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The Everyday Prayer

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

Muslim celebrate the feast of sacrifice (Aid al-Adha)

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

1 Corinthians 11,17-26.33

Now that I am on the subject of instructions, I cannot congratulate you on the meetings you hold; they do more harm than good. In the first place, I hear that when you all come together in your assembly, there are separate factions among you, and to some extent I believe it. It is no bad thing, either, that there should be differing groups among you so that those who are to be trusted among you can be clearly recognised. So, when you meet together, it is not the Lord's Supper that you eat; for when the eating begins, each one of you has his own supper first, and there is one going hungry while another is getting drunk. Surely you have homes for doing your eating and drinking in? Or have you such disregard for God's assembly that you can put to shame those who have nothing? What am I to say to you? Congratulate you? On this I cannot congratulate you. For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me.' Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord's death until he comes. So then, my brothers, when you meet for the Meal, wait for each other;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord’s supper is a sign of unity. After having spoken of the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the community, the apostle turns to the order to be observed during the Eucharistic meals. Even in the previous passage (which dealt with women’s clothing), Paul referred to the liturgical assembly, which is seen as the central moment of the life of the Christian community. Truly the Eucharist is the source of new life and new behaviours for believers: it is the source and the culmination of Christian life, as the Second Vatican Council would say twenty centuries later. In Paul’s time, the Eucharist was celebrated at the end of a shared meal at which the entire community gathered. Unfortunately, some people occasionally brought their own food without taking the poorest into consideration, demonstrating distance and disinterest instead of communion and love. Their behaviour directly betrayed the sacrament of unity. The apostle is very aware of the fact that not everything should be accepted in the community and that sometimes it is good for there to be limits and correction: "Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine" (v. 19). But when it gathers around the one bread, the community should be "of one heart and soul" (Acts 2:42). Consequently, Paul does not hesitate to call the selfishness that manifested itself in the Lord’s supper a sacrilege. And in order to defend the primacy of communion in the community, he narrates the institution of the Eucharist. He received it, and he in turn is passing it on. It is the Church’s most precious treasure. For the apostle, it is clear that fraternity in the community is closely tied to the celebration of the Eucharist, the memorial of Christ. While we are celebrating our communion with Christ, we cannot deny it with selfish behaviour or scorn for the others. The body "broken" and the wine "poured out" for others show us the spirit in which we need to participate in the Eucharistic celebration. The disciples, too, are asked not to live for themselves but for others. And particularly in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Memory of the Poor

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