Memory of Jesus crucified

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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 15, 14-21

My brothers, I am quite sure that you, in particular, are full of goodness, fully instructed and capable of correcting each other.

But I have special confidence in writing on some points to you, to refresh your memories, because of the grace that was given to me by God.

I was given grace to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the gentiles, dedicated to offer them the gospel of God, so that gentiles might become an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

So I can be proud, in Christ Jesus, of what I have done for God.

Of course I can dare to speak only of the things which Christ has done through me to win the allegiance of the gentiles, using what I have said and done,

by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God. In this way, from Jerusalem and all round, even as far as Illyricum, I have fully carried out the preaching of the gospel of Christ;

and what is more, it has been my rule to preach the gospel only where the name of Christ has not already been heard, for I do not build on another's foundations;

in accordance with scripture: Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul is very aware of the fact that he did not found the Christian community in Rome. Nonetheless, he still feels the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel there, in the capital of the Roman Empire. The preaching of the Gospel is his true pride. Still he adds, "Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named [but elsewhere]." With the words that he addresses to the Christians of Rome, he seems to want to remind the entire Church and all Christian communities of their responsibility to communicate the Gospel again, whether in lands that have been Christian for ages or in places where the Gospel has recently arrived. Wherever we are in the world, we need to go back and start with Jesus again--even now at the beginning of the third millennium. We could say that the Church’s mission is still at her beginning. It is beginning for us Christians whose lands were evangelized in ancient times, because we still have to understand the deeper meaning of many pages of the Gospel, such as the pages about peace and love for our enemies. When we concentrate on issues and problems of organization, we sometimes risk losing focus on the primacy of communicating the Gospel, which was Paul’s true "honour" and which should become the "honour" of the Church of today. In effect, there are still many places in the world—and I think about the expanses of Asia—where the Gospel still has to be announced. This is one of the great challenges that the Christians of today need to take from this letter of Paul to the Romans. Paul, who boasted about never baptizing anyone, understood his preaching of the Gospel among pagans as a "priestly service": by communicating the Gospel he offered to God those who would welcome him.