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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Corinthians 10, 12-18

We are not venturing to rank ourselves, or even to compare ourselves with certain people who provide their own commendations. By measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves, they only show their folly.

By contrast we do not intend to boast beyond measure, but will measure ourselves by the standard which God laid down for us, namely that of having come all the way to you.

We are not overreaching ourselves as we would be if we had not come all the way to you; in fact we were the first to come as far as you with the good news of Christ.

So we are not boasting beyond measure, about other men's work; in fact, we hope, as your faith increases, to grow greater and greater by this standard of ours,

by preaching the gospel to regions beyond you, rather than boasting about work already done in someone else's province.

Let anyone who wants to boast, boast of the Lord.

For it is not through self-commendation that recognition is won, but through commendation.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul continues to defend his apostolic ministry from opposition, underlining again that the only motive of which he can glory is the Gospel. He speaks ironically of his accusers saying that they are great personalities since they recommend themselves. In truth, their glory is paltry, small-minded. In front of the stupidity of his opponents, Paul is conscious that he must glory, not about merits acquired on his own, but only because the Lord has chosen to make him a participant in his plan of love for the lives of men and women. The very existence of the community of Corinth – founded by him – was proof that God had chosen him because the gospel had been preached. Thus, in coming to Corinth, Paul had in no way exceeded (“not over¬stepping our limits”) the boundaries assigned to him by the Lord. In fact, he had been sent among them by the Lord himself. And now the Lord was sending him to preach the Gospel to “proclaim the good news in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in someone else’s sphere of action” (v. 16). There is an utterly clear missionary anxiousness in Paul: to bring the Gospel where it is not known. It is a teaching that we ought to accept and welcome in a manner far more attentively than we do today. For the apostle it was a constant concern, as he writes also to the Romans: “Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news, not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation” (Rom 15:20). He goes on to say that he would like to go first to Rome and then to Spain, so strong is his anxiousness that the gospel may reach the ends of the earth. This is his greatest concern which reminds him of what Jeremiah had written: “Thus says the Lord: Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast, boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord” (Jer 9:23-24). Every good is born not from our calculations but from the will of the Lord. It is to the Lord that one needs to look, it is to Him that one needs to listen, and it is He whom one needs to obey. The apostle is able to say in front of all the Corinthians that he has adhered to this obedience. And in that way has done none other than imitate Jesus, who came – as is often said – not to do his own will but the will of the Father who is in heaven.

Memory of the Poor