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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

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

Ephesians 4, 1-16

I, the prisoner in the Lord, urge you therefore to lead a life worthy of the vocation to which you were called.

With all humility and gentleness, and with patience, support each other in love.

Take every care to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together.

There is one Body, one Spirit, just as one hope is the goal of your calling by God.

There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

and one God and Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

On each one of us God's favour has been bestowed in whatever way Christ allotted it.

That is why it says: He went up to the heights, took captives, he gave gifts to humanity.

When it says, 'he went up', it must mean that he had gone down to the deepest levels of the earth.

The one who went down is none other than the one who went up above all the heavens to fill all things.

And to some, his 'gift' was that they should be apostles; to some prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers;

to knit God's holy people together for the work of service to build up the Body of Christ,

until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

Then we shall no longer be children, or tossed one way and another, and carried hither and thither by every new gust of teaching, at the mercy of all the tricks people play and their unscrupulousness in deliberate deception.

If we live by the truth and in love, we shall grow completely into Christ, who is the head

by whom the whole Body is fitted and joined together, every joint adding its own strength, for each individual part to work according to its function. So the body grows until it has built itself up in love.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul speaks passionately to the Ephesians connecting the work of God and their answer, "I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called." He knows that there can be no separation between the vocation they have received and the behaviour which must follow. The testimony of one’s life gives authenticity to one's preaching. And just as this is true for him, an apostle, it is also true for every believer. Paul asks the Christians to live in such a way that the community may be built upon and grow in love and unity. He exhorts them "to maintain the unity of the Spirit" (v. 3) with a behaviour that is humble, meek and patient. The believer is humble because he awaits everything from God; he is meek because he does not respond with violence; he is patient because God is patient with his people. Jesus is the model to follow: he is "gentle and humble in heart" (Mt 11:29); he has come to "serve and to give his life" (Mk 10:45), and he has "humbled himself to the point of death" (Phil 2:8). He loves us unconditionally. Love and unity came before us; they have been given to us. They are the true treasures by which we live. The apostle asks to "maintain" unity by living it, by keeping in mind that any injury done to this unity affects the very body of Christ and betrays the vocation to be one body, having the one faith, the one baptism, and recognizing only one God and Father of all. Unity is neither the result of an agreement among the members of the community nor the acceptance of the same doctrine; rather, it is the reception of the one Spirit. It is given to us when we become sons and daughters of the one Father and of the one mother, the Church. Neither does unity mean losing one’s own identity and becoming like everyone else. Paul writes that each of us receives a particular gift in order to be of service to the community. In his first letter, Peter says," Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received" (1 Pet 4:l0). No one is useless in the Church and no one can be a passive member. Each of us exists to serve others, according to the gift that we have received. Paul recalls the phrase of the psalm: "He gave gifts to his people" (Ps 68), and he lists a few of such gifts: the Apostles, who are the foundation of the Church; the prophets, people of the Spirit, who make the Word of God come to life; the evangelists, who announced the Gospel; and pastors and teachers, who are responsible for the community and teaching. All of these gifts have been given "to equip to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." The objective of these charisms, therefore, is to "perfect" Christians. In other words, each charism makes them fit for the building of the body of Christ, "spiritually, into a dwelling place for God" (2:22). Through this service, each one of us becomes "the perfect man" or "the perfect woman." Perfection does not consist in the fulfilment of one’s own self but in the attainment of the stature of Christ, that is in being "one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28). Therefore, "we must no longer be children tossed to and fro," that is, immature and inconsistent like a ship in stormy waters, nor must we be fooled by false teachers. Maturity of the faith consists in "speaking the truth in love," that is to say, in living out the Gospel. It is not enough to know; it is necessary to love. In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes: "And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." (1 Cor 13:2). Love makes the truth shine and the Church grow.


05/23/2012
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