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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Philippians 3,3-8

We are the true people of the circumcision since we worship by the Spirit of God and make Christ Jesus our only boast, not relying on physical qualifications, although, I myself could rely on these too. If anyone does claim to rely on them, my claim is better. Circumcised on the eighth day of my life, I was born of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrew parents. In the matter of the Law, I was a Pharisee; as for religious fervour, I was a persecutor of the Church; as for the uprightness embodied in the Law, I was faultless. But what were once my assets I now through Christ Jesus count as losses. Yes, I will go further: because of the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, I count everything else as loss. For him I have accepted the loss of all other things, and look on them all as filth if only I can gain Christ

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The community in Philippi was not going through an easy moment, as we can see by reading this passage. Paul had spoken of adversaries; here he speaks of "dogs," of "evil workers" and of others who maybe used circumcision, a sign of belonging to the people of Israel, as a reason for feeling superior in a community of persons of diverse origins. The apostle is somewhat forced to praise himself as a perfect member of the people of Israel (vv. 5-6). He does so, however, only to say that this is not what matters to the Lord. In fact, the "flesh", that is, origins, conditions, culture and whatever distinguishes one from another, matters little to being a disciple. In a word, neither by birth nor by appearance is one a disciple, but only by faith. Paul considers everything "rubbish" compared to the gift that he received: the grace of meeting the Lord and becoming similar to him. For this reason he sees his life as a race to conforming himself to Christ in every way, so as to immerse himself in his death and resurrection. Paul also conveys that a Christian should desire a life intent on the realization of full communion with the Lord. Even in tribulation, the Christian lives the same joy to which the apostle exhorts the Christians of Philippi (3:1). What point is there in boasting of the flesh, believing oneself superior for it? We become miserable this way and end up becoming like people in the world! Often when we are unable to contemplate the sublime advantage of knowing Christ, the pearl of great price which we have found, through grace, in our life, then roles, worldly considerations become important and they create, as in Philippi, divisions among brothers and sisters. Indeed only the awareness of having received everything through grace helps us to realize how much we are loved, and frees us from the roles and plans which are of this world, and not of the spirit.


11/03/2016
Memory of the Church


Calendar of the week
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
12
Monday, 12 December
Memory of the Poor
DEC
13
Tuesday, 13 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
14
Wednesday, 14 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
15
Thursday, 15 December
Memory of the Church
DEC
16
Friday, 16 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
17
Saturday, 17 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
18
Sunday, 18 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

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