Prayer for peace

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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

2 Corinthians 6, 1-10

As his fellow-workers, we urge you not to let your acceptance of his grace come to nothing.

As he said, 'At the time of my favour I have answered you; on the day of salvation I have helped you'; well, now is the real time of favour, now the day of salvation is here.

We avoid putting obstacles in anyone's way, so that no blame may attach to our work of service;

but in everything we prove ourselves authentic servants of God; by resolute perseverance in times of hardships, difficulties and distress;

when we are flogged or sent to prison or mobbed; labouring, sleepless, starving;

in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness; in the Holy Spirit, in a love free of affectation;

in the word of truth and in the power of God; by using the weapons of uprightness for attack and for defence:

in times of honour or disgrace, blame or praise; taken for impostors and yet we are genuine;

unknown and yet we are acknowledged; dying, and yet here we are, alive; scourged but not executed;

in pain yet always full of joy; poor and yet making many people rich; having nothing, and yet owning everything.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul returns to talk about his apostolic ministry. He is not worried for himself and his reputation. What he cares about is that he is received by the Corinthians as one sent by the Lord. He adds: “We urge you not to accept the grace of God in vain” (v.1). And not to linger. The favourable moment is now. Moreover, the apostle has faced many difficulties in order not to fail his apostolic ministry. He lists them: beatings, imprisonment, riots, labours, sleepless nights, hunger. ...None of them has moved him away from the mission of preaching the Gospel. On the contrary, filled with feelings of purity, wisdom, patience, kindness, holiness, sincere love, he has not ceased to preach the Gospel and to serve the community. The word which the Lord had entrusted to him was his strength, his support. We could say that the disciples of Jesus, poor of external goods, have an inner wealth that, while they communicate it, sustains them; even more, it strengthens and broadens their heart. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “We have spoken frankly to you ... our heart is wide open to you”(v.11). But the width of the heart of the apostle is matched by the narrowness of that of the Corinthians: “There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours” (v.12). The narrowness of heart of the Corinthians embitters the apostle because it prevents him from extending to them the good food of the Gospel preaching. And, with the love of a father (“I speak as to children”), he tells them, “Open wide your hearts also.” It is the condition for receiving the Gospel. Otherwise you fall under the foreign yoke of “unbelievers” (v.14), i.e. the egocentric mentality of the world. There can be no compromise between “Christ and Beliar,” that is between Christ and Satan. The yoke of the latter is a burden that crushes, while the yoke of the Gospel is “easy” (Mt 11:30). And whoever accepts it becomes a “temple of God”, that is, a witness of the love and mercy of the Lord. If we open our hearts to the Gospel, we will be free from the yoke of Satan, and the world will open up to love.