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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of Saint Peter Damian (1007-1072). Faithful to his monastic vocation, he loved the entire Church and spent his life reforming it. Memory of the monks in every part of the world.

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Corinthians 4, 1-13

People should think of us as Christ's servants, stewards entrusted with the mysteries of God.

In such a matter, what is expected of stewards is that each one should be found trustworthy.

It is of no importance to me how you or any other human court may judge me: I will not even be the judge of my own self.

It is true that my conscience does not reproach me, but that is not enough to justify me: it is the Lord who is my judge.

For that reason, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes; he will bring to light everything that is hidden in darkness and reveal the designs of all hearts. Then everyone will receive from God the appropriate commendation.

I have applied all this to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that you can learn how the saying, 'Nothing beyond what is written' is true of us: no individual among you must become filled with his own importance and make comparisons, to another's detriment.

Who made you so important? What have you got that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why are you boasting as though it were your own?

You already have everything -- you are rich already -- you have come into your kingdom, without any help from us! Well, I wish you were kings and we could be kings with you!

For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on show right at the end, like men condemned to death: we have been exhibited as a spectacle to the whole universe, both angelic and human.

Here we are, fools for Christ's sake, while you are the clever ones in Christ; we are weak, while you are strong; you are honoured, while we are disgraced.

To this day, we go short of food and drink and clothes, we are beaten up and we have no homes;

we earn our living by labouring with our own hands; when we are cursed, we answer with a blessing; when we are hounded, we endure it passively;

when we are insulted, we give a courteous answer. We are treated even now as the dregs of the world, the very lowest scum.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Paul wants to defeat the formation of divisions in the community of Corinth at its root. He reminds all those who preach that they are “stewards of God’s mysteries.” The apostle urges his readers not to abuse them and not to give into the sad habit of criticizing them. It is good to be attentive and cautious in making judgments, especially because, as we know from experience as well as from the teachings of the Gospel, it is easy for us to see the speck in someone else’s eye and not see the log that blinds us. In any case, those who preach represent the Lord, who is the one foundation of communion. Each member of the Christian community receives everything from the Lord and needs to continue to depend on Him for everything. That is why no one should forget that he or she remains a disciple of Jesus for his or her entire life. That is to say that we are called to listen to the Gospel every day and convert our hearts. Unfortunately, we instead often feel like we have already made it and that we are already rich and satisfied. But beware! Those who feel satisfied, those who think they no longer need to listen to the preaching of the Gospel, and those who feel they are wiser and more knowledgeable than the apostle are on their way to breaking up the communion. In contrast to the Christians of Corinth and all those who feel satisfied like them, the apostle claims the last place, where he has been placed by the world. It is the place of persecution and humiliation, but also the place of pastoral labour and ceaseless efforts to preach about human ingratitude. This is the first place in God’s eyes. It is the place that was occupied by Jesus, who was rejected by men and women, yet accepted by God. The “foolishness” of the apostle, his weakness, and his suffering should make the Christians of Corinth reflect on the fact that they have puffed themselves up with pride to the point of breaking the unity of the community.

Memory of the Church