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. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Rom 1: 7-12)

St. Paul regards his ministry to these Romans with such such joy and gratitude, praying for them “without ceasing” and thanking God for “all of” them, as their faith ”encourages” his. Indeed, our great or small service(s) to others, even “just” praying for them daily, somehow strengthens our own faith, and also our love and gratitude for one another.

So today let me be “encouraging” to others, by remembering them gratefully in my prayers, that I may also be “encouraged” in God’s grace, which connects us all. “Remembering our most holy and most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, together with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God!”

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