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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the saint archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel. The Ethiopian Church, one of the first among the African churches, venerates St. Gabriel as its protector.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 1, 47-51

When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, 'There, truly, is an Israelite in whom there is no deception.'

Nathanael asked, 'How do you know me?' Jesus replied, 'Before Philip came to call you, I saw you under the fig tree.'

Nathanael answered, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel.'

Jesus replied, 'You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. You are going to see greater things than that.'

And then he added, 'In all truth I tell you, you will see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending over the Son of man.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the liturgy remembers the angels and messengers of the Lord. In the biblical tradition angels are, as the Letter to the Hebrews sums up, "spirits sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation" (1:14). God entrusts them with the task of transmitting his will. It is true that Paul reminds us that there is only "one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 2:5); however, the Churches declare the role of these messengers in the history of salvation. Through them we are ensured of God’s constant presence by each of us. The Gospel sheds some light on their presence in front of God’s heavenly throne while they celebrate an uninterrupted celestial liturgy. We join this divine liturgy every time we celebrate the Eucharist and proclaim God three times holy. The Gospel passage we heard is one in which the angels, with their "ascending and descending," witness to God’s constant presence in our lives. Thus, believers should not fear the dark forces that invade the world and human hearts. Through his angels, the Lord does not abandon us, but rather does not cease protecting us. Every believer, every Christian community has his or her own angel that keeps watch so that evil does not prevail. The Lord, with the host of angels, surrounds us so that nothing may remove us from him. They fight against the Prince of Evil and sustain us in doing good. Let us join the prayer that the Ambrosian liturgy says in their feast day: "If the rebellious spirits were precipitated in the infernal abyss, the immense host of angels and archangels sing to you the hymn of faithfulness and love in an endless way. And we, hoping to share their blessed existence, join from now this eternal choir of worship and gladness, raising to you, O Father, our praise."

Memory of the Church