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The Everyday Prayer

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

Feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth.

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

Acts 2,22-36

'Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God by the miracles and portents and signs that God worked through him when he was among you, as you know.

This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had crucified and killed by men outside the Law.

But God raised him to life, freeing him from the pangs of Hades; for it was impossible for him to be held in its power since,

as David says of him: I kept the Lord before my sight always, for with him at my right hand nothing can shake me.

So my heart rejoiced my tongue delighted; my body, too, will rest secure,

for you will not abandon me to Hades or allow your holy one to see corruption.

You have taught me the way of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence.

'Brothers, no one can deny that the patriarch David himself is dead and buried: his tomb is still with us.

But since he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn him an oath to make one of his descendants succeed him on the throne,

he spoke with foreknowledge about the resurrection of the Christ: he is the one who was not abandoned to Hades, and whose body did not see corruption.

God raised this man Jesus to life, and of that we are all witnesses.

Now raised to the heights by God's right hand, he has received from the Father the Holy Spirit, who was promised, and what you see and hear is the outpouring of that Spirit.

For David himself never went up to heaven, but yet he said: The Lord declared to my Lord, take your seat at my right hand,

till I have made your enemies your footstool.

'For this reason the whole House of Israel can be certain that the Lord and Christ whom God has made is this Jesus whom you crucified.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In his speech to the peoples of the earth, Peter announces that Jesus has defeated evil and death and established a new and beautiful world for all. The young prophet from Nazareth, after having worked miracles and healed many, freely and willingly handed himself over to the violence of evil. He was condemned to death and put on a cross. But the Father has raised him to life, "freeing him from the pains of death." His obedience to God, his abandoning himself to the will of the Father, and his limitless love for humanity has won him the resurrection. The apostle Peter quotes Psalm 16 in which David sings the unlimited trust in God of the believer even in front of threats of death: "I saw the Lord always before me ... 27For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption." Peter applies this Bible passage to Jesus and he says clearly to the gathered crowd: "God raised this man Jesus to life." This declaration has crossed the centuries and reached us; indeed, it is given to us so that we might in turn communicate it to the next generation. The preaching of the Gospel of Easter continues in history through the words of the disciples of every time so that all may welcome in their hearts the risen Jesus as the lord of life. It is the good news for which the world is waiting. Yes, human beings who feel lost in this global world are almost pushed to bend on themselves and their individual interests, but they need to hear that there is someone who can free and help them and the world to raise to a new life. The Jesus that Peter is announcing is the Jesus whom we can see in the Gospel, the one who loved all of humanity, so much that he took all of humanity’s sin on himself. It was this Jesus, who handing himself over to death because of his love, has conquered death and evil forever. If up until that moment death had always had the last word in life, then after that moment the opposite was true. Life had defeated death; love had defeated evil. What the prophets announced beforehand, now in Jesus has found its fulfilment. And through the testimony of the disciples of every age, Peter continues to say: "Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."

Memory of the Poor