Romans 15

Chapter 15

Patience and Self-Denial. 1 Those of us who are strong must resolve to put up with the failings of the weak and not please ourselves. 2 Each of us must consider his neighbor’s good for the purpose of building him up. 3 Even Christ never sought to please himself, but, as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen upon me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that by perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we may continue to have hope.

5 May the God of perseverance and encouragement grant that you may live in harmony with one another, following in the example of Jesus Christ, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God’s Fidelity and Mercy.[a] 7 Therefore, accept one another for the glory of God, just as Christ has accepted you. 8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant of the circumcised to manifest God’s truthfulness by confirming the promises given to the patriarchs 9 and so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy, as it is written:

“Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to your name.”

10 And again it says:

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”[b]

11 Further it adds:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him.”

12 And again Isaiah asserts:

“The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who will arise to rule the Gentiles;
the Gentiles will hope in him.”[c]

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may grow rich in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Epilogue[d]

14 Apostle to the Gentiles.[e] Brethren, I myself am convinced that you yourselves are immersed in goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 Nevertheless, I have written to you rather boldly to refresh your memory in some respects because of the grace given to me by God. 16 He has appointed me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, in order that the Gentiles might become an acceptable offering consecrated by the Holy Spirit.

17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to glory in my service of God. 18 I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to lead the Gentiles to obedience to God by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God.

So from Jerusalem[f] and the surrounding area, even as far as Illyricum, I have completed the preaching of the gospel of Christ. 20 Moreover, I have always striven to preach the gospel of Christ where the name of Christ is not known, not wanting to build on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:

“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”

22 Paul’s Plans for Traveling—Even to Spain.[g] That is why I have so often been prevented from coming to you. 23 But now, since there is nothing more to keep me in these regions, and since for a good many years I have desired to visit you, 24 I hope to see you when I am on my way to Spain. Then, after I have enjoyed your company for a while, you can send me on my way there.

25 Presently, however, I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia[h] have resolved to make a contribution for the benefit of the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do so, and indeed they are indebted to them, for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they owe it to them to share their material blessings with them.

28 Therefore, when I have completed this task and have delivered the fruit of their generosity to them, I will set out for Spain and visit you along the way. 29 And I am sure that when I come, I shall do so with the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

30 Therefore, I exhort you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my labors by praying to God for me 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there. 32 In that way, I can come to you in joy, if God so wills, and be refreshed together with you. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 15:7 It is the unity of believers that glorifies God (Rom 15:6). That is why, despite the fact that Christ himself preached only to the Jews—to the circumcised—he willed that the Gentiles should also be called to salvation and thereby attest that they too are loved by God. In that same love, all Christians should embrace their neighbors.
  2. Romans 15:10 The citation from Deut 32:43 is given in the Septuagint version.
  3. Romans 15:12 The citation is based on Isa 11:10 and Rev 5:5; 22:16. Root of Jesse: Jesse was the father of David (see 1 Sam 16:5; Mt 1:6), and the Messiah was the “Son of David” (Mt 21:9). The Gentiles will hope in him: this prophecy is fulfilled in the evangelization of the Gentiles.
  4. Romans 15:14 Paul has set forth his main ideas on Christian faith in Christ dead and risen. He now briefly explains his plans and in this context tells his readers in what his ministry consists. The Letter ends with a liturgical hymn that is also a profession of faith.
  5. Romans 15:14 Paul regards his apostolic work as a sacred service, as a Liturgy of God in the world of human beings; in fact, it is in the name of God and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that the Apostle intervenes to prompt people to belief and to lead the human family to be committed to God. He looks upon this action as the true sacrifice, one that expresses a gift and a love for life itself. It is understood that a community that proclaims the Gospel is also a community that celebrates the Eucharist (see Rom 1:9; 12:1; Phil 2:17).
    Paul is conscious that, aided by the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit, he is carrying out a proper task. He makes the Gospel present in the human groups of the Gentile world and rejoices in having accomplished a foundational work.
  6. Romans 15:19 Jerusalem and Illyricum, which borders on Macedonia in the northwest, are the two extremes of Paul’s apostolate at this time.
  7. Romans 15:22 Rome is not to be anything more than a stopover on Paul’s journey to Spain. He plans to travel to the very ends of the West to continue his mission to make the Gospel present where it has not yet been announced. Apparently, he intends to go to Jerusalem to bring to indigent Christians (“saints”) of that mother community the fruits of the collection organized by Christians converted from paganism. This will be not only a gesture of mutual aid but a test of unity among Christians of both Gentile and Jewish origin (see 1 Cor 16:14; 2 Cor 8–9; Gal 2:10). A genuine fraternal communion requires a new practice of exchanging goods with one another.
    In the wake of the Galatian crisis, the Apostle is justified in thinking that he risks being badly received in Judea. The prayer of the Romans will be a comfort to him. The Book of Acts tells the story of his arrest in Jerusalem (ch. 21) and his journey to Rome (chs. 27–28).
  8. Romans 15:26 Achaia: the Roman province of southern Greece.

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