Letter to the Romans
1 We, the strong and liberated, should bear the weakness of those who are not strong, instead of pleasing ourselves. 2 Let each of us bring joy to our neighbors helping them for the good purpose, for building up. 3 Christ himself did not look for his own contentment, as Scrip ture says: The insults of those insulting you fell upon me. 4 And we know that whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, for both perseverance and comfort given us by the Scripture sus tain our hope. 5 May God, the source of all perseverance and comfort, give to all of you to live in peace in Christ Jesus, 6 that you may be able to praise in one voice God, Father of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
7 Welcome, then, one another, as Christ welcomed you for the glory of God. 8 Look: Christ put himself at the service of the Jewish world to fulfill the promises made by God to their ancestors; here you see Godís faith fulness. 9 The pagans instead give thanks to God for his mercy, as Scripture says: Because of that, I will sing and praise your name among the pagans. 10 And in another place: Rejoice, pagan nations, with Godís people. 11 And again: Praise the Lord, all people and let all nations speak of his magnificence. 12 Isaiah says: A descendant of Jesse will come who will rule the pagan nations and they will hope in him.
13 May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace in the faith, so that your hope may in crease by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul feels responsible for the Christians of Rome
14 As for me, brothers and sisters, I am convinced that you have goodwill, knowledge and the capacity to advise each other; 15 never the less I have written boldly in some parts of this letter to remind you of what you already know. I do this according to the grace God has given to me 16 when I was sent to the pagan nations. I dedicated myself to the service of the Good News of God as a minister of Christ Jesus, in order to present the non-Jews to God as an agreeable offering consecrated by the Holy Spirit. 17 This service of God is for me a cause of pride in Christ Jesus.
18 Of course, I would not dare to speak of other things but what Christ himself has done through me, my words and my works, 19 with miracles and signs, by the power of the Holy Spirit Ė so that non-Jews may obey the faith. In this way I have extended the Good News to all parts, from Jerusalem to Illiricum.
20 I have been very careful, however, and I am proud of this, not to preach in places where Christ is al ready known, and not to build upon foundations laid by others. 21 Let it be as Scripture says: Those not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.
Help for the Christians in Jerusalem
22 This work has prevented me from going to you. 23 But now there is no more place for me in these re gions, and as I have wanted for so long to go and see you, 24 I hope to visit you when I go to Spain. Then you could help me go to that nation, once I have fully enjoyed your company.
25 Right now I am going to Jeru sa lem to help that community. 26 Know that the churches of Mace donia and Achaia have decided to make a contribution for the poor among the be lievers of Jerusalem. 27 They have de cided to do that and, in fact, they were indebted to them. For the non-Jews have shared the spiritual goods of the Jews and now they must help them materially. 28 So I am to complete this task and give over the amount that has been collected. Then I will go to you and from there to Spain. 29 And I am sure that when I go to you, I will go with all the blessings of God.
30 I beg of you, brothers and sisters, by Christ Jesus our Lord and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in the fight, praying to God for me; 31 pray that I may avoid the snares of the enemies of faith in Ju dea, and that the community of Jerusalem may wel come the help I bring. 32 And so I will go to you with joy and, God willing, be re freshed in your company. 33 The God of peace be with you. Amen.