Reconciliation Lectionary: Romans 6:2b-13

mary-the-penitent.jpgVerses 3-11 are used for the Easter Vigil. As for the funeral Mass pericope, it ends with verse 9. The opening difference is that first line, a question from Saint Paul:

How can we who died to sin yet live in it?

The answer: baptism and grace.

You know this question that follows, as it opens the reading from the Easter Vigil and is asked at a number of funerals:

Or are you unaware
that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him
through baptism into death, so that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.
For if we have grown into union
with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him
in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ,
raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.

The Easter Vigil adds these two verses:

As to his death, he died to sin once and for all;
as to his life, he lives for God.
Consequently, you too must think of yourselves
as being dead to sin
and living for God in Christ Jesus.

And for Penance, these two additional verses:

Therefore, sin must not reign over your mortal bodies
so that you obey their desires.
And do not present the parts of your bodies
to sin as weapons for wickedness,
but present yourselves to God
as raised from the dead to life
and the parts of your bodies to God
as weapons for righteousness

The cores verses, 3 through 11 are always proclaimed at the Easter Vigil. If any candidates are being received into full communion there, perhaps this is a good text if they celebrate form I with a confessor prior to Holy Saturday night.

This passage also seems well-suited to a form II liturgy during the Lenten season. Those verses added for the Rite of Penance strike me as a great spiritual pep talk. With new attention drawn to the men who find themselves chained to pornography, the whole reading seems quite appropriate to me. Other addictions, too. The key is not, of course, our own will power. The essence of reconciliation is presenting ourselves to God. We come to the Lord. Quite often we come powerless. If we are highly principled, we struggle with deep conflicts of worthiness and guilt and shame over our failures.

Is it enough to simply remind God and ourselves that sometimes we can only come, for we have done little else. We restate that we are baptized believers. We cast ourselves upon the great mercy of God. We hope for his grace. What more is there to say, other than we are sorry?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Penance, Scripture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reconciliation Lectionary: Romans 6:2b-13

  1. Lady Bird says:

    After going to the lenten practice of reconciliation day at our parish with six priests to choose from, and tonight completing a three day mission your post was the ribbon that tied the package. The presenter said that Mother Teresa said that God does not punish us when we confess our sins. He gives us a kiss. That is his form of mercy. We sin and yet we still get to live in him. Like him we will be raised from the dead to life! Thanks.

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