Sunday Vigil

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Romans 8, 1-11

Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus,

because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.

What the Law could not do because of the weakness of human nature, God did, sending his own Son in the same human nature as any sinner to be a sacrifice for sin, and condemning sin in that human nature.

This was so that the Law's requirements might be fully satisfied in us as we direct our lives not by our natural inclinations but by the Spirit.

Those who are living by their natural inclinations have their minds on the things human nature desires; those who live in the Spirit have their minds on spiritual things.

And human nature has nothing to look forward to but death, while the Spirit looks forward to life and peace,

because the outlook of disordered human nature is opposed to God, since it does not submit to God's Law, and indeed it cannot,

and those who live by their natural inclinations can never be pleasing to God.

You, however, live not by your natural inclinations, but by the Spirit, since the Spirit of God has made a home in you. Indeed, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

But when Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin but the spirit is alive because you have been justified;

and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead has made his home in you, then he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In marked contrast to the passage we read yesterday, (7:18-25), here the apostle describes the situation of those who are "in Christ Jesus" (v.1). Guided by the Spirit, they are empowered to walk according to God’s plan. In fact, those who welcome Jesus into their lives are radically freed from sin and its slavery. That is why the apostle can say, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Believers find themselves in a new condition; they are new people guided by a new strength, the strength of the love poured out in their hearts by God himself. Paul repeats, "The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." The affirmation of the centrality of the Spirit of God insistently dominates this passage of the Letter. In the eighth chapter of the Letter, the Holy Spirit is named more often than in the entire New Testament. The apostle wants to highlight, as clearly as possible, the new creation in which believers are immersed and placed. Those who receive the Spirit of Christ can no longer follow the desires of the flesh, which "naturally" lead towards sin and death. It is as if there is a new instinct that is placed in believers, a new spiritual passion, a new feeling, and so new visions to live and make real. The Spirit makes Christ’s victory over death and sin present in believers. The Spirit takes possession of a believer’s life and pushes him or her to desire new things as Paul notes: "To set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." And he closes, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you" (v. 11). Believers are already living the victory of the resurrection over sin and death. The Spirit allows us to take part in the very life of God.