Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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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

Luke 12,35-38

'See that you have your belts done up and your lamps lit. Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch that he comes, or in the third, but blessed are those servants if he finds them ready.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In contrast to the unwise rich man who was surprised by death, Jesus talks of the disciple who waits for the Lord. Vigilance becomes one of the fundamental dimensions of Christian life. Those who stay focused on themselves and fall asleep on their own small yard are asked to turn their gaze upwards and wait for the Lord's return. Jesus says, "Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit." To be dressed for action, in the language of the time, meant to raise the tunic or the coat with a belt as they were too long for a sudden action that might request agility and quickness. Untie the belt instead meant to lay down and rest. The Israelites were dressed for action (girded loins) as they got ready the night before fleeing from Egypt (ex 12:11). Keeping the lamps lit meant the same thing: being ready for action even at night. Jesus asks the disciples to be ready the way it was just described. We know that waiting for meeting the Lord is the beatitude of the disciples, their topmost aspiration. The evangelist frames Jesus' affirmations in the eschatological horizon. But in Christian life, it is also true that the Lod comes every day at the door of our heart and knocks, as it is written in the book of Revelation (3:20). Blessed are those who open the door because they will receive the incredible reward of the encounter with Jesus himself. He will become their servant, will gird himself and invite them to sit at table, and will come and serve them. The roles have reversed. This seems completely unforeseeable, but this is precisely the paradoxical nature of the grace we receive. Jesus presents himself as the one who serves. Throughout the Last Supper, Jesus behaved literally like a servant: taking a basin, he tied a towel around his waist, bent and washed the feet of the disciples one by one including Judah. We understand better the sense of the beatitude that Jesus proclaims in this Gospel passage: to meet the Lord and enjoy his undeserved love of being served by him.