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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Ephesians 6,1-9

Children, be obedient to your parents in the Lord -- that is what uprightness demands. The first commandment that has a promise attached to it is: Honour your father and your mother, and the promise is: so that you may have long life and prosper in the land. And parents, never drive your children to resentment but bring them up with correction and advice inspired by the Lord. Slaves, be obedient to those who are, according to human reckoning, your masters, with deep respect and sincere loyalty, as you are obedient to Christ: not only when you are under their eye, as if you had only to please human beings, but as slaves of Christ who wholeheartedly do the will of God. Work willingly for the sake of the Lord and not for the sake of human beings. Never forget that everyone, whether a slave or a free man, will be rewarded by the Lord for whatever work he has done well. And those of you who are employers, treat your slaves in the same spirit; do without threats, and never forget that they and you have the same Master in heaven and there is no favouritism with him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We know that the Gospel deeply transforms human relationships by showing how to live them in a new way. If transformation does not happen, it is because of deaf resistance to our habits that often "master" and push us to be "old men and women." The love of Jesus is not abstract, virtual; it is not an empty word, like so many that we are used to saying and hearing, and that make it difficult to understand the real ones. The love of Jesus is an effective word, which is fulfilled in history and wants to inspire, in a concrete way, all our relationships, transforming them. Some recommendations may appear distant, past. On the contrary, they have much to say even today, if we understand them in the mentality with which we live. Paul has just finished speaking of the relationship between husband and wife. Now he addresses children, reminding them to "obey", in accordance with the biblical commandment: "Honour your father and your mother." The commandment is never a law for its own sake, but for our happiness. The Word of God wants to bring fullness to everyone’s life, because the will of Jesus is that "we have life and have it abundantly." Paul then turns to fathers and asks them to "not provoke their children to anger" but to educate them, that is make them grow according to Christian teaching. No one is ever only the object of others’ love, but we are all asked to change our way of seeing others. Slaves were also part of the family. And the apostle also asks them to have appropriate behaviour. They are exhorted to obey their masters but with simplicity of mind, as to Christ, that is not with the goal of being seen and pleasing people. The apostle clarifies that the reversal of roles is always true in what revolutionizes our relationships: everyone, whether slave or free, will receive from the Lord according what he or she has done well. Even masters, as parents and as men towards women, must not use their positions to despise or trample the dignity of others. One alone is the Lord and there is no preference of persons with him. We are called to love one another as brothers and sisters. This is the will of Jesus.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets