Memory of the Poor

Share On

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Corinthians 5, 6-13

Your self-satisfaction is ill founded. Do you not realise that only a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?

Throw out the old yeast so that you can be the fresh dough, unleavened as you are. For our Passover has been sacrificed, that is, Christ;

let us keep the feast, then, with none of the old yeast and no leavening of evil and wickedness, but only the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

In my letter, I wrote to you that you should have nothing to do with people living immoral lives.

I was not including everybody in this present world who is sexually immoral, or everybody who is greedy, or dishonest or worships false gods -- that would mean you would have to cut yourselves off completely from the world.

In fact what I meant was that you were not to have anything to do with anyone going by the name of brother who is sexually immoral, or is greedy, or worships false gods, or is a slanderer or a drunkard or dishonest; never even have a meal with anybody of that kind.

It is no concern of mine to judge outsiders. It is for you to judge those who are inside, is it not?

But outsiders are for God to judge. You must banish this evil-doer from among you.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The apostle urges his readers to be attentive to whether the members of community are faithful to the Gospel: they should not let themselves be leavened by the “old yeast” of our instincts, which drives us to pride, self-sufficiency, and love for ourselves, but rather by the “new yeast” of the Word of God, which gives the community new visions and the energy to realize them, making it a sign of hope for the world. Faithfulness to the Gospel means putting it in practice literally, just as Francis of Assisi did when he became a believer “informed” by the Gospel. The life of the community needs to show the Gospel lived out concretely. The words of the Gospel about being “salt and light” for the entire world come to mind. If the community loses the flavour of fraternity, or if it does not have the wisdom to show the way to a just and love-filled life, what good is it? In that case, it can be counted among the many “religious” products that the great supermarket offers to the men and women of our time. But it would not be a place of salvation. Only the “purity” of the Gospel justifies the Church and makes it attractive for the poor and for all those who are looking for a full life. The Gospel makes the community and each disciple good, and it gives them the strength to face and defeat evil. The apostle is well aware of the fact that the community is not a sect made up of the pure and the strong, and he knows that it must exist in relationship with the world; he was not referring to “the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since you would then need to go out of the world” (v. 10). In this observation, we can hear the echo of the Gospel parable about the good wheat and the weeds. The patience seen in the landowner is the same patience the Church and each disciple need to exercise. The situation within the Christian community is different, however. It is not that it is not made up of weak and sinful men and women, but it must be preserved from degeneration, that is, from any weakening of its evangelic character, from the corruption of fraternity, and from all sluggishness in its love for the poor. These poisonous seeds must be taken “from among you”, the apostle warns with paternal authority.