rich food" but also from the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich as Jesus says in the parable of the poor Lazarus. Unfortunately globalization has not meant the broadening of the table so that everyone may partake in it. This prophecy reveals the great of God who sends His own Son to make it true. Not only does anyone save him or herself alone, but there is no salvation only for some. Salvation is for all. The prophet clarifies that it is the Lord himself who is preparing a banquet for all the peoples with his own hands, so that no one is excluded and all can experience the fullness of communion with him and among them. Aware of the prophetic tradition, Jesus reproposes the vision of the kingdom of heaven to a banquet (Lk 14:15-24) to which God invites "the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame." In the banquet of heaven the rich are absent, not because they are excluded but because they reject it. And the banquet of the kingdom does not just come at the end of time. The Lord is already at work. In this banquet the "veil" of pain that covers the least of the earth, those who are thrown away, is already removed. While we see fraternity growing among the peoples we see injustice, wars, violence and with them death draw back. We will be able to say already 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).