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The Everyday Prayer


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

Memory of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico


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

Song of Songs 5, 9-16

CHORUS: What makes your lover better than other lovers, O loveliest of women? What makes your lover better than other lovers, to put us under such an oath?

BELOVED: My love is fresh and ruddy, to be known among ten thousand.

His head is golden, purest gold, his locks are palm fronds and black as the raven.

His eyes are like doves beside the water-courses, bathing themselves in milk, perching on a fountain-rim.

His cheeks are beds of spices, banks sweetly scented. His lips are lilies, distilling pure myrrh.

His hands are golden, rounded, set with jewels of Tarshish. His belly a block of ivory covered with sapphires.

His legs are alabaster columns set in sockets of pure gold. His appearance is that of Lebanon, unrivalled as the cedars.

His conversation is sweetness itself, he is altogether lovable. Such is my love, such is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The second part of the fifth chapter opens with a question by "the daughters of Jerusalem" to the woman who has asked for their help in finding her beloved (5:8). Astonished by her insistence, the women ask her, "What is your beloved more than another beloved?" She responds with a description of the beauty of her beloved. It is she, this time, who reciprocates the eulogies that her beloved made for her (4:8-15). This time the description is not abstract, but very concrete, as if to emphasize the incarnation of the love of God. This is why Gregory of Nissan, commenting on this passage, writes, "All of these similes of beauty do not indicate divine, invisible and incomprehensible things, but rather that which was revealed in the history of salvation, when he [God the Logos] was seen on earth [...] and he acquired human nature." The beloved begins the eulogies of her beloved by affirming his vitality: he is "radiant and ruddy," she exclaims. The Targum comments, "Therefore the Assembly of Israel began to proclaim the praise of the Sovereign of the world, and the people said thus: that God I desire to serve, who by day shrouds himself in a spotless cloak like the snow, and studies the twenty-four books of the law, and the words of the prophets and hagiographers, and by night studies the six orders of the Mishna. And the splendour of the glory of the Lord irradiated by His face is like fire." The mountain of the Transfiguration comes to mind when the evangelist notes, "His face shone like the sun and his clothes became white like the light" (Mt 17:2). The woman continues with the praises of the body of her beloved: he has wavy locks black as raven, tender eyes like doves, white and shining teeth, cheeks with a scented beard, warm lips like the red lilies of Palestine and arms adorned with rings. She praises his body: it has the colour of ivory, and legs like alabaster columns. Finally, the beloved even praises the "speech" of her beloved, that is, his "words." The beloved has words of love. This emphasis on the beloved’s words reminds us that the Word of God does not cease addressing God’s people, even his Church today especially when it gathers in the holy liturgy. Faced with such praise that the bride makes of the bridegroom, should we not also sing all of our amazement for a God that loves us in such a unique way? Indeed "He is altogether desirable." The beloved explains to the daughters of Jerusalem the reason for her passionate search: "This is my beloved and this is my friend." She knows that there is nothing greater, nothing more delightful, and nothing more lovable than her beloved.


12/12/2011
Memory of the Poor


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri