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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome


Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Timothy 6, 1-2

All those under the yoke of slavery must have unqualified respect for their masters, so that the name of God and our teaching are not brought into disrepute.

Those whose masters are believers are not to respect them less because they are brothers; on the contrary, they should serve them all the better, since those who have the benefit of their services are believers and dear to God. This is what you are to teach and urge.

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Paul concludes his instructions for wise pastoral action in the community with a few short admonishments for slaves. Along with widows (5:3-16), slaves are the poorest members of the Christian community; and it is significant that the apostle gives Timothy precise instructions concerning them. In truth, this aspect of pastoral ministry is given a certain emphasis in the New Testament. The Letter to the Ephesians also contains a number of instructions for slaves, telling them how to live and behave (Eph 6:5-8). Paul knows their difficult situation well, and he defines it as being "under the yoke." Slaves, in fact, are subjected to the will of their masters and lack even the right to make free decisions about their own person. Because of this, the Christian slave has a particularly difficult task. The Christian slave with a pagan master should not rebel by refusing to respect his master, even though he possesses the liberty of Christ (1 Cor 7:22). Paul certainly does not want to favour the resignation of slaves to their condition or to make it unchangeable in time. However, by affirming the value of a good evangelic witness even from a slave, Paul unsettles the very reason of slavery; a radical fraternity among men and women is the beginning of the deepest revolution in human relationships. The Gospel, affirming God’s paternity on all, demands that the believers change the world in a radical way and not resign themselves to the unjust situations in which men and women are forced to live or constrain themselves to be. And this change will be real and profound if it begins in the believer’s own heart. It is from the heart, in fact, that all injustice is born and grows, including slavery. History teaches us that the gospel life should transform even culture, so that deep change may occur. Even what are called today structures of "sin" (as slavery could have been until few centuries ago) can be changed by starting with changing the hearts, the minds, and the culture in which a society is immersed. The Gospel that Paul preaches to masters and slaves is the source of a new humanism that empties the "sinful" structure of slavery from the inside. And if the master is also a Christian himself, Paul asks both to live in the spirit of fraternity that the Gospel came to establish on earth: the slave should not despise his master and vice versa. Both should compete in esteeming and helping each other, since they are brothers in Christ. Love is a leaven that changes hearts and with them the whole of society.


03/21/2012
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri