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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

1 Corinthians 15,35-37.42-49

Someone may ask: How are dead people raised, and what sort of body do they have when they come? How foolish! What you sow must die before it is given new life; and what you sow is not the body that is to be, but only a bare grain, of wheat I dare say, or some other kind; It is the same too with the resurrection of the dead: what is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable; what is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; what is sown is weak, but what is raised is powerful; what is sown is a natural body, and what is raised is a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is a spiritual body too. So the first man, Adam, as scripture says, became a living soul; and the last Adam has become a life-giving spirit. But first came the natural body, not the spiritual one; that came only afterwards. The first man, being made of earth, is earthly by nature; the second man is from heaven. The earthly man is the pattern for earthly people, the heavenly man for heavenly ones. And as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so we shall bear the likeness of the heavenly one.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In order to answer a question about how the resurrection of the body takes place, the apostle uses the example of the seed (the earthly body), which, once it has died, becomes a plant (the risen body). He uses this image to affirm that on the day of the resurrection we will be the same and yet different: we will have our "flesh" but we will be clothed in incorruptibility. We could say that the resurrection is the end of a process that lasts our entire life. None of us can imagine what a risen body is like. But we can get some idea of it from the Gospel stories that narrate the days Jesus spent with the disciples after Easter. The Gospels present the same Jesus who had suffered death on the cross – he still bears the mark of the nails – and yet he is different: the two disciples of Emmaus did not recognize him, nor did Mary and the other disciples. The recognition of the risen Jesus is signalled only by faith. That is to say that we can only recognize a spiritual body if we are "spiritual" people. Paul suggests that the resurrection requires an interior journey, a transformation of the heart and the mind as well as of the body, a transformation of our attitudes. In fact it is a matter of receiving the "seeds of immortality" in us. We do this by listening to the Gospel, participating in the holy liturgy, living in fraternity, and practicing love. This is how the seed of immortality given to us on the day of our Baptism grows in us: a seed that must be guarded, protected, and cultivated every day. In this sense, our entire life is a struggle between evil, which drags us down, and the Lord’s grace, which works to lift us up towards heaven. And if the cause of death is sin and pride, which reside in our hearts, the resurrection begins when we bind our lives to Christ. The sting of death, Paul affirms, suffers its defeat when we bind ourselves to Jesus. Obviously it is a living bond, formed by our obedience to the Gospel, our commitment to love, and our struggles against our own selfishness. But the apostle adds, "Know that in the Lord your labour is not in vain."

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