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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Galatians 3,7-14

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

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul clarifies to the Galatians that Abraham had numerous descendants, as many as the stars of heaven (see Gen 15:5), only because of his faith, not because of any quality or force of his own. Indeed, it was impossible for him to have even one son from Sarah. Abraham, however, believed God’s promise and a son was given to him. In truth, even Judaism had noticed Abraham’s faith, but it stressed mostly the individual acts with which he had fulfilled the Law. In this sense, Judaism spoke of being "children of Abraham", which meant something more than having mere physical descent: a true child of Abraham was the one who fulfilled the requirements of the law. Paul, instead, believes that the faith of Abraham consists in total surrender to God. This is the "faith" that God demands from men and women. Therefore children of Abraham are "those who have faith", that is, those who live by faith. They, and anyone else, can claim this title. For the Apostle, Abraham is the figure of what everyone would be in the fullness of time with Jesus. In Abraham’s "faith" God blessed and justified all the people, all those who "by faith" would entrust themselves to God in Christ Jesus "Those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed." But those who relied on the observance of the Law were still under a curse: those who transgressed even one word were exposed to a curse. In truth, Paul says, Scriptures already show the true path to justice when they say that the righteous get life "by faith." The love of Christ has redeemed us while "we were under the curse", i.e. under the law. With his death on the cross, he became "a curse for us." He who was without sin took upon himself the sins of the world. He who was holy became cursed to free us from the curse of the law. In Jesus, the "blessing of Abraham" comes to all, to every human being, of any race, language and culture. As Paul writes to the Galatians, we have been involved in salvation through faith; we have received "the promise of the Spirit." And to the Romans he can say: "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).

Memory of Jesus crucified