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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

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 16, 1-24

Now about the collection for God's holy people; you are to do the same as I prescribed for the churches in Galatia.

On the first day of the week, each of you should put aside and reserve as much as each can spare; do not delay the collection till I arrive.

When I come, I will send to Jerusalem with letters of introduction those people you approve to deliver your gift;

if it is worth my going too, they can travel with me.

In any case, I shall be coming to you after I have passed through Macedonia, as I have to go through Macedonia;

and I may be staying some time with you, perhaps wintering, so that you can start me on my next journey, wherever I may be going.

I do not want to make only a passing visit to you, and I am hoping to spend quite a time with you, the Lord permitting.

But I shall remain at Ephesus until Pentecost,

for a very promising door is standing wide open to me and there are many against us.

If Timothy comes, make sure that he has nothing to fear from you; he is doing the Lord's work, just as I am,

and nobody is to underrate him. Start him off in peace on his journey to come on to me: the brothers and I are waiting for him.

As for our brother Apollos, I urged him earnestly to come to you with the brothers, but he was quite firm that he did not want to go yet, and he will come when he finds an opportunity.

Be vigilant, stay firm in the faith, be brave and strong.

Let everything you do be done in love.

There is something else I must urge you to do, brothers. You know how Stephanas' family have been the first-fruits of Achaia and have devoted themselves to the service of God's holy people;

I ask you in turn to put yourselves at the service of people like this and all that work with them in this arduous task.

I am delighted that Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus have arrived; they have made up for your not being here.

They have set my mind at rest, just as they did yours; you should appreciate people like them.

The churches of Asia send their greetings. Aquila and Prisca send their best wishes in the Lord, together with the church that meets in their house.

All the brothers send their greetings. Greet one another with the holy kiss.

This greeting is in my own hand-PAUL.

If there is anyone who does not love the Lord, a curse on such a one. Maran atha.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

My love is with you all in Christ Jesus.


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

At the end of the letter, the apostle makes his plans known to the Corinthians and invites them to be attentive and respectful in everything. It is noteworthy that the first act that he recalls is the collection for the community in Jerusalem, which the apostle links to the Sunday Eucharistic celebration: “on the first day of every week.” Paul knows that love begins with a concern for those who are in need, and, in this case, for the Christians of the mother community of Jerusalem who are going through difficult times. This teaching should be given more space in the communities of this new millennium. Every aspect of the community’s life must be cared for, including the practice of welcoming. This is why he urges the Christians of Corinth, who are so dear to him, to “let all that you do be done in love” (v. 14). The love of Christ is the heart of this first letter; in truth, it is the heart of the Gospel proclamation itself. But, as we have already noted, Gospel love has a beginning: attention for those who are poorer and in greater need. If the need for this love is felt, fraternal love within the community becomes easier. Love, therefore, is the foundation of every Christian community. From love comes the welcome they should offer Timothy, and anyone charged with leading the community, as well those who come from outside. From love also springs peace in the community. But peace is never acquired once and for all. Love, by its very nature, is something that must be practiced daily. This is why the apostle urges the Corinthians: “Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong” (v. 13). The apostle’s closing words are beautiful and moving: “My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.” This is what every believer should say to his or her brothers and sisters, and it is what every Christian community should say to the world.

Memory of the Church