Word of the day

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Saturday of the Second Week of Advent

Reading of the day

A reading from the Book of Sirach
Sir 48:1-4, 9-11

In those days,
like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah
whose words were as a flaming furnace.
Their staff of bread he shattered,
in his zeal he reduced them to straits;
By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens
and three times brought down fire.
How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses.
You were destined, it is written, in time to come
to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD,
To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons,
and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you
and who falls asleep in your friendship.

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to Matthew
Mt 17:9a, 10-13

As they were coming down from the mountain,
the disciples asked Jesus,
“Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things;
but I tell you that Elijah has already come,
and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.
So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”
Then the disciples understood
that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

Words of the Holy Father

These people had not listened to the prophets, and they were not listening to Jesus. Yet theirs, went beyond simple stubbornness. No, it was more! It was the idolatry of their own thought: ‘I see it this way, this is how it must be and there is no other way. These people had one single way of thinking and they wanted to impose this way of thinking on the people of God. (…) Today one has to think in a certain way, and if you don’t think in this way you aren’t modern, you aren’t open”. Or worse, he said, many times “when some governments ask for financial help, we hear them respond: ‘if you want this help you have to think this way and you have to enact this law and that, and that other’”. Therefore “today, too, a dictatorship of uniform thought exists and this dictatorship is the same” as the one established by the people described in today’s Gospel. The way of acting is the same. There are those today who take up rocks to stone the freedom of nations, the freedom of the people, freedom of conscience, the people’s relationship with God. And today Jesus is crucified once again. (Santa Marta, 10 April 2014)