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

Colossians 2,6-15

So then, as you received Jesus as Lord and Christ, now live your lives in him, be rooted in him and built up on him, held firm by the faith you have been taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving. Make sure that no one captivates you with the empty lure of a 'philosophy' of the kind that human beings hand on, based on the principles of this world and not on Christ. In him, in bodily form, lives divinity in all its fullness, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every sovereignty and ruling force. In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision performed, not by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your natural self. This is circumcision according to Christ. You have been buried with him by your baptism; by which, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and uncircumcised in body: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us every one of our sins. He has wiped out the record of our debt to the Law, which stood against us; he has destroyed it by nailing it to the cross; and he has stripped the sovereignties and the ruling forces, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle does not stop urging the Colossians to persevere on the path they have begun to follow, a path taught to them by the preaching of the Word of God. Indeed, it is from the preaching of the Gospel that faith flows, that is, the welcoming of the lordship of Christ over one's own life. In effect, listening to the Gospel and welcoming it in our heart means recognizes the lordship of the Word over our lives. The believer is the one who welcomes Christ as his or her Lord. This faith is the foundation on which the community was founded and continues to grow. Seeing the danger that threatens the Colossians, Paul reminds them of the need to "build up the faith", that is, to reinforce their belonging to Christ. They need to abandon every compromise with the "philosophy" that distances them from the Gospel they have received, that is, those visions of the world and of life that effectively negate the sovereignty of the Risen One. Following those deceitful paths means losing the liberty of Christ. There is a radical dimension of following Christ that cannot be eliminated from the life of a disciple: only in Christ "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (2:9). No one else can claim this primacy, because "you have come to fullness in him" (2:10). In order to describe this new belonging to Christ, Paul compares baptism to circumcision: those who are baptised put off the clothing of the "body of the flesh", that is, of the "old self" (cf. 3:9) and receive the "circumcision of Christ." With the death of the Son, the Father cancelled our sin and freely pardoned us. The debt we had with God was overwhelming, but with baptism it was wiped out. We could say that all we had to do was to present to God the record of our debts, the long list of our sins. And the Lord erased this list by "nailing it to the cross." Through Jesus' death on the cross, the Father removed the obstacle which was keeping us from standing in his presence. Christ's death reveals God's love in all of its greatness, including the greatness of eliminating all debt. It is a love that has disarmed the forces of evil: they can no longer strike the believer because he or she now belongs to his or her Lord.