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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Proverbs 1, 8-19

Listen, my child, to your father's instruction, do not reject your mother's teaching:

they will be a crown of grace for your head, a circlet for your neck.

My child, if sinners try to seduce you, do not go with them.

If they say, 'Come with us: let us lie in ambush to shed blood; if we plan an ambush for the innocent without provocation,

we can swallow them alive, like Sheol, and whole, like those who sink into oblivion.

We shall find treasures of every sort, we shall fill our houses with plunder;

throw in your lot with us: one purse between us all.'

My child, do not follow them in their way, keep your steps out of their path

for their feet hasten to evil, they are quick to shed blood;

for the net is spread in vain if any winged creature can see it.

It is for their own blood such people lie in wait, their ambush is against their own selves!

Such are the paths of all who seek dishonest gain: which robs of their lives all who take it for their own.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage compares teaching wisdom to a father’s and mother’s instruction, because to us God is like a father and a mother. He is like a father who would like to be heard by his children, and like a mother who teaches her children to walk and who nourishes them. God’s word is nourishment, satisfying whoever receives it. In a world that orphans so many people, God passionately devotes himself to each one of us as his children. This is who we are to God: his children; and we are always his children, even when we grow distant from him. Throughout the Bible it is clear that the covenant between God and his people begins with listening. "Listen, Israel," the Lord asks in Deuteronomy (6:4). The prophets also often invite the people to listen. Those who do not listen to the Lord listen only to themselves. They end up ignoring God’s teaching and consider it useless for their life. God’s teaching-his word-is something precious, like the garland and pendants that adorn a woman: they will be "a fair garland for your head, and pendants for your neck." Why so much insisting upon listening? Evil insinuates itself in the life of believers and easily seduces them. Listening requires resolve, because those who do not listen to the Word of God easily allow themselves to be taken in by deceptive individuals who want to drag them into a life dominated by money: the thing on which all violence thrives. Our society lives according to greed, obsession and an insatiable desire for wealth and possessions, and it proposes this as a model for living. This passage seems to suggest that we are ready to do everything to gain money and wealth, even plotting against the innocent. These reflections are not far from the reality of our society, where the dictatorship of materialism provokes an insatiable thirst for money, which leads to injustice and violence. But, the destiny of those who live this way is marked forever. This is the teaching from the wise who listens to God’s voice: "They hurry to shed blood. ... yet they lie in wait-to kill themselves! and set an ambush-for their own lives! Such is the end of all who are greedy for gain; it takes away the life of its possessors." In the end, those who systematically pursue their own interest and gain deceive themselves and are dominated by it. They think they are free, but in reality they are oppressed.


01/10/2012
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


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

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