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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 3,7-13

'Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia and say, "Here is the message of the holy and true one who has the key of David, so that when he opens, no one will close, and when he closes, no one will open:

I know about your activities. Look, I have opened in front of you a door that no one will be able to close -- and I know that though you are not very strong, you have kept my commandments and not disowned my name.

Look, I am going to make the synagogue of Satan -- those who falsely claim to be Jews, but are liars, because they are no such thing -- I will make them come and fall at your feet and recognize that I have loved you.

Because you have kept my commandment to persevere, I will keep you safe in the time of trial which is coming for the whole world, to put the people of the world to the test.

I am coming soon: hold firmly to what you already have, and let no one take your victor's crown away from you.

Anyone who proves victorious I will make into a pillar in the sanctuary of my God, and it will stay there for ever; I will inscribe on it the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which is coming down from my God in heaven, and my own new name as well.

Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches."


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus presents himself to the Church of Philadelphia, full of the strength of God, because he has the power to open and close. The image is taken from the prophet Isaiah: in the royal house of Judah there was a special minister who kept "the key of the house of David," the sign of his power at court, according to which "he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open" (Is 22:22). Accordingly, Jesus has the key that opens the door to the Kingdom of God; he is the mediator between God and humanity. The apostle urges his readers not to be afraid of Christ, but to trust in the One who readily and generously opens the doors of salvation. Jesus himself says: "I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut." The strength of every Christian community lies in this "open door, which no one is able to shut." The Word of God is this open door; it is Jesus himself, the Word made flesh. Every time the book of Holy Scripture is opened, the Word of God contained in it is manifested to us. It is only the Word - certainly not our poor strength, our structures, or our organizations - that can make the activity of the Church solid and effective. The apostle reminds the community of Philadelphia of this when he says: "I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name." Even though those Christians seem weak and defenceless to the world, by keeping and observing the World of God, they have become strong and are able to resist evil. Belonging to God and his Word makes those who are weak strong: "Whenever I am weak, then I am strong," Paul says (2 Cor 12:10). Speaking to the Church of Philadelphia, Jesus addresses all the Churches and calls them back to faithfulness and to the primacy of the Word of God in their lives and in their mission of evangelisation. Whoever keeps the Word of God is kept, strengthened, and saved by it in turn. In the time of trial experienced by all Christian generations, even those of today, faithfulness to the Gospel saves from destruction. The evangelist uses the image of the column and the temple to compare the salvation of the disciples to the heavenly city where they are like the columns of the new sanctuary, the "heavenly Jerusalem," which appears here for the first time in the book. And on each believer a "name" is written, that is, the eternity of salvation, as foretold by Isaiah: "I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off" (56:5).

Memory of the Poor