Prayer for the sick

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Today the Gypsy people, including those of Islamic faith, celebrate St. George, who died a martyr to free the Church.

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

Philippians 3, 1-16

Finally, brothers, I wish you joy in the Lord. To write to you what I have already written before is no trouble to me and to you will be a protection.

Beware of dogs! Beware of evil workmen! Beware of self-mutilators!

We are the true people of the circumcision since we worship by the Spirit of God and make Christ Jesus our only boast, not relying on physical qualifications,

although, I myself could rely on these too. If anyone does claim to rely on them, my claim is better.

Circumcised on the eighth day of my life, I was born of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrew parents. In the matter of the Law, I was a Pharisee;

as for religious fervour, I was a persecutor of the Church; as for the uprightness embodied in the Law, I was faultless.

But what were once my assets I now through Christ Jesus count as losses.

Yes, I will go further: because of the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, I count everything else as loss. For him I have accepted the loss of all other things, and look on them all as filth if only I can gain Christ

and be given a place in him, with the uprightness I have gained not from the Law, but through faith in Christ, an uprightness from God, based on faith,

that I may come to know him and the power of his resurrection, and partake of his sufferings by being moulded to the pattern of his death,

striving towards the goal of resurrection from the dead.

Not that I have secured it already, nor yet reached my goal, but I am still pursuing it in the attempt to take hold of the prize for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Brothers, I do not reckon myself as having taken hold of it; I can only say that forgetting all that lies behind me, and straining forward to what lies in front,

I am racing towards the finishing-point to win the prize of God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

So this is the way in which all of us who are mature should be thinking, and if you are still thinking differently in any way, then God has yet to make this matter clear to you.

Meanwhile, let us go forward from the point we have each attained.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The community of Philippi was not living easily, as this passage evidences. Paul had spoken of adversaries. Here, he talks of “dogs”, of “evil doers”, and of others who were using circumcision, a symbol of belonging to the people of Israel to claim superiority over others within the community made up of people of diverse origins. The apostle is almost forced to praise himself as a perfect member of the people of Israel (vv. 5-6). However, this is only to clarify that this belonging is not what matters before the Lord. The “flesh”, that is one’s origin, condition, culture and whatever else distinguishes one from the other, does not count toward being a disciple. Essentially, one is not a disciple by birth or by membership, but only by faith. Paul considers everything else “rubbish” compared to the gift he received: the grace of encountering the Lord and of becoming similar to Him. For this reason, he sees his life as a race to conform himself to Christ totally, to immerse himself in his death and resurrection. Paul also transmits to us this desire for a Christian life completely oriented toward the realization of full communion with the Lord. Even through tribulation, the Christian lives out the same joy to which the apostle exhorts the Philippians to live out (3:1)