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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 1,46-56

And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; because he has looked upon the humiliation of his servant. Yes, from now onwards all generations will call me blessed, for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name, and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him. He has used the power of his arm, he has routed the arrogant of heart. He has pulled down princes from their thrones and raised high the lowly. He has filled the starving with good things, sent the rich away empty. He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his faithful love -according to the promise he made to our ancestors -- of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever. Mary stayed with her some three months and then went home.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the meeting with her cousin Elizabeth - as we heard yesterday in the Gospel- Mary was greeted with the first bliss that appears in the Gospel: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord." The fact that the first bliss is linked to the listening to the Word of God, certainly forces us to think. However, we always have to remember that the listening to the Gospel is not without problems, disturbances, and worries. Rather, it is proper to such listening that we question ourselves, that we question our own life. The evangelist has already noted at the time of the Annunciation Mary was "perplexed" at the angel's words. This means that those words caused an intense reaction in Mary’s inner being. Nevertheless, she continued to listen to the angel, and the initial "perplexity" was transformed into the joy of those who feel safe in the hands of God. Mary became the first disciple of the Gospel and the first to sing the joy of what had happened to her. The singing of the Magnificat, in the plot of its verses, collects the happiness of "the poor of Jahveh," those, who have put their whole lives in the hands of the Lord, and those who expect everything from him. Mary bursts into a hymn of praise to God that originates in the depth of her soul, because the Lord of the heaven and the earth has bowed His gaze to her, a poor and weak creature. Mary does not hide her modesty and her poverty. We, in contrast, demand attention and consideration! Mary realizes that all which she is experiencing, is an extraordinary gift of the Lord; the same Lord, who has liberated Israel from slavery in Egypt, who has protected the poor, who has humiliated the haughty, who has satiated the hungry with good things. The same Lord, who bowed over her and loved her so much to make her the Mother of His Son. She accepted the Lord in her heart with trembling and great joy, and she made the Lord the purpose of her own life. From that day on, through Mary, God has made his home among men and women. She is the first true "manger," the first place where the Word became flesh. And in her, the Lord has shown us the way that the believers have to go along the path of life.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets