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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Corinthians 3, 1-9

And so, brothers, I was not able to talk to you as spiritual people; I had to talk to you as people still living by your natural inclinations, still infants in Christ;

I fed you with milk and not solid food, for you were not yet able to take it -- and even now, you are still not able to,

for you are still living by your natural inclinations. As long as there are jealousy and rivalry among you, that surely means that you are still living by your natural inclinations and by merely human principles.

While there is one that says, 'I belong to Paul' and another that says, 'I belong to Apollos' are you not being only too human?

For what is Apollos and what is Paul? The servants through whom you came to believe, and each has only what the Lord has given him.

I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God gave growth.

In this, neither the planter nor the waterer counts for anything; only God, who gives growth.

It is all one who does the planting and who does the watering, and each will have the proper pay for the work that he has done.

After all, we do share in God's work; you are God's farm, God's building.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Paul reminds the Christians of Corinth that they are still at the beginning of their spiritual journey. Demonstrating great pastoral wisdom, the apostle uses the powerful image of the mother who nourishes her child with milk rather than solid food. Faith is not just a matter of learning certain truths by heart; we need to mature internally and grow in awareness and love, which requires remarkable wisdom and pastoral patience. Our “flesh” (that is, our jealousy, our quarrels, and our pride), which guides our thoughts and our behaviours, is the obstacle that stands in the way of the Lord, of those who have pastoral responsibility, and of each one of us who has to “grow.” This is the source of the damage our communion suffers, and this is what causes the ruptures that threaten the unity of the community, that is, its very life. Paul again warns Christians not to endanger the unity of the community that is the body of Christ. This is why disciples cannot let themselves be guided by their own instincts (pride, selfishness, self-sufficiency, greed, hard-headedness, and so on), which separate them from each other and, above all, distance them from the Spirit of the Lord, which alone can make the community grow according to the Gospel. Paul reminds his readers that there is only one true teacher and one true shepherd of the community. No one possesses it, and no one should impose his or her own rhythms, habits, and traditions on the others. We are all called to be “God’s servants, working together” to build his spiritual “building.” We all need to work together in this building with the charisms we have received from the Lord. Paul reminds us that we need to pay attention to how to build the family of God, knowing well that the only true and solid foundation of the Church is the Gospel.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord