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 16, 3-9.16.22-27

My greetings to Prisca and Aquila, my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus,

who risked their own necks to save my life; to them, thanks not only from me, but from all the churches among the gentiles;

and my greetings to the church at their house. Greetings to my dear friend Epaenetus, the first of Asia's offerings to Christ.

Greetings to Mary, who worked so hard for you.

Greetings to those outstanding apostles, Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and fellow-prisoners, who were in Christ before me.

Greetings to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.

Greetings to Urban, my fellow-worker in Christ, and to my dear friend Stachys.

Greet each other with the holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send their greetings.

I, Tertius, who am writing this letter, greet you in the Lord.

Greetings to you from Gaius, my host here, and host of the whole church. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends greetings to you, and our brother Quartus.

And now to him who can make you strong in accordance with the gospel that I preach and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, in accordance with that mystery which for endless ages was kept secret

but now (as the prophets wrote) is revealed, as the eternal God commanded, to be made known to all the nations, so that they obey in faith:

to him, the only wise God, give glory through Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This chapter, which appears as a series of different passages listed together, truly displays the concrete communion that Paul highlighted in the last part of the letter. The long list of names not only represents the great number of friends the apostle had; in fact though Paul had not been in Rome yet he knows many of the members of that community. We know that he had met Aquilas and Priscilla in Corinth, following the edict of Claudius who decreed the expulsion of the Jews, or at least part of them, from Rome, and that clearly was not in act any longer at the time of the letter. We do not know in which circumstances the apostle met the other people but their mention serves to make him be further loved by a community he did not establish but to which he shows to be connected by special bonds of communion. Here the importance of fraternity in the Church and the variety of ways in which friendships are woven emerges. The story of Christian fraternity is never the story of anonymous masses. In the Church, communion is always rooted in personal encounters between disciples, relationships between individual people. Everyone has a name and a story, and everyone is loved and cared for personally. This is the challenge that the Christian communities of our time need to accept in order to defeat the anonymity to which our society seems to condemn everyone. This explains the apostle’s recommendation about those who cause scandals: they should be warned, and, just as the weak should not be neglected, they should be helped. The bond with the Gospel makes the community strong and capable of "crushing" the prince of evil and understanding the "mystery" of love that has been revealed to it.