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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Corinthians 6, 3-18

We avoid putting obstacles in anyone's way, so that no blame may attach to our work of service;

but in everything we prove ourselves authentic servants of God; by resolute perseverance in times of hardships, difficulties and distress;

when we are flogged or sent to prison or mobbed; labouring, sleepless, starving;

in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness; in the Holy Spirit, in a love free of affectation;

in the word of truth and in the power of God; by using the weapons of uprightness for attack and for defence:

in times of honour or disgrace, blame or praise; taken for impostors and yet we are genuine;

unknown and yet we are acknowledged; dying, and yet here we are, alive; scourged but not executed;

in pain yet always full of joy; poor and yet making many people rich; having nothing, and yet owning everything.

People of Corinth, we have spoken frankly and opened our heart to you.

Any distress you feel is not on our side; the distress is in your own selves.

In fair exchange -- I speak as though to children of mine -- you must open your hearts too.

Do not harness yourselves in an uneven team with unbelievers; how can uprightness and law-breaking be partners, or what can light and darkness have in common?

How can Christ come to an agreement with Beliar and what sharing can there be between a believer and an unbeliever?

The temple of God cannot compromise with false gods, and that is what we are -- the temple of the living God. We have God's word for it: I shall fix my home among them and live among them; I will be their God and they will be my people.

Get away from them, purify yourselves, says the Lord. Do not touch anything unclean, and then I shall welcome you.

I shall be father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the almighty Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul speaks again of his apostolic ministry. He is not concerned for himself and for his fame. What he cares is that he is received by the Corinthians as one sent by the Lord. He adds: “We urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain” (6:1). And there is to be no lingering. This is the favourable time. Moreover, the apostle has faced innumerable challenges in order not to be wanting in his apostolic ministry. And he enumerates them: beatings, imprisonments, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger.... None of these has taken him away from the mission of preaching the Gospel. On the contrary, clothed with sentiment of purity, knowledge, of patience, of kindness, of holiness, of genuine love, he has not ceased to preach the Gospel and to serve the community. The Word which the Lord had entrusted to him has been his strength, his support. We may say that the disciples of Jesus, poor in external goods, have an interior richness which, while they communicate it, sustains them, indeed strengthens them and broadens their heart. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you” (v. 11). But to the largeness of his heart of the apostle is matched the narrowness of the Corinthians: “There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours” (v. 12). The narrowness of the heart of the Corinthians disappoints the apostle because it impedes him from extending to them the good food of the preaching the Gospel. And, with the love of a father (“I speak as to children”), he says to them, “Open wide your hearts.” This is the condition for welcoming the Gospel. Otherwise one “mismatches with unbelievers” (v. 14), that is, with the egocentric mentality of the world. There can be no compromise between “Christ and Beliar,” that is, between Christ and Satan. The yoke of the latter is a weight that crushes, while the yoke of the Gospel is “sweet” (Mt 11.30). And those who welcome it become a “temple of God,” witnesses of the love and of the mercy of the Lord. If we open our hearts to the Gospel, we will be free from the yoke of Satan, and also the world will be open to love.

Prayer for peace

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday