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The Everyday Prayer

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

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

Titus 2,1-8.11-14

It is for you, then, to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine. Older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and perseverance. Similarly, older women should behave as befits religious people, with no scandal-mongering and no addiction to wine -- they must be the teachers of right behaviour and show younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children, how they must be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and obey their husbands, so that the message of God is not disgraced. Similarly, urge younger men to be moderate in everything that they do, and you yourself set an example of good works, by sincerity and earnestness, when you are teaching, and by a message sound and irreproachable so that any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us. You see, God's grace has been revealed to save the whole human race; it has taught us that we should give up everything contrary to true religion and all our worldly passions; we must be self-restrained and live upright and religious lives in this present world, waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Christ Jesus. He offered himself for us in order to ransom us from all our faults and to purify a people to be his very own and eager to do good.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle urges Titus to preach by drawing on "sound doctrine." It is to this alone that he should be faithful and this alone that he should transmit without adding anything or taking anything away. This is not an abstract theory, but a source that generates new behaviours. Every believer, according to his or her condition, has to translate into his or her daily life what he or she has learned. The apostle speaks first to the elderly: in them faith, love, and patience should shine. Older women, through their behaviour are invited to demonstrate the faith of mature disciples. They need, therefore, to tame their tongues and avoid grumbling. He invites them to feel the responsibility of using their lives to be true teachers of good works to young wives. Paul writes that these young wives should be exemplary spouses and mothers: their love for their husbands and children should be an important choice in their lives. These qualities, which are not exclusively Christian, are made even richer and stronger by faith. A Christian woman who lives out the Gospel will never offer an opportunity for others to despise Christ’s doctrine, nor will she give her pagan husband a reason to judge Christianity negatively. The apostle affirms, on the contrary, that her evangelical behaviour could provide a good opportunity for men "who do not obey the word, [to] be won over without a word by their wives’ conduct" (1 Pt 3:1). His exhortation to young men is brief: from them, Paul demands wisdom and self-discipline. In truth, every member of the community needs to act in an exemplary way so that the Gospel may shine in him or her. This is why the apostle addresses Titus directly and underlines that his example is more effective than any word: his life and preaching need to be so luminous that all enemies – whether inside or outside the community – will fall silent. Wanting to indicate what kind of strength makes Christians exemplary, Paul mentions a hymn to God’s mercy that was manifested in Jesus Christ. This mercy drives Christians towards a radical break with impiety and selfish instincts. Freed from sin, sanctified and united in Christ as his people, the disciples of Jesus are called to manifest this lofty vocation and great dignity through their good works and their mercy. This is the mystery that Titus has to preach to all those he meets. And he has to preach it with resolve. He may still be young (2:7) like Timothy (1 Tim 4:12), but Titus certainly remembers Jesus’ words: "Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me" (Lk 10:l6).

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday