First Reading | Romans 3:21-30
Paul summarizes here what God has done in the face of human sin. He has dealt with sin in a definitive manner through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Do we accept His offer of salvation and live it through faith? What is Paul’s understanding of faith? The next chapter will reveal this to us.
21 Brothers and sisters: Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; 23 all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. 24They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by His Blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed, 26 through the forbearance of God—to prove his righteousness in the present time, that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith. 28 For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29Does God belong to Jews alone? Does he not belong to Gentiles, too? Yes, also to Gentiles, 30 for God is one and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R: With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice! 2 Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication. (R) 3 If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand? 4 But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered. (R) 5 I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in his word. 6 My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn. (R)
Jesus speaks the truth but antagonizes the Jewish leaders. They are upset at Jesus’ words. His strong words should have motivated them to pause and reflect on their situation and discern the truth. When we are criticized, let us reflect on what is being said and see how the criticisms may help us grow.
I am the way and the truth and the life; says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me.
47 The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. 48 Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. 49 Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ 50 in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! 52 Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” 53 When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, 54 for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.