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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

2 Peter 2, 1-14

As there were false prophets in the past history of our people, so you too will have your false teachers, who will insinuate their own disruptive views and, by disowning the Lord who bought them freedom, will bring upon themselves speedy destruction.

Many will copy their debauched behaviour, and the Way of Truth will be brought into disrepute on their account.

In their greed they will try to make a profit out of you with untrue tales. But the judgement made upon them long ago is not idle, and the destruction awaiting them is for ever on the watch.

When angels sinned, God did not spare them: he sent them down into the underworld and consigned them to the dark abyss to be held there until the Judgement.

He did not spare the world in ancient times: he saved only Noah, the preacher of uprightness, along with seven others, when he sent the Flood over a world of sinners.

He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by reducing them to ashes as a warning to future sinners;

but rescued Lot, an upright man who had been sickened by the debauched way in which these vile people behaved-

for that upright man, living among them, was outraged in his upright soul by the crimes that he saw and heard every day.

All this shows that the Lord is well able to rescue the good from their trials, and hold the wicked for their punishment until the Day of Judgement,

especially those who follow the desires of their corrupt human nature and have no respect for the Lord's authority. Such self-willed people with no reverence are not afraid of offending against the glorious ones,

but the angels in their greater strength and power make no complaint or accusation against them in the Lord's presence.

But these people speak evil of what they do not understand; they are like brute beasts, born only to be caught and killed, and like beasts they will be destroyed, being injured in return for the injuries they have inflicted.

Debauchery even by day they make their pleasure; they are unsightly blots, and amuse themselves by their trickery even when they are sharing your table;

with their eyes always looking for adultery, people with an insatiable capacity for sinning, they will seduce any but the most stable soul. Where greed is concerned they are at their peak of fitness. They are under a curse.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the life of the Christian community, among the true prophets who communicate the Gospel, there are those who insinuate false teachings and induce others to wrongful behaviour. Peter calls the believers to attention and rails violently against the false teachers because they insert themselves among the believers with their licentiousness and immorality. He writes, "They count it pleasure to revel in daytime. They are blots and blemishes, revelling in their dissipation while they feast with you." Peter clearly states that, though these people are part of the community, they try to draw the brothers and sisters into deception so as to pull them away from the authority of God, who paid a high price to acquire them. But, he warns that "the condemnation pronounced against them long ago has not been idle"-that is, the false prophets are already condemned. We do not know exactly who they were. Peter describes them as arrogant and bold people who in their certainty despise the teaching they receive in the community and elevate themselves above everyone so that they feel entitled to commit every kind of wicked and immoral action without feeling guilt. God’s severe judgment on those who are servants of evil, who Peter calls "accursed children", is both present and operative in history. Being accursed is the condition of human beings who live without God, which is instead a blessing. The condemnation of the wicked, then, is not extraneous to salvation history. With images drawn from the First Testament, the apostle presents some examples of justice toppling evil: the punishment of the rebellious angels, the destruction of the world by the flood, the death of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. And every time, along with the punishment of the wicked, the Lord saves the righteous from destruction, as the Lord saved Noah from the flood and preserved Lot from the destruction of Sodom. The Lord entrusts to them, as to the believers of every era, the mission of proclaiming to all people the generosity of God’s mercy.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord