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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Gregory the Great (540-604), Pope and Doctor of the Church.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Corinthians 4,6b-15

Who made you so important? What have you got that was not given to you? And if it was given to you, why are you boasting as though it were your own? You already have everything -- you are rich already -- you have come into your kingdom, without any help from us! Well, I wish you were kings and we could be kings with you! For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on show right at the end, like men condemned to death: we have been exhibited as a spectacle to the whole universe, both angelic and human. Here we are, fools for Christ's sake, while you are the clever ones in Christ; we are weak, while you are strong; you are honoured, while we are disgraced. To this day, we go short of food and drink and clothes, we are beaten up and we have no homes; we earn our living by labouring with our own hands; when we are cursed, we answer with a blessing; when we are hounded, we endure it passively; when we are insulted, we give a courteous answer. We are treated even now as the dregs of the world, the very lowest scum. I am writing all this not to make you ashamed but simply to remind you, as my dear children; for even though you might have ten thousand slaves to look after you in Christ, you still have no more than one father, and it was I who fathered you in Christ Jesus, by the gospel.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In defence of the authenticity of his apostolic service, Paul lists the difficulties and trials he has suffered in order to remain faithful to the preaching of the Gospel. Such faithfulness and steadfastness are born from the apostle’s firm intention to abide by what is written without looking for gratification or recognition: "Learn through us (me and Apollos) the meaning of the saying, ‘Nothing beyond what is written’, so that none of you will be puffed up in favour of one against another." Everything that we receive as a special gift needs to be given back to God, who works through each individual for the good of all. It is a matter of de-centring from ourselves or our groups and re-centring on Jesus. To the self-satisfaction of the Corinthians, Paul opposes the humility, labours, and suffering of the apostles. And, in an ironic twist, he accuses them of being having "all you want" and being "rich," in reference to the charisms and the self-sufficiency that they show off: they are "wise," "strong," and "held in honour." The apostles, however, are "fools for the sake of Christ", "weak" and "in disrepute," "the rubbish of the world" and "the dregs of all things." The apostle condemns the Corinthians’ self-sufficient attitude. This temptation often seizes the disciples of Jesus when they forget their permanent condition as children who need to listen to and obey the Word of God. Unfortunately, we often feel rich and satisfied, as if we have already made it. But we must beware! Those who think they no longer need the preaching of the Gospel, those who believe they are more wise and knowledgeable than the apostle are already on the road to the rupture of communion. In contrast to the boasting of the Corinthians and all those who, like them, think they are all set, the apostle claims the last place, which is where the world puts them. It is the place of persecution and humiliation, but also the place of pastoral work and a tireless commitment to preaching despite human ingratitude. In fact, in God’s eyes he is in the first place. It is the place occupied by Jesus, who was rejected by men and women but welcomed by God. The apostle’s "foolishness," weakness, and suffering should make the Christians of Corinth think, because they, instead, have let their pride puff them up to the point of breaking the unity of the community.

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