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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Adalbert, bishop of Prague. He suffered martyrdom in eastern Prussia where he had gone to preach the Gospel (†997). He spent time in Rome, where his memory is venerated in the basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Tiberine Island.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Corinthians 11, 1-15

I wish you would put up with a little foolishness from me -- not that you don't do this already.

The jealousy that I feel for you is, you see, God's own jealousy: I gave you all in marriage to a single husband, a virgin pure for presentation to Christ.

But I am afraid that, just as the snake with his cunning seduced Eve, your minds may be led astray from single-minded devotion to Christ.

Because any chance comer has only to preach a Jesus other than the one we preached, or you have only to receive a spirit different from the one you received, or a gospel different from the one you accepted -- and you put up with that only too willingly.

Now, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to the super-apostles.

Even if there is something lacking in my public speaking, this is not the case with my knowledge, as we have openly shown to you at all times and before everyone.

Have I done wrong, then, humbling myself so that you might be raised up, by preaching the gospel of God to you for nothing?

I was robbing other churches, taking wages from them in order to work for you.

When I was with you and needed money, I was no burden to anybody, for the brothers from Macedonia brought me as much as I needed when they came; I have always been careful not to let myself be a burden to you in any way, and I shall continue to be so.

And as Christ's truth is in me, this boast of mine is not going to be silenced in the regions of Achaia.

Why should it be? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do.

I will go on acting as I do at present, to cut the ground from under the feet of those who are looking for a chance to be proved my equals in grounds for boasting.

These people are counterfeit apostles, dishonest workers disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.

There is nothing astonishing in this; even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

It is nothing extraordinary, then, when his servants disguise themselves as the servants of uprightness. They will come to the end appropriate to what they have done.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Those “super-apostles,” wishing to discredit Paul and his mission, were probably some Jewish Christians who presented themselves confidently as inter¬preters of the original message of the community of Jerusalem. Moreover, they disparaged Paul’s lack of eloquence. In defence, the apostle claims his love for the Corinthians for whom he feels a love passionate to the point of being jealous. With the image of the community as the bride of Christ, the apostle presents himself as the father who watches over it and guards it in order to present it to the groom without stain. It is an effective way to express with what intensity he feels his pastoral responsibility. He keeps watch attentively because he sees a repetition of the dramatic scene in the Garden of Eden when Eve allowed herself to be circumvented by the serpent. And, indeed, there were those who allowed themselves to be seduced by the serpent, by these “super-apostles,” as Paul ironically calls his opponents, those preaching another gospel than the one he brought. Paul is bitterly surprised that the community has supported them: “You submit to it readily enough” (v. 4). Perhaps Paul’s opponents spoke more eloquently than he did. But the apostle counters immediately, “I may be untrained in speech, but not in knowledge” (v. 6). In fact, as he will write to the Romans, with him was “God who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages” (Rom 16:25). And yet the apostle does not trust in dialectical discourses. His purpose is to touch the hearts of the listeners so as to gain them for Christ. This was his recompense, the only thing he really cared about. For this reason he wanted absolutely no compensation from the Corinthians. He received help from other communities: “I robbed other churches, receiving a stipend to fulfil this ministry among you.” In general, the apostles and itinerant missionaries were maintained by the community. Paul knew this rule, but explicitly never wanted to benefit from it. Indeed it for him this free, gratuitous preaching of the Gospel at Corinth was an advantage and a strength, as well as a sign of care and of love for that community. In the words of the apostle beats his great love for the Gospel and for that community, for whom he had spent so much energy and totally freely in order to show a fully paternal love. He writes that nothing will change his behaviour, so strong is his love. This passionate love of the apostle is a call to all of us to renew our love for the Gospel, so that the Church, the community, may be above all our concerns. It is a precious treasure we have received freely: let us love it, let us taste its beauty and let us freely offer it to whosoever has need of it.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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