Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Romans 1, 16-25

For I see no reason to be ashamed of the gospel; it is God's power for the salvation of everyone who has faith -- Jews first, but Greeks as well-

for in it is revealed the saving justice of God: a justice based on faith and addressed to faith. As it says in scripture: Anyone who is upright through faith will live.

The retribution of God from heaven is being revealed against the ungodliness and injustice of human beings who in their injustice hold back the truth.

For what can be known about God is perfectly plain to them, since God has made it plain to them:

ever since the creation of the world, the invisible existence of God and his everlasting power have been clearly seen by the mind's understanding of created things. And so these people have no excuse:

they knew God and yet they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but their arguments became futile and their uncomprehending minds were darkened.

While they claimed to be wise, in fact they were growing so stupid

that they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an imitation, for the image of a mortal human being, or of birds, or animals, or crawling things.

That is why God abandoned them in their inmost cravings to filthy practices of dishonouring their own bodies-

because they exchanged God's truth for a lie and have worshipped and served the creature instead of the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul has just spoken of his desire to preach the Gospel in Rome. It is not a presumption or a fixation. The apostle knows that the Gospel is a treasure that was given to him and that he needs to communicate it to others, especially pagans. And, of course, he is not ashamed, because the Gospel contains the "power of God," that is, a force capable of granting "salvation to everyone who has faith."But for the apostle, faith is not simply the acceptance of a doctrine; rather it is a total and complete commitment to God. And everyone, Jews first and then Greeks, is called to accept the Lord. Paul’s anxiety to communicate this Gospel "consumes" him. It should "consume" the disciples of every age, especially at the beginning of our new millennium, which is waiting for the renewed preaching of the Gospel. Paul quotes a passage from the prophet Habakkuk: "Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith" (Hab 2:4). In this text, those whose spirit is not right are the wicked, those who have strayed from God. But the righteous are those who continue to be faithful to God and entrust themselves to him. Consequently, true life comes only from faith, from trusting in God completely. The men and women of our time try to give meaning to their lives in many ways; often they follow roads that turn out to be weak, uncertain, and deceiving. The road to a full life is illuminated by faith and fear of God. It is following Jesus: those who follow the Gospel defeat sin and death and take part in his very resurrection. The Gospel is a power that changes; it is an energy that transforms. And Paul is a direct witness of this: his own life was transformed and put at the service of the Lord.