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 12, 5-16a

in the same way, all of us, though there are so many of us, make up one body in Christ, and as different parts we are all joined to one another.

Then since the gifts that we have differ according to the grace that was given to each of us: if it is a gift of prophecy, we should prophesy as much as our faith tells us;

if it is a gift of practical service, let us devote ourselves to serving; if it is teaching, to teaching;

if it is encouraging, to encouraging. When you give, you should give generously from the heart; if you are put in charge, you must be conscientious; if you do works of mercy, let it be because you enjoy doing them.

Let love be without any pretence. Avoid what is evil; stick to what is good.

In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself.

In the service of the Lord, work not halfheartedly but with conscientiousness and an eager spirit.

Be joyful in hope, persevere in hardship; keep praying regularly;

share with any of God's holy people who are in need; look for opportunities to be hospitable.

Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them.

Rejoice with others when they rejoice, and be sad with those in sorrow.

Give the same consideration to all others alike. Pay no regard to social standing, but meet humble people on their own terms. Do not congratulate yourself on your own wisdom.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With chapter 12 the most encouraging section of the letter begins written as a direct consequence of the preceding argument. The apostle lays out what is required of believers because of the justice that was revealed to them. The passage we heard includes exhortations regarding both relations within the Christian community—in which, among other things the apostle refers to the well known image of the body as in the first letter to the Corinthians (12: 12-27)—and the relations with the outside world that was already demonstrating its first forms of persecution. "For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function," writes the apostle Paul. "So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another" (v. 5). In a body the plurality of the members does not oppose the unity and functionality of the body. Instead, it serves it. And so it is in the Church and in every Christian community as the Lord enriches it with many gifts and charisms, so that everyone can contribute to the growth of love and the witnessing of the Gospel. Everyone is united with everyone else in a chain of love, but the Lord gives each of us a task for common service. We do not stay in the Church for our own fulfilment, but rather, we are called to work for the growth of communion, for the harmonious growth of one body, which is Christ’s. Certainly, each of us keeps our own identity. The Spirit does not abolish it, but harmonizes it in a new communion that makes one body of many. The Christian community is born neither of the personalities of individuals nor from the homogeneity of its components, but of the love of God that makes of many one and of the different a community.