Reading I

 

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians (Gal. 3:22-29)

 

Brothers and sisters:

Scripture confined all things under the power of sin,

that through faith in Jesus Christ

the promise might be given to those who believe.

 

Before faith came, we were held in custody under law,

confined for the faith that was to be revealed.

Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ,

that we might be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian.

For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.

For all of you who were baptized into Christ

have clothed yourselves with Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek,

there is neither slave nor free person,

there is not male and female;

for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants,

heirs according to the promise.

 

 

 

Responsorial Psalm (Ps 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7)

 

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Sing to him, sing his praise,

proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

Glory in his holy name;

rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!

 

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

or:

R. Alleluia.

Look to the LORD in his strength;

seek to serve him constantly.

Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,

his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.

 

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

or:

R. Alleluia.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,

sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!

He, the LORD, is our God;

throughout the earth his judgments prevail.

 

R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

or:

R. Alleluia.

 

 

 Alleluia (Lk 11:28)

 

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Blessed are those who hear the word of God

and observe it.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

GOSPEL OF THE DAY

 

From the Gospel according to Luke (Lk 11:27-28)

 

While Jesus was speaking,

a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,

“Blessed is the womb that carried you

and the breasts at which you nursed.”

He replied, “Rather, blessed are those

who hear the word of God and observe it.”

 

 

WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Saint Paul, who loved Jesus and had clearly understood what salvation was, taught us that the “children of the promise” (Gal 4:28) — that is all of us, justified by Jesus Christ — are not bound by the Law, but are called to the demanding life-style of the freedom of the Gospel. The Law however exists. (…)

Hence, the Apostle’s conviction is that the Law certainly possesses a positive function — as a pedagogue moving forward — but it is a function that is limited in time. Its duration cannot be extended too far because it is linked to the maturation of individuals and their choice of freedom. Once one has come to faith, the Law exhausts its propaedeutic value and must give way to another authority. What does this mean? That after the Law we can say, “We believe in Jesus Christ and do what we want”? No! The Commandments exist, but they do not justify us. What justifies is Jesus Christ. The Commandments must be observed, but they do not give us justice; there is the gratuitousness of Jesus Christ, the encounter with Jesus Christ that freely justifies us. The merit of faith is receiving Jesus. The only merit: opening the heart. So what do we do with the Commandments? We must observe them, but as an aid to the encounter with Jesus Christ. (General audience, 18 August 2021)