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 5, 12-15.17-19.20-21

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!

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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage from the Letter to the Romans puts the Christian story into the wider context of human history. The Apostle wants to show the strength and universality of Jesus’ love. His story concerns the whole of humanity. He therefore speaks of Adam as a reminder that all men and women are sinners and therefore subject to the ultimate consequence of sin, which is death. In fact, sin is not just a wicked act, a self-contained action limited in time. Sin is characterized by being weak and limited because of the pride and self-sufficiency rooted in our heart; these keep us far from God and leave us prey to the prince of evil. This is the mystery of the "original sin," the sin that Adam left as an inheritance for all humanity. Both humanity and creation are marked by a state of sin. And we are all, humanity and creation, waiting for a new birth. Paul affirms that, just as all men and women experienced condemnation through the work of one man, Adam, now all can obtain salvation by means of one man, Jesus Christ. He is the one who, out of love, took on himself all of the sadness, violence, desperation, strife, and death that weigh down the life of humanity. With his death Jesus destroyed every death, and with his resurrection he opened the way of justice and peace. The disciples are called to give thanks for this mystery, which God has hidden from the wise and powerful but revealed to the little ones. We are all drawn into this mystery by grace, so that we might be authoritative witnesses of it in the world.