Memory of the Church

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Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great (540-604), Pope and Doctor of the Church.

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

Colossians 1, 9-14

That is why, ever since the day he told us, we have never failed to remember you in our prayers and ask that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will

and so be able to lead a life worthy of the Lord, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects, bearing fruit in every kind of good work and growing in knowledge of God,

fortified, in accordance with his glorious strength, with all power always to persevere and endure,

giving thanks with joy to the Father who has made you able to share the lot of God's holy people and with them to inherit the light.

Because that is what he has done. It is he who has rescued us from the ruling force of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son that he loves,

and in him we enjoy our freedom, the forgiveness of sin.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul did not found the church of Colossae and does not know it personally, but the love he has for them pushes him to pray without ceasing, "We have not ceased praying."Prayer for the brethren reveals the depth of the bond that unites the disciples of Jesus, even if they are physically distant. Paul even specifies the intention of his prayer: "That you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." The apostle knows well that it is impossible to live in faith without listening to the Word of God every day. That is the only way to gain the "spiritual wisdom and understanding" that allow us to probe and understand the will of God. The knowledge proposed by the Gospel is not a set of theories, but the act of welcoming into our hearts God's plan of love for us and for the world. This is the spiritual knowledge to be gained. And it is obtained by welcoming the Spirit who, through Holy Scripture, reveals to us God's will for the world. It is from this spiritual knowledge that believers gain the strength to "lead lives worthy of the Lord." The life of a believer is not the result of the effort of our will: it is the hard-won consequence of loving the Lord, of being "pleasing to him." Yes, Christian life consists of being "fully pleasing" to the Lord, "as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God." The fruits of good works spring from this knowledge of God, which is a communion of love. Paul does not specify what he means by "good works." But our entire lives give witness to the truth of the Gospel (1:6), that is, to the strength of God at work in the community and in each individual believer. The apostle asks believers to entrust themselves to God along the way, especially in times of trial. In fact, there is no lack of difficulties, failures, temptations, and occasions for discouragement during our growth toward "the hope laid heaven." It is at these times - the apostle urges - that believers must be magnanimous and merciful, because they know that the difficulties will not prevail. Indeed, they are no longer under the yoke of evil; they have passed from the shadows of error and sin to the light, that is, from the "world" to the community. Without any merit of our own, we all, who were far, are now part of the multitude of saints who, from Abel to the end of history, make up the redeemed human race. We are a great people, no longer subjected to the tyrannical power of Evil, and freed from the fear of falling prey to invisible cosmic powers. We have already been redeemed from all slavery: we are citizens of the Kingdom of the Son, where the only law is love, and the giving of self to others. ?