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The Everyday Prayer


 
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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Ezra 3,1-13

When the seventh month came after the Israelites had been resettled in their towns, the people gathered as one person in Jerusalem.

Then Jeshua son of Jozadak, with his brother priests, and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, with his brothers, set about rebuilding the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it as prescribed in the Law of Moses man of God.

They erected the altar on its old site, despite their fear of the people of the country, and on it they presented burnt offerings to Yahweh, burnt offerings morning and evening;

they celebrated the feast of Shelters as prescribed, offering daily the number of burnt offerings required from day to day,

and in addition presented the continual burnt offerings prescribed for the Sabbaths, for the New Moons and for all the festivals sacred to Yahweh, as well as those voluntary offerings made by individuals to Yahweh.

From the first day of the seventh month they began presenting burnt offerings to Yahweh, though the foundations of the Temple of Yahweh had not yet been laid.

They also contributed money for the masons and carpenters, and food, drink and oil for the Sidonians and Tyrians for bringing cedar wood from Lebanon by sea to Jaffa, for which Cyrus king of Persia had given permission.

It was in the second month of the second year after their arrival at the Temple of God in Jerusalem that Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak, with the rest of their brothers, the priests, the Levites and all the people who had returned to Jerusalem from captivity, began the work by appointing some of the Levites who were twenty years old or more to superintend the work on the Temple of Yahweh.

The Levites, Jeshua, his sons and his brothers, with Kadmiel, Binnui and his sons, the sons of Hodaviah, agreed to superintend the men working on the Temple of God.

When the builders had laid the foundations of the Temple of Yahweh, the priests in their robes stood forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise Yahweh according to the ordinances of David king of Israel.

They chanted praise and thanksgiving to Yahweh because for Israel, they said, 'he is good, and everlasting in his faithful love.' Then all the people raised a mighty shout of praise to Yahweh, since the foundations of the Temple of Yahweh had now been laid.

Many of the older priests, Levites and heads of families, who had seen the first temple, wept very loudly when the foundations of this one were laid before their eyes, but many others shouted aloud for joy,

so that nobody could distinguish the noise of the joyful shout from the noise of the people's weeping; for the people shouted so loudly that the noise could be heard far away.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

There is a great deal of excitement in Jerusalem: the reconstruction of the temple, which the Babylonians destroyed during the occupation of the city in 587, is about to begin. The temple was considered the preferred place of encountering the God of Israel, especially since the time of King Josiah, when other sanctuaries had been destroyed. Gathered around the house of God, the unity of the people reconstitutes itself: "the people gathered together in Jerusalem." In a moment of division, disorientation, difficulty and poverty, to be able to find oneself together with others again in the house of the Lord and to turn to him means being able to rebuild a common way of thinking and feeling. Turning our thoughts to the Lord and to his house frees us from the slavery of remaining caught up in our individual interests. The words of David, when his spirit was moved to construct a temple to the God of Israel, come to mind: "Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, ‘See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.’" (2 Sam 7:1-2). We worry so much about our own house, but we worry little about God’s house! The book of Ezra communicates to us the value of having an active and real responsibility for the Lord’s house. The book names those who, in different ways, contribute to the reconstruction’s beginning. The common effort builds up harmony; it creates unanimity and communion. The book repeats that they were "together:" "Jeshua with his sons and his kin, and Kadmiel and his sons, ... together took charge of the workers in the house of God." We cannot accept living divided in God’s house, following our own interests or those of one’s group. In God’s house, songs of praise and tears of sadness are interwoven, because the sentiments of those who are joined together in building up God’s house are different. And God receives both the praise and tears because no prayer goes unheard by our God.


12/01/2009
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri