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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Titus 1, 5-9

The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to organise everything that still had to be done and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you,

that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character, husband of one wife, and his children must be believers and not liable to be charged with disorderly conduct or insubordination.

The presiding elder has to be irreproachable since he is God's representative: never arrogant or hot-tempered, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor avaricious;

but hospitable and a lover of goodness; sensible, upright, devout and self-controlled;

and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on both for giving encouragement in sound doctrine and for refuting those who argue against it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul, who might have already given Titus some indications about how to choose people to be responsible for the community, repeats them now in this Letter. He reminds him that an elder should have a good reputation and therefore should be able to govern his household and be capable of raising his children to be honest, modest, and obedient. The Church is also a family, and God entrusts it to some of his children. They are to administer it with wisdom. Elsewhere, the apostle writes that the "bishop" is supposed to be the "steward of God" (1 Cor 4:1), and in the community he is supposed to govern and administer as if he were a diligent treasurer who works in an earthly house (Lk 12:42). The pastor is called to be a faithful instrument in the service of the Lord, banishing from himself and his behaviour any form of egoism, bullying, greed, or presumption. Any behaviour contrary to the Gospel - as the apostle indicates in this part of the Letter - is a betrayal of the responsibility entrusted to the pastor by God himself. The exemplarity demanded of the pastor should be found in every member of God’s family. Every disciple, in fact, is called to feel and live the life of the whole community responsibly. The wisdom, justice, and piety that accompany the person responsible for the community should be practiced by all of the disciples, precisely because the mystery of the Church is that it is one body, one family, for which everyone is responsible, though obviously in different ways. In this context, the apostle recalls the central responsibility of the pastor, which, as for every believer, is to be faithful to the "word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching." The living tradition of the Church is rooted in this exhortation: one generation transmits to the next the Gospel that it has heard and lived. This uninterrupted faithfulness to the Gospel keeps the community steadfast and its witness strong.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets