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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Thessalonians 2, 1-16

You know yourselves, my brothers, that our visit to you has not been pointless.

Although, as you know, we had received rough treatment and insults at Philippi, God gave us the courage to speak his gospel to you fearlessly, in spite of great opposition.

Our encouragement to you does not come from any delusion or impure motives or trickery.

No, God has approved us to be entrusted with the gospel, and this is how we preach, seeking to please not human beings but God who tests our hearts.

Indeed, we have never acted with the thought of flattering anyone, as you know, nor as an excuse for greed, God is our witness;

nor have we ever looked for honour from human beings, either from you or anybody else,

when we could have imposed ourselves on you with full weight, as apostles of Christ. Instead, we lived unassumingly among you. Like a mother feeding and looking after her children,

we felt so devoted to you, that we would have been happy to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, so dear had you become.

You remember, brothers, with what unsparing energy we used to work, slaving night and day so as not to be a burden on any one of you while we were proclaiming the gospel of God to you.

You are witnesses, and so is God, that our treatment of you, since you believed, has been impeccably fair and upright.

As you know, we treated every one of you as a father treats his children,

urging you, encouraging you and appealing to you to live a life worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and his glory.

Another reason why we continually thank God for you is that as soon as you heard the word that we brought you as God's message, you welcomed it for what it really is, not the word of any human being, but God's word, a power that is working among you believers.

For you, my brothers, have modelled yourselves on the churches of God in Christ Jesus which are in Judaea, in that you have suffered the same treatment from your own countrymen as they have had from the Jews,

who put the Lord Jesus to death, and the prophets too, and persecuted us also. Their conduct does not please God, and makes them the enemies of the whole human race,

because they are hindering us from preaching to gentiles to save them. Thus all the time they are reaching the full extent of their iniquity, but retribution has finally overtaken them.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul recalls the happy success of God’s activity in Thessalonica, much more since he had gone there after the sad experiences suffered at Philippi, where, along with Silvanus, he had been scourged, thrown in prison and, finally, made to leave the city (the wounds he had received were perhaps still visible to the Thessalonians). Despite everything, Paul is neither discouraged nor downcast. His strength is his union with God, as he writes to the Corinthians: "He consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God" (2 Cor 1:4). Union with God results in freedom and confidence to preach the Gospel. The apostle clearly states that his preaching is forthright and sincere, free of all self-interest, because he has received this task from God himself and he must render an account to Him. It is God, then, that he must please, not human beings, as he writes to the Galatians: "If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Gal 1:l0). This is why he does not seek to be liked by people; he preaches God’s truth "whether the time is favourable or unfavourable" (2 Tim 4:2). Paul knows that he must keep far from ambition and covetousness. As an apostle he could have stressed his authority and even demanded respect and honour, but he has preferred the way of meekness, of selfless dedication to others. He has behaved like a mother, indeed, like a mother who offers her child not just milk, but all her love. He writes the Galatians that "I am again in the pain of childbirth" for his children "until Christ is formed" in them (see Gal 4:19). Calling to mind the beginnings of the Thessalonian community, almost unaware, he passes from the memories of the founding to that of life in the first months. It had been a time of building with patient pastoral work, even at night. Ordinarily, he would start his apostolic work in the late afternoon, since during the day he worked "with his hands" to earn his bread, as he would later do in Corinth. "I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing," he could say (Acts 20:33ff.). He wanted to avoid any suspicion of greed or personal interest (see 2:3. 5) in order to make his preaching trustworthy. He did not want to be maintained, even if this would save him time and energy for true pastoral activity, properly speaking. But this freedom allowed him to be even more authoritative and paternal. This is why he can admonish, exhort, encourage and implore effectively, so that the Thessalonians could be "worthy of God" and therefore share in His kingdom.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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