Memory of the Poor

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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

Romans 5, 12-21

Well then; it was through one man that sin came into the world, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.

Sin already existed in the world before there was any law, even though sin is not reckoned when there is no law.

Nonetheless death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was not the breaking of a commandment, as Adam's was. He prefigured the One who was to come . . .

There is no comparison between the free gift and the offence. If death came to many through the offence of one man, how much greater an effect the grace of God has had, coming to so many and so plentifully as a free gift through the one man Jesus Christ!

Again, there is no comparison between the gift and the offence of one man. One single offence brought condemnation, but now, after many offences, have come the free gift and so acquittal!

It was by one man's offence that death came to reign over all, but how much greater the reign in life of those who receive the fullness of grace and the gift of saving justice, through the one man, Jesus Christ.

One man's offence brought condemnation on all humanity; and one man's good act has brought justification and life to all humanity.

Just as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience are many to be made upright.

When law came on the scene, it was to multiply the offences. But however much sin increased, grace was always greater;

so that as sin's reign brought death, so grace was to rule through saving justice that leads to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We return to our reading of the Letter to the Romans. The apostle Paul wants to show the Christians of Rome the strength and the universality of Jesus’ love. He speaks of Adam, the first man according to the Genesis story, to remind his readers that all men and women are Adam: that is, we are sinners subject to the ultimate consequence of sin, death: “all have sinned.” Sin is not just a single bad deed – a misguided, self-contained act. The weakness and fragility that we experience is also the fruit of sin. They are the fruit of the pride and the sense of self-sufficiency that, rooted in our hearts, distance us from God and leave us under the power of the forces of evil. Indeed, this is the “original sin”, the sin of Adam that all of humanity carries with itself. Every man and every woman – along with the whole of creation – are marked by a shared and personal condition of weakness. And we are all – human beings and creation – waiting for a new birth. Thus Paul affirms that just as all men have experienced perdition through the work of one man, Adam, so now all can obtain salvation through one man, Jesus Christ. He is the one who, because of his love, took upon himself all the burden of sadness, violence, despair, enmity, and death that weighs on human life. With his death Jesus destroyed all death, and with his resurrection he opened the way of justice and peace. The disciples are called to give thanks for this mystery of grace and liberation, which God has kept hidden from the wise and powerful but revealed to the little ones. Grace has made us all a part of this mystery, to the point that we can be authoritative witnesses to it in the world. Christians experience overabundance – an unsettling gift that accompanies their lives. They have been liberated from the power of sin and evil, and now their lives fit into a new plan, marked by hope. Jesus redeems them from the old human being, from a life that lacks meaning. Before the Christian, a road opens - the Gospel of Jesus