Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of the deportation of the Jews of Rome during the Second World War.

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 4, 1-8

Then what do we say about Abraham, the ancestor from whom we are descended physically?

If Abraham had been justified because of what he had done, then he would have had something to boast about. But not before God:

does not scripture say: Abraham put his faith in God and this was reckoned to him as uprightness?

Now, when someone works, the wages for this are not considered as a favour but as due;

however, when someone, without working, puts faith in the one who justifies the godless, it is this faith that is reckoned as uprightness.

David, too, says the same: he calls someone blessed if God attributes uprightness to that person, apart from any action undertaken:

How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is blotted out.

How blessed are those to whom the Lord imputes no guilt.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In chapter four of the Letter to the Romans, Paul opens a line of reasoning based on the Bible and totally centred on the figure of Abraham. The apostle’s intention is to show that the "Gospel of justification" is not a distortion of Scripture, but, on the contrary, a confirmation of it, as he wrote in the previous chapter: "The righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets" (3:21). Abraham is the greatest model for believers, because by opening himself to faith, he received the gift of justice. In the book of Genesis we read: "And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness" (Gen 15:6). Abraham’s life gives testimony to the strength that comes from faith. He was justified by faith, not by his works. This is why he is called righteous: God made him righteous through faith and saved him. Abraham therefore becomes the example of the believer justified by faith, precisely because he believed in the Word of God. Thus the apostle can say that Abraham is "is the father of all of us," of all believers. Because of faith, the holy patriarch knew a different destiny: by trusting entirely in the One who had called him, he was freed from the slavery of himself, his works, and his traditions. It was through faith, not through the clarity of his vision or the certainty of his own convictions, that Abraham left his land and set off towards a destiny that he did not know. Through his absolute and complete faith in God, he brought his son, his only son, Isaac, to the mountain to be sacrificed, but God gave him back. On this road opened by Abraham, our father in faith, Paul outlines the path for those who welcome Jesus as the Lord of their lives.