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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

1 Corinthians 4,1-5

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.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this passage of the Letter, Paul tries to defend his apostolic work by reacting to some unfavourable judgments that some people had made to justify the divisions that had appeared in the community. He warns that apostolic ministry - not only his, obviously, but the ministry of all those who have a pastoral responsibility - is based solely on belonging to Christ and remaining faithful to the mission received from him. It is due to this conviction that he does not consider himself and his collaborators as masters of the life of the community, but merely "servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries." The apostle is writing from the perspective of those who have been called to administer God’s things, not their own. Moreover he adds that he has a clear conscience. But this will not be enough, because "It is the Lord who judges me." When the Lord comes - Paul opposes human courts to God’s "day" - the Lord will judge him "in accordance with truth" (Ro 2:2), revealing "the purposes of the heart," that is, our hidden thoughts. Only then will the righteous be recognized as such and receive praise and reward from God. Consequently, Paul warns Christians not to judge the fruits of ministry according to the values of the dominant culture. Faithfulness to the Gospel is a question of inner integrity, not fruits that can be seen through worldly ways of thinking. No one - the apostle insists - can set himself up as his own judge. Only the Lord can judge people’s spirits.

Memory of Jesus crucified