Word of the day
Reading of the day
A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians
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.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to Luke
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)
- Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.