The beginning of the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 1:1-7
Through Christ we received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations.
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and designated Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 98:1.2-3ab.3cd-4 (R.2a)
R/. The Lord has made known his salvation.
O sing a new song to the Lord,
for he has worked wonders.
His right hand and his holy arm
have brought salvation. R.
The Lord has made known his salvation,
has shown his deliverance to the nations.
He has remembered his merciful love
and his truth for the house of Israel. R.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.
Shout to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song,
and sing out your praise. R.
ALLELUIA Psalm 95:7
Alleluia. Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 11:29-32)
“No sign will be given to this generation. Except the sign of Jonah.”
At that time: When the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the South will arise at the judgement with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Only a heart soaked in unbelief will depend on extraordinary manifestation in order to believe in God. Belief comes before faith; it is the ability to accept an article of faith that has been presented. Faith then becomes a free, conscious acceptance of God’s plans and ways before they come to fulfillment. When we believe, we will surely experience God very close to us even in the most difficult events. To ask for a sign is to doubt God. Hence the reprimand of Jesus: “An evil generation asks for a sign.” The sign God sends even in pain makes us learn to endure, like Jesus during his passion.