Word of the day
Reading of the day
A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah
The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”
Heed me, o Lord,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to Matthew
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Words of the Holy Father
Resolute and obedient, and nothing else. It was like this until the very end. The Lord enters in patience… He enters in patience. It is not only an example of a journey of suffering and dying on the Cross, but also of a journey of patience. He was unaccompanied in this decision because no one understood the mystery of Jesus, the loneliness of Jesus on his journey towards Jerusalem: alone! It was like this to the end. Let us think, then, of the abandonment by the disciples, of Peter’s betrayal… alone! How often have I tried to do so many things, and have not looked to, who did all this for me? You entered in patience – the patient man, the patient God – who, with such patience, bears by sins, my failings? And talk to Jesus like this. He is determined to always to go ahead. And thank Him. Let us take a little time today, a few minutes – five, ten, fifteen – perhaps before the Crucifix, or with the imagination, to ‘see’ Jesus walking resolutely towards Jerusalem and ask for the grace to have the courage to follow Him closely. (Santa Marta, 3 October 2017)