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The Everyday Prayer


 
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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of the Apostles Philip and James


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Galatians 3, 6-14

Abraham, you remember, put his faith in God, and this was reckoned to him as uprightness.

Be sure, then, that it is people of faith who are the children of Abraham.

And it was because scripture foresaw that God would give saving justice to the gentiles through faith, that it announced the future gospel to Abraham in the words: All nations will be blessed in you.

So it is people of faith who receive the same blessing as Abraham, the man of faith.

On the other hand, all those who depend on the works of the Law are under a curse, since scripture says: Accursed be he who does not make what is written in the book of the Law effective, by putting it into practice.

Now it is obvious that nobody is reckoned as upright in God's sight by the Law, since the upright will live through faith;

and the Law is based not on faith but on the principle, whoever complies with it will find life in it.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by being cursed for our sake since scripture says: Anyone hanged is accursed,

so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the gentiles in Christ Jesus, and so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul makes it clear to the Galatians that Abraham had descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky (cf. Gen 15:5) only because of his faith and not because of any special qualities or strength. Indeed, it was impossible for him to have even one son with Sarah. But Abraham believed in God’s promise and was given a son as a gift. In fact, Judaism had already noticed Abraham’s faith, but it stressed in particular the specific acts by which he fulfilled the law. In this sense, Judaism spoke of being "descended from Abraham" in a way that meant more than simple physical descent: a true son or daughter of Abraham was someone who fulfilled the precepts of the law. Paul instead maintains that Abraham’s faith consists in his total abandonment to God. This is the "faith" that God demands of men and women. And so the sons and daughters of Abraham are "those who believe," that is, those who live on faith. Believers are the only ones who can take the title of son or daughter. For Paul, Abraham is the model of what would happen in the fullness of time with Jesus. In Abraham’s "faith" God blessed and justified all people, all those who "by faith" would entrust themselves to God through Jesus Christ: "Those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed." Those who entrusted themselves instead to the observance of the law were still under a curse; whoever broke even one precept was subject to a curse. In fact, Paul maintains, the Scriptures already showed the true path to justice when they affirm that the just obtain life "by faith." Christ’s love has freed "us from the curse of the law." With his death on the cross, he became "a curse for us." The one who was without sin took on the sins of the world. The one who was holy became cursed to free us from the curse of the law. In Jesus, the "blessing of Abraham" comes to everyone, to every human being, whatever their race, language, or culture. Thus, Paul writes to the Galatians that we were drawn into salvation when, through faith, "we received the promise of the Spirit." And to the Romans Paul can say, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom. 8:2).


05/03/2012
Memory of the Apostles


Calendar of the week
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
12
Monday, 12 December
Memory of the Poor
DEC
13
Tuesday, 13 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
14
Wednesday, 14 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
15
Thursday, 15 December
Memory of the Church
DEC
16
Friday, 16 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
17
Saturday, 17 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
18
Sunday, 18 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

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