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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

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Corinthians 3, 10-23

By the grace of God which was given to me, I laid the foundations like a trained master-builder, and someone else is building on them. Now each one must be careful how he does the building.

For nobody can lay down any other foundation than the one which is there already, namely Jesus Christ.

On this foundation, different people may build in gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay or straw

but each person's handiwork will be shown for what it is. The Day which dawns in fire will make it clear and the fire itself will test the quality of each person's work.

The one whose work stands up to it will be given his wages;

the one whose work is burnt down will suffer the loss of it, though he himself will be saved; he will be saved as someone might expect to be saved from a fire.

Do you not realise that you are a temple of God with the Spirit of God living in you?

If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy that person, because God's temple is holy; and you are that temple.

There is no room for self-delusion. Any one of you who thinks he is wise by worldly standards must learn to be a fool in order to be really wise.

For the wisdom of the world is folly to God. As scripture says: He traps the crafty in the snare of their own cunning

and again: The Lord knows the plans of the wise and how insipid they are.

So there is to be no boasting about human beings: everything belongs to you,

whether it is Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, the world, life or death, the present or the future -- all belong to you;

but you belong to Christ and Christ belongs to God.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Paul reminds the Corinthians of the uniqueness and the unrepeatable nature of the apostolic foundation on which the community was built: Jesus Christ. Paul, a man from the city and not the country, uses the image of the construction of a house, which connects directly to the image Jesus uses at the end of the Sermon on the Mount: the house founded on the rock of the Word of God, which stands up to wind, rain, and flood. Everyone builds his or her life, whether personal or communal, on such a foundation. The material may differ: there are as many pastoral methods as there are ways to grow, but only if we build up the interior person - only if we build a community based on the Gospel - will we be able to stand up to the fire of history and not immediately burn like straw. And we are not talking about just any building: it is “God’s temple.” This building needs to be constructed according to true wisdom, the wisdom of the Gospel, which the world does not recognize and which, in any case, it constantly tries to impede and defeat. It is easy for the disciples to let themselves be attracted by the world’s mentality, which, in truth, falls prey to many illusory and false idols. Paul warns the Corinthians, “Do not deceive yourselves.” Everyone is asked to be humble and to take responsibility. But humility does not mean keeping ourselves separated from others and cultivating our laziness. On the contrary: we should boast, but only in the Lord; we should not carve out our own space, but feel responsible for the entire body of Christ, the entire community. Everything belongs to the disciple because he or she belongs to Christ.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets