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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

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Timothy 4,1-8

Before God and before Christ Jesus who is to be judge of the living and the dead, I charge you, in the name of his appearing and of his kingdom: proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, give encouragement -- but do all with patience and with care to instruct. The time is sure to come when people will not accept sound teaching, but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes; and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths. But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering; do the work of preaching the gospel; fulfil the service asked of you. As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to depart. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his appearing.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

As the letter nears its conclusion, Paul seems to be becoming more and more persistent in his instructions to Timothy. He is concerned for the fate of the community and wants his disciple to be up to the task of guiding it. He is not afraid of putting the gravity of the situation right before his eyes, so much so that he begins his recommendations with a solemn oath (see 1 Tim 5:21) putting him in front of God and the Lord Jesus, the supreme Judge. The apostle reminds Timothy of Jesus’ eternal judgment – Jesus will judge "the living and the dead" – and of his work as pastor of the community. The first work he urges is the proclamation of the "message." No human consideration should condition the preaching of the Gospel. It does not matter whether it is accepted by men and women or not; it is not important whether the time, the manner, or the circumstances of preaching find favour with men and women. Paul says of himself, "For an obligation is laid on me. And woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel!" (1 Cor 9:16). The preacher has the task to make the Gospel reach the hearts of men and women; this is why he should be full of benevolence and not harshness. The preachers need that love, of which Paul says, "love is patient; love is not envious; it is not irritable or resentful; it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Cor 13:4-7). The communication of the Gospel is needed today, because "distressing times" (3:1) of division and wandering are drawing near. Timothy needs to show temperance and present the Gospel message with prudence, clarity, but also with firmness. Preaching the Word of God entails suffering and humiliation, as Paul’s own life demonstrates. Paul is writing with death before his eyes; he knows the time is coming when his blood will be poured out like a libation offered to God in martyrdom. His death will be a "return" to the Lord. He turns his gaze back to the race of his life; it has been a "fight," but has guarded and preserved the faith in Christ. He has been a "servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries" (1 Cor 4:1), and has kept the faith that "is required of stewards" (1 Cor 4:2). Therefore it is with sure hope that he can wait for "the crown of righteousness," like a runner who has reached the finish line a victor. "On that day" the Lord will grant him the crown of victory as the prize for a life lived in service of God and his Church. He knows that he will receive this crown of victory alone, but together with the disciples "who have longed for his appearing." Once again, Paul ties the life of the disciple to the life of the community, maintaining that the crown we will receive begins on earth with the brothers and sisters of the family of God.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday