Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Memory of St. Joseph the worker and World Labour Day.

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

Philippians 1, 12-26

Now I want you to realise, brothers, that the circumstances of my present life are helping rather than hindering the advance of the gospel.

My chains in Christ have become well known not only to all the Praetorium, but to everybody else,

and so most of the brothers in the Lord have gained confidence from my chains and are getting more and more daring in announcing the Message without any fear.

It is true that some of them are preaching Christ out of malice and rivalry; but there are many as well whose intentions are good;

some are doing it out of love, knowing that I remain firm in my defence of the gospel.

There are others who are proclaiming Christ out of jealousy, not in sincerity but meaning to add to the weight of my chains.

But what does it matter? Only that in both ways, whether with false motives or true, Christ is proclaimed, and for that I am happy;

and I shall go on being happy, too, because I know that this is what will save me, with your prayers and with the support of the Spirit of Jesus Christ;

all in accordance with my most confident hope and trust that I shall never have to admit defeat, but with complete fearlessness I shall go on, so that now, as always, Christ will be glorified in my body, whether by my life or my death.

Life to me, of course, is Christ, but then death would be a positive gain.

On the other hand again, if to be alive in the body gives me an opportunity for fruitful work, I do not know which I should choose.

I am caught in this dilemma: I want to be gone and to be with Christ, and this is by far the stronger desire-

and yet for your sake to stay alive in this body is a more urgent need.

This much I know for certain, that I shall stay and stand by you all, to encourage your advance and your joy in the faith,

so that my return to be among you may increase to overflowing your pride in Jesus Christ on my account.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

An enormous desire and a strong passion for the Gospel animate Paul. He devotes his entire life to the Gospel. The Acts of the Apostles and his Letters are a clear testimony of this. He writes to the Christians in Philippi that this is the very task of Jesus’ disciples: to preach the Gospel. This responsibility is fundamental and essential, so much so that he says: “Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice.” Communicating the Gospel is making known with words and with life God’s love revealed in a definitive way in Jesus. Paul’s passion poses a profoundly important question to the Christians at the beginning of this new century. Have we not often delegated this responsibility to others, a responsibility that God instead has entrusted to each disciple, no one excluded? Indeed, each one of us, reading the pages of the Letter to the Philippians, ought to say: “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” And if the Lord grants us to live, we live for the Lord and for the Gospel, because only in this way we can we truly be of help to others and to the world.