Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Remembrance of the terrorist attacks in the United States in 2001. Memorial of the victims of terrorism and violence and prayer for peace.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Colossians 3,1-11

Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God's right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed -- and he is your life-you, too, will be revealed with him in glory. That is why you must kill everything in you that is earthly: sexual vice, impurity, uncontrolled passion, evil desires and especially greed, which is the same thing as worshipping a false god; it is precisely these things which draw God's retribution upon those who resist. And these things made up your way of life when you were living among such people, but now you also must give up all these things: human anger, hot temper, malice, abusive language and dirty talk; and do not lie to each other. You have stripped off your old behaviour with your old self, and you have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its Creator; and in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised and uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Disciples, having become new beings, already live in the world initiated by the Risen Christ. However none of us should believe ourselves safe from the traps of sin, that is "lurking at the door" of our hearts, as is written in the book of Genesis. Being new creatures requires disciples to behave accordingly. Thus, Paul reminds the Colossians the necessity to mortify ourselves, to "put to death whatever in you is earthly" --that is the instincts that lead us to satisfy just ourselves. Paul lists some of them, from sexual disorders to the greed that is defined as idolatry. Indeed lust for possession absorbs human energies to the extent of subduing the heart. To be disciples demands a struggle against our sins and a commitment to master our instincts. This is a real battle, aimed at reducing our pride to make love grow. This is the way to achieve a real communion of love among the members of the community. Whilst, if we live focusing on ourselves, the wrath of God and his judgment will come upon us. God does not tolerate the threat of evil to divert people from their vocations. This is why the apostle reminds the Colossians of their past pagan behaviour (3:7) so that they understand the grace they have received when they were admitted into the community of the disciples. This belonging requires a renewal of the heart, to make the disciple more similar to Christ, who is the perfect image of God (Col 1:15). In the new self, there is no division, either of culture, race, or social condition, as Paul writes to the Galatians: "As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:27-28). The union with Christ makes differences relative: what unites is much stronger than what divides.