Memory of the Poor

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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

1 Corinthians 15,12-20

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you be saying that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ cannot have been raised either, and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without substance, and so is your faith. What is more, we have proved to be false witnesses to God, for testifying against God that he raised Christ to life when he did not raise him -- if it is true that the dead are not raised. For, if the dead are not raised, neither is Christ; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless and you have not, after all, been released from your sins. In addition, those who have fallen asleep in Christ are utterly lost. If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are of all people the most pitiable. In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the dead, as the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle continues his discourse on Jesus' resurrection. It was necessary to understand the depth of the Easter mystery. Also since some mistaken ideas about the resurrection had spread. We do not know if this was the Greek influence, but some at the time believed that there would not be a resurrection from death. Paul responds decisively and affirms that such ideas contrast radically with faith in Jesus' resurrection. Paul's words are to the point: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain." The apostle has understood the centrality of Jesus' resurrection in the mystery of the salvation of creation. God's new world begins with the risen Jesus, who is the first fruit as Paul emphasizes. Jesus' Easter divides history into two parts: before the resurrection which is under the slavery of evil and death and then that which begins on the morning of Easter with Jesus' resurrection. The time of the sons and daughters of the Resurrection has begun. Jesus is the "first born." The mystery of the resurrection is the Christian news which the apostle put at the heart of his preaching. None of the authors of the New Testament speak about it so much. Take for example Paul's preaching in Athens: to those wise men who believed in the immortality of the soul, he preaches the resurrection of the flesh, the resurrection of the body which was believed to be a prison. The apostle is aware that preaching the resurrection from the dead is the "good news." While it frees us from the fear of death, it commits us to being children of the resurrection, starting now.