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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Romans 3, 21-30a

God's saving justice was witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, but now it has been revealed altogether apart from law:

God's saving justice given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

No distinction is made: all have sinned and lack God's glory,

and all are justified by the free gift of his grace through being set free in Christ Jesus.

God appointed him as a sacrifice for reconciliation, through faith, by the shedding of his blood, and so showed his justness; first for the past, when sins went unpunished because he held his hand;

and now again for the present age, to show how he is just and justifies everyone who has faith in Jesus.

So what becomes of our boasts? There is no room for them. On what principle- that only actions count? No; that faith is what counts,

since, as we see it, a person is justified by faith and not by doing what the Law tells him to do.

Do you think God is the God only of the Jews, and not of gentiles too? Most certainly of gentiles too,

since there is only one God; he will justify the circumcised by their faith, and he will justify the uncircumcised through their faith.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

So far, Paul has affirmed that God revealed his righteousness, but people did not accept it. The pagans did not recognize it in the signs of creation or in their own consciences. And even though the people of Israel had received the law, they used it not to trust in God with their whole heart, but as a tool of self-justification. Paul affirms that Israel is not an exception among the nations: all men and women are equal before God. Consequently, being chosen is not a privilege to boast about. Rather, being chosen demands that we respond with love. If the people of Israel do not respond, they betray the covenant. But God does not dissolve the covenant with Israel, despite their betrayal. His election remains, not because of the people’s faithfulness, of course, but because of God’s. God’s unwavering love is one of the lynchpins of the entire experience of Israel, right up to its culmination with Jesus, who gave his entire life for love. Paul urges the Christians of Rome not to despise the law, but above all to love, with their whole heart, the new covenant established by God with all men and women through faith in Jesus. This covenant is new because it is based on faith, not the law: "A person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law." Faith, a free gift given to the people of the first covenant, is proposed, through Jesus, to all men and women, whatever their language or nation. This is why Paul can say that the law is not abolished. Nonetheless, a new path to salvation based on faith is revealed.

Memory of the Church