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The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

The Jews celebrate Yom Kippur (Day of Expiation)

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

Galatians 5,18-25

But when you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. When self-indulgence is at work the results are obvious: sexual vice, impurity, and sensuality, the worship of false gods and sorcery; antagonisms and rivalry, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels, disagreements, factions and malice, drunkenness, orgies and all such things. And about these, I tell you now as I have told you in the past, that people who behave in these ways will not inherit the kingdom of God. On the other hand the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness and self-control; no law can touch such things as these. All who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified self with all its passions and its desires. Since we are living by the Spirit, let our behaviour be guided by the Spirit


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christians are "called to freedom," writes Paul. This call of God has pulled them from the evil world (1:4) carrying them into the new creation (6:15). But freedom, if understood falsely, can become "an opportunity for self-indulgence." This is the temptation of those who want to impose themselves on others, who want all to revolve around them. Paul, however, says that freedom is given to us to serve one another: "through love become slaves to one another." Freedom is "to love." Love is the only law of Christians. Indeed, with incredible clarity, the Apostle writes: "For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment: You shall love your neighbour as yourself" (5:14). Paul, however, urges the Christians of Galatia not to "devour" one other. Disputes in fact lead to the destruction of themselves and of the community. The only way to remain in freedom is to love. This means "to live by the Spirit" and avoid the "flesh desires" (5:16-18), that is from egotistical instincts that push us to turn inward. Those who let themselves be guided by self-love end up being its slaves and doing even what they would not want to. In order to explain this, Paul lists fifteen vices among the "works of the flesh": "fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and things like these. " These works exclude one from the Kingdom of God because they are opposed to love. On the contrary, "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." The opposition that lies between the "works of the flesh" and "the fruit of the Spirit" is the same as that which lies between darkness and light, between chaos and order, between multiplicity and unity. This is why any reconciliation between the two plans is not possible. Believers cannot be torn within themselves: their lives must be a service of love. The fruit of love is "joy" (Paul will report to the elders of Ephesus Jesus’ saying: "There is more joy in giving than in receiving"), "peace" and then "patience, kindness and generosity." "Faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" close the enumeration. Believers who live inspired by love become leaven in a new world which God inaugurated with Jesus. Acting with love, Christians imitate Jesus because they "have crucified the flesh" and "live by the Spirit", acting with love.

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