Memory of the Church

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Remembrance of Mary Salome, the mother of James and John, who followed the Lord to the cross and placed him in the tomb. Memorial of Saint John Paul II.

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

Romans 6, 19-23

I am putting it in human terms because you are still weak human beings: as once you surrendered yourselves as servants to immorality and to a lawlessness which results in more lawlessness, now you have to surrender yourselves to uprightness which is to result in sanctification.

When you were the servants of sin, you felt no obligation to uprightness,

and what did you gain from living like that? Experiences of which you are now ashamed, for that sort of behaviour ends in death.

But, now you are set free from sin and bound to the service of God, your gain will be sanctification and the end will be eternal life.

For the wage paid by sin is death; the gift freely given by God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle very effectively compares two types of freedom: the one that comes from an existence in which we put ourselves at the centre and the one that comes from an existence in which we follow the Lord. In both cases, we are, in a certain sense, free from the law. But freedom with God but without our brothers and sisters only bears bitter, disordered fruits, because it makes us slaves of our traditions and our pride, dominated by the wicked strength of sin and evil. The apostle has very clearly repeated that salvation does not come from ourselves or our works; it is not the fruit of human effort. Salvation comes from God, who frees us from the slavery of the instincts of sin and gives us the liberty to serve the Gospel and so dedicate our entire lives to loving God, our brothers and sisters, and the poor. He writes: "Now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life" (v. 22). The freedom of Christians begins when we welcome the love that God pours out into our hearts to put us at the service of his great plan of love for the world, that is, to establish his kingdom of love, peace, and justice here and now. Our salvation is to take part in God’s plan; that is what it means to enter into eternal life from now. To spend one’s life for the Kingdom of God is the meaning of life. The love that God gives us plunges us into a dynamic of freely given love that changes the world and satisfies the heart. This helps us understand the existential meaning of the saying of Jesus that the apostle Paul repeated to the elders of Ephesus: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." Without exaggeration, the apostle can say that we are like "slaves" of God and his righteousness. It is a healthy "slavery" that puts forts fruits of peace, fullness, and eternal life for us and for the world. This is why Paul boldly says, "You, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness."