Memory of the Church

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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 3, 12-17

As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.

Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond.

And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.

Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God;

and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Disciples, having become new beings, already live in the world initiated by the Risen Christ. However none of us should believe ourselves safe from the traps of sin, that is “lurking at the door” of our hearts, as is written in the book of Genesis. Being new creatures requires disciples to behave accordingly. Thus, Paul reminds the Colossians the necessity to mortify ourselves, to “put to death whatever in you is earthly”--that is the instincts that lead us to satisfy just ourselves. Paul lists some of them, from sexual disorders to the greed that is defined as idolatry. Indeed lust for possession absorbs human energies to the extent of subduing the heart. To be disciples demands a struggle against our sins and a commitment to master our instincts. This is a real battle, aimed at reducing our pride to make love grow. This is the way to achieve a real communion of love among the members of the community. Whilst, if we live focusing on ourselves, the wrath of God and his judgment will come upon us. God does not tolerate the threat of evil to divert people from their vocations. This is why the apostle reminds the Colossians of their past pagan behaviour (3:7) so that they understand the grace they have received when they were admitted into the community of the disciples. He reminds them the necessity of putting away every bad behaviour like removing clothes. Paul lists some vices: “Anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language” which all arise from the intemperance of mouths, and which poison relationships in the Christian community. He recalls the Baptism once again: believers are “clothed with Christ” (Gal 3:27; Rom 13:14) and belong to him, so that they can say: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). This belonging requires a renewal of the heart, to make the disciple more similar to Christ, who is the perfect image of God (Col 1:15). In the new self there is no division, either of culture, race, or social condition, as Paul writes to the Galatians: “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:27-28). The union with Christ makes differences relative: what unites is much stronger than what divides.