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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the prophet Isaiah

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Galatians 5, 1-12

Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.

I, Paul, give you my word that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you at all.

I give my assurance once again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law;

once you seek to be reckoned as upright through the Law, then you have separated yourself from Christ, you have fallen away from grace.

We are led by the Spirit to wait in the confident hope of saving justice through faith,

since in Christ Jesus it is not being circumcised or being uncircumcised that can effect anything -- only faith working through love.

You began your race well; who came to obstruct you and stop you obeying the truth?

It was certainly not any prompting from him who called you!

A pinch of yeast ferments the whole batch.

But I feel sure that, united in the Lord, you will not be led astray, and that anyone who makes trouble with you will be condemned, no matter who he is.

And I, brothers -- if I were still preaching circumcision, why should I still be persecuted? For then the obstacle which is the cross would have no point any more.

I could wish that those who are unsettling you would go further and mutilate themselves.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After having demonstrated that justice comes from faith and not from the works of the law, Paul wants to draw out the moral consequences of this for Christian life. The apostle affirms that Christ freed us so that we might live in freedom. This is why Paul urges his readers to "stand firm," to keep themselves free and not fall again under the "yoke of slavery." With authoritative language he puts the Galatians on guard against circumcising themselves, because by doing so they would render the Gospel of freedom useless. The Christian who, by circumcising himself, starts down the road to justification through the law not only excludes himself from Christ’s help and falls under the curse of the law but, breaking every bond, he detaches himself from Christ, "in whom" he had found himself through his baptism (Gal 3:27ff). The term used by Paul to express the "cutting off from Christ" also contains the concept of being ruined, that is, of being annihilated. Whoever tries to justify him or herself through the law seals his or her own ruin, while whoever follows the Gospel lives by the Spirit. It is not circumcision or non-circumcision that saves us because it is not our works but only the Spirit who works in us that saves us. That is why the apostle affirms that "faith works through love." Faith and love are linked by an unbreakable bond: love makes faith work and faith welcomes love in the heart. Paul cannot understand why the Galatians that were running so well before have blocked their own road. He reminds them that it only takes a few words against the Gospel to badly leaven an entire life. But faced with this possibility, Paul trusts in the Lord. He has faith that the Galatians will mend their ways and hopes that his Letter will convince them to do so. His judgment of those who put the spiritual life of the community in danger is very severe. They will suffer God’s punishment.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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