A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans (Rom 1:18-32)

Humankind under God’s “wrath”
For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and justice of those who have silenced the truth by their wicked ways. For everything that could have been known about God was clear to them: God himself made it plain. Because his invisible attributes – his ever lasting power and divinity – are made visible to reason by means of his works since the creation of the world.

So they have no excuse, for they knew God and did not glorify him as was fitting, nor did they give thanks to him. On the contrary, they lost themselves in their reasoning and darkness filled their minds.

Believing themselves wise, they became foolish: they exchange the Glory of the immortal God for the likes of mortal human beings, birds, animals and reptiles. Because of this God gave them up to their inner cravings; they did shameful things and dishonored their bodies.

They exchanged God’s truth for a lie; they honored and worshiped created things instead of the Creator, to whom be praise for ever, Amen!

Because of that, God gave them up to shameful passions: their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. Similarly the men, giving up natural sexual relations with women, were lustful of each other, they did, men with men, shameful things, bringing upon themselves the punishment they deserve for their wickedness. And since they did not think that God was worth knowing, he gave them up to their senseless minds so that they committed all kinds of obscenities.

And so they are full of injustice, perversity, greed, evil; they are full of jealousy, murder, strife,, deceit, bad will and gossip. The commit calumny, offend God, are haughty; they are proud, liars, clever in doing evil. They are rebellious towards their parents,senseless, disloyal, cold-hearted and merciless.

They know of God’s judgment which declares worthy of death anyone living in this way; yet not only do they do all these things, they even applaud anyone who does the same.

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