Memory of the Church

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

1 Corinthians 10, 1-13

I want you to be quite certain, brothers, that our ancestors all had the cloud over them and all passed through the sea.

In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptised into Moses;

all ate the same spiritual food

and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ.

In spite of this, God was not pleased with most of them, and their corpses were scattered over the desert.

Now these happenings were examples, for our benefit, so that we should never set our hearts, as they did, on evil things;

nor are you to worship false gods, as some of them did, as it says in scripture: The people sat down to eat and drink, and afterwards got up to amuse themselves.

Nor, again, are we to fall into sexual immorality; some of them did this, and twenty-three thousand met their downfall in one day.

And we are not to put the Lord to the test; some of them put him to the test, and they were killed by snakes.

Never complain; some of them complained, and they were killed by the Destroyer.

Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were described in writing to be a lesson for us, to whom it has fallen to live in the last days of the ages.

Everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing, must be careful he does not fall.

None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The apostle urges the community not to give in to a false sense of security, that is, not to imagine it is enough to belong to the Church. It is not enough to call oneself a Christian, or to participate in religious rituals, or even to get caught up in works, in order to be saved. It was not even enough for the Israelites to belong to the people of God, to be covered by the cloud, to cross the sea, and to eat the same “spiritual food” and drink from the same “rock” in order to be saved from death when they gave in to murmuring and the convenient pursuit of their individual wellbeing. So we need to be careful not to consider ourselves safe and secure: “We must not indulge in sexual immorality…We must not put Christ to the test…And… do not complain…” (v. 8-10). With great frankness Paul says, “So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall.” We are all invited to recognize our weakness and fragility. And we need to ask the Lord for help every day. In the Our Father prayer – according to the most accurate translation – Jesus has us say, “Do not abandon us in the time of trial.” In effect, the apostle Paul is reassuring us that the Lord always sustains us so we can overcome temptation. His support comes to us through the grace of the Spirit given to our hearts, which is our “strength,” but also through the company of brothers and sisters, who are a precious help given to us so we can live according to the Gospel and escape from the chains of sin. The love that the Lord and our brothers and sisters have for us is the guarantee of our stability. All that is asked of us is to let ourselves be loved and let ourselves be helped. Those who think they can stand and act on their own condemn themselves to ruin.