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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of St. Pancratius, who died a martyr for the love of the Gospel when he was 14 years old. Prayer for younger generations so that they may meet the Gospel and the Lord.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Galatians 6, 11-18

Notice what large letters I have used in writing to you with my own hand.

It is those who want to cut a figure by human standards who force circumcision on you, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Even though they are circumcised they still do not keep the Law themselves; they want you to be circumcised only so that they can boast of your outward appearance.

But as for me, it is out of the question that I should boast at all, except of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

It is not being circumcised or uncircumcised that matters; but what matters is a new creation.

Peace and mercy to all who follow this as their rule and to the Israel of God.

After this, let no one trouble me; I carry branded on my body the marks of Jesus.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, my brothers. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul, who so far has dictated the letter, is now writing the conclusion "in his own hand," and he is writing in particularly "large letters", as if to emphasize his "large" love for the Galatians. The wicked teachers want to dissuade the Galatians from listening to the Gospel the apostle preached to them, but in doing so they render useless the very cross of Christ. Not only do they not act according to the Spirit, they do so "that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ." In fact, if these wicked teachers were to preach the cross of Christ in its entirety, they would be persecuted by the Jews. The motivation that drives these false teachers is nothing other than cowardly self-interest: they want to boast of having won the Galatians for themselves. They are more interested in their bragging rights than in circumcision. Paul, on the other hand, only wants to boast about "the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." What is dishonour and ignominy for his adversaries is boasting and glory for him. Paul justifies his refusal to boast about himself by saying that "the world has been crucified" for the Christian and the Christian is "crucified for the world." On the cross of the Son the Father pronounced the death sentence of the old world of the law and the old man of exterior practices. The cross of Christ not only has an effect on the person that welcomes it in faith, it also has power over the created world because it annihilates the old world and opens a path to a new creation. Christ, the first to be resurrected, begins the new creation. And those who were crucified with Christ in baptism also rise with him (cf. Rom 6:4ff). In Christ they become the men and women of his new creation. "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" (2 Cor 5:17). "Christian boasting" consists in being a child of God and enjoying the "peace and mercy" of the new creation. The apostle concludes his letter by asking that no more trouble be given to him in the future and that he not be bothered with useless and dangerous nuisances. His concerns are elsewhere. And he closes by saying, "I carry the marks of Jesus branded on my body." Paul not only feels like a slave of Jesus (Gal 1:10), he is also marked by his stigmata to preach the Gospel. The Galatians need to make sure not to oppose the slave of Christ. Nonetheless, the apostle invokes the blessing of Christ over them.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday