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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Zechariah and of Elizabeth, who in her old age conceived John the Baptist.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Romans 14, 7-12

For none of us lives for himself and none of us dies for himself;

while we are alive, we are living for the Lord, and when we die, we die for the Lord: and so, alive or dead, we belong to the Lord.

It was for this purpose that Christ both died and came to life again: so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

Why, then, does one of you make himself judge over his brother, and why does another among you despise his brother? All of us will have to stand in front of the judgement-seat of God:

as scripture says: By my own life says the Lord, every knee shall bow before me, every tongue shall give glory to God.

It is to God, then, that each of us will have to give an account of himself.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage is centred on the attention we are to have toward the "weak" in the community, that is, toward those whose faith is not solid and who may have religious scruples about what food to eat. Certainly, there were—both in Rome and in Corinth—some in the community who were "strong," who believed themselves to be free from every tradition and some "weak" who were still living according to the norms of the Judeo-Christian environment. The dispute centred above all on the issue of food purity. Indeed, the seriousness of the situation revealed itself in the strong reciprocal accusations that the two groups made. Paul has severe words for those who judge and despise others. These, in fact, weaken the community, not loving that which builds it up, and in so doing dissipate the energy of communion. The apostle calls Christians to the primacy of brotherhood and communion: disciples are called, first of all, to live for the Lord and his Gospel and not for themselves or their own ideas. The Gospel, and only the Gospel, is the source and very reason for communion among believers. Observances are not what unite. And neither does "strength" of pride nor the "weakness" of a defeatist [or submissive] life, preserve the communion of the Christian community. That which preserves is always and only the love of God—welcomed into the community and practiced. Taking care of and defending this fraternal love—that we receive from on high—is a priority duty. And for this it is the most precious thing to preserve. From this, in fact—says Jesus—they will recognize that we are his disciples.

Memory of the Church

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