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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Thessalonians 1, 1-12

Paul, Silvanus and Timothy, to the Church in Thessalonica which is in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We must always thank God for you, brothers; quite rightly, because your faith is growing so wonderfully and the mutual love that each one of you has for all never stops increasing.

Among the churches of God we take special pride in you for your perseverance and faith under all the persecutions and hardships you have to bear.

It all shows that God's judgement is just, so that you may be found worthy of the kingdom of God; it is for the sake of this that you are suffering now.

For God's justice will surely mean hardship being inflicted on those who are now inflicting hardship on you,

and for you who are now suffering hardship, relief with us, when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven with the angels of his power.

He will come amid flaming fire; he will impose a penalty on those who do not acknowledge God and refuse to accept the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

Their punishment is to be lost eternally, excluded from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his strength

on that day when he comes to be glorified among his holy ones and marvelled at by all who believe in him; and you are among those who believed our witness.

In view of this we also pray continually that our God will make you worthy of his call, and by his power fulfil all your desires for goodness, and complete all that you have been doing through faith;

so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you and you in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Also, in this second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy write together. Paul and Silvanus were imprisoned after having suffered cruel beatings because of their preaching. In prison, around midnight, they prayed and sang together hymns of praise to God, and the Lord had miraculously freed them (Acts 16:19-30). Timothy, on the other hand, is often praised by Paul and pointed to as an example to the believer. In any case, both Silvanus and Timothy also preached in Macedonia by the apostle’s commissioning (Acts 18:5). It is a beginning that shows the fellowship among all three disciples in the common task of the Gospel. Together they address the small Thessalonian community, which has now grown in faith and love so much that they have become an example to the other communities. One community’s life in the gospel influences the others’; this is fruit of the "communion of saints." The apostle is rightly beaming, also because the small community of Thessalonica was being tried by several adversaries. The Jews of the city considered it a dangerous competitor and incited the people against them. The apostle reminds those Christians that they are not sheltered from persecution, "but the one who endures to the end will be saved" (Mt 24:13). Even now, in the purifying fire of suffering, the judgment which will take place at the end of history is being fulfilled: when those who have persevered in faith and love will be separated from those who have distanced themselves. Only the one who has persevered in faith will have citizenship in the kingdom of God, as the apostle Peter reminds us, "Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God?" (1 Pet 4:16ff). Suffering is a necessary burden for Jesus’ disciples, and they should not let themselves be deceived because the wicked are spared. The psalmist already noted, "For I was envious of the arrogant; I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For they have no pain; their bodies are sound and sleek" (Ps 73:3). Paul replies: "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow" (Gal 6:7). Everything will be clear at the end of time. Paul, with typical apocalyptic language, describes God’s inexorable judgment: the one who rebels against the Gospel will plummet into an everlasting loneliness "far from the face of the Lord," while the one who has persevered in hearing the Word of God and in the service to the poor will see the Lord "face to face" (1 Cor 13:12). Paul prays that everyone may attain to the "perfect fulfilment" when the elect will be beside the throne of the Lamb and shall sing a new song to the Lord, as is written in the book of Revelation: "And from the throne came a voice saying, "Praise our God, all you his servants, and all who fear him, small and great. ... Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come" (Rev 19:5.7).


06/12/2012
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


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