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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Thessalonians 2, 13-17

But we must always thank God for you, brothers whom the Lord loves, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved by the Spirit who makes us holy and by faith in the truth.

Through our gospel he called you to this so that you should claim as your own the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Stand firm, then, brothers, and keep the traditions that we taught you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father who has given us his love and, through his grace, such ceaseless encouragement and such sure hope,

encourage you and strengthen you in every good word and deed.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After the harsh description of the divine judgment of those who allow themselves to be seduced by the evil one, the apostle thanks the Lord for the ones who have remained faithful to the Gospel. These are "brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord." The love of God is in fact the bond which unites the members of the Church. Paul reminds the Thessalonians of the special grace they have received: to be the first city in Macedonia in which the Gospel was preached. We could say it was the first Christian community in Europe. They responded to this privilege by becoming an example for the Church "in every place" (1 Thess 1:8). As they were the first to receive the Gospel, so should they be the first to witness to it. They became, in effect, a "centre of radiation" of the Word: "For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has become known, so that we have no need to speak about it" (1 Thess 1:8). Paul desired that the Thessalonians continue to communicate the Gospel: it is thus that the very voice of God resounds in human hearts. Already in the first letter the apostle thanked the Lord: "We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers" (1 Thess 2:13). The spreading of the preaching impels everyone toward salvation, which is to "obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2:14). In the meantime, however, we walk on this earth as pilgrims: no one can say that he is certain of salvation. In a time of temptation and struggle, Christians always find themselves in danger. It is always possible to thwart the gift which has been granted, as the apostle also reminds us. No one should neglect God’s commandment, because he would put true life at risk: "Stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by our letter" (2:15). Paul reminds the Philippians: "Only live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing" (Phil 1:27ff). There is a close bond between the Gospel, which is preached, and the life of the community. Paul wrote about it to the Corinthians: "Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you-unless you have come to believe in vain" (1 Cor 15:1ff). He prays that the Lord will comfort their hearts and will confirm them "in every good work and word." Everything, in fact, comes from the love of the Father who gives comfort and hope.

Memory of the Church