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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Lazarus of Bethany. Prayer for all those who are gravely ill and for the dying. Memory of those who have died of AIDS.

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

Matthew 1,1-17

Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham: Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers, Judah fathered Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse; and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife, Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa, Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah, Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah, Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah; and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers. Then the deportation to Babylon took place. After the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor, Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud, Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob; and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ. The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew opens the Gospel with a long series of names, Jesus’ genealogy. Through this apparently arid list, the author wants to lead us to discover Jesus’ centrality in human history. Even the first words show Matthew’s purpose: "An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Matthew wrote his Gospel for a Christian community composed of people coming both from Judaism and paganism. With the two titles he gives Jesus, "son of David," and "son of Abraham", Matthew explains to the two groups that Jesus is for both of them the fulfilment of God’s promise. The genealogical table crosses history reaching "Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah." Jesus does not live outside history; moreover he is its fulfilment. In him all generations find comfort and salvation. He does not belong to only one culture, race or civilization. It is not by chance that in the genealogical list in which Jesus is inscribed, some women representing paganism (Rahab and Ruth) take the place of the great Israeli women (Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel) and that women who were stained with guilt (like Tamar and Uriah’s wife) are enlisted too. Jesus is the "king" of Israel and of all peoples. He is the one who saves and redeems; he is the apex of human history. In that list we can therefore add also our names and those of our dear ones or of those we meet. The Lord God has chosen to walk with us; Jesus is truly the "Emmanuel," God with us.

Memory of Jesus crucified