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The Everyday Prayer

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

In the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere the Community of Sant’Egidio prays for the sick.

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

Titus 1,1-9

From Paul, servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring those whom God has chosen to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to true religion, and to give them the hope of the eternal life that was promised so long ago by God. He does not lie and so, in due time, he made known his message by a proclamation which was entrusted to me by the command of God our Saviour. To Titus, true child of mine in the faith that we share. Grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Saviour. The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to organise everything that still had to be done and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you, that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character, husband of one wife, and his children must be believers and not liable to be charged with disorderly conduct or insubordination. The presiding elder has to be irreproachable since he is God's representative: never arrogant or hot-tempered, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor avaricious; but hospitable and a lover of goodness; sensible, upright, devout and self-controlled; and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on both for giving encouragement in sound doctrine and for refuting those who argue against it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul writes to Titus, his "loyal child in the faith we share," whom he had left at Crete to "put in order what remained to be done" with the community. The apostle knows that the task he is giving Titus will not be easy. To sustain his authority Paul writes him this letter, which was to be read to the entire community gathered together. Paul ties the disciple’s ministry to his own apostolic authority. This is why he mentions that he is an "apostle," someone sent by Christ, even before naming the addressee of the letter. In saying this to Titus, Paul does not intend to boast. He knows well that he too is first of all a "servant" of the Lord. In fact, in the Christian community, authority is not given to be taken advantage of, but to serve the communion of brothers and sisters in the one faith and the one hope. Paul reminds Titus – and anyone who has responsibility in the community – that the whole purpose of the apostolic work is found in relationship with the "hope of eternal life." The pastor has to preach and testify to this hope to all. It is God himself who has promised it, and God does not lie; indeed, God is the guarantee. Ever since the Garden of Eden, God has kept this hope alive for His children. And all along the course of history he has revealed it to his people through an unbroken chain of prophets. But "in his time" the Lord sent his own Son, Jesus, to bring this promise to fulfilment. Jesus called him, Paul, to communicate this message of joy to the world (1 Tim 1:1), and Paul entrusts Titus with the continuation of his own mission. Paul, who might have already given Titus some instructions about how to choose people to be responsible for the community, repeats them now in this Letter. He reminds him that an elder should have a good reputation as witnessed by his ability to govern his household and raise his children as honest, modest, and obedient. The Church is also a family. Elsewhere, the apostle writes that the "bishop" is supposed to be the "steward of God" (see 1 Cor 4:1), and in the community he is supposed to govern and administer as if he were a diligent treasurer who works in an earthly house (Lk 12:42). Therefore the pastor is called to be a faithful instrument in the service of the Lord, banishing from himself and his behaviour any form of egoism, bullying, greed, or presumption. Any behaviour contrary to the Gospel – as the apostle indicates in this part of the Letter – is a betrayal of the responsibility entrusted to the pastor by God himself. The exemplary behaviour demanded of the pastor should be the same as found in every member of God’s family. Every disciple, in fact, is called to feel and live responsibly the life of the whole community. The wisdom, justice, and piety that accompany the person responsible for the community should be practiced by all of the disciples, precisely because the mystery of the Church is that it is one body, one family, for which everyone is responsible, though obviously in different ways. In this context, the apostle recalls the central responsibility of the pastor, which, as for every believer, is to be faithful to the "word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching." The living tradition of the Church is rooted in this exhortation: one Christian generation transmits to the next the Gospel which it has heard and lived. This uninterrupted faithfulness to the Gospel keeps the community steadfast and its witness strong.

Prayer for the Sick

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