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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the patriarch Abraham. In faith he journeyed to a land that he did not know, but that was promised to him by God. Because of this faith, he is called the father of believers by Jews, Christians and Muslims.

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

Genesis 12, 1-9

Yahweh said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your kindred and your father's house for a country which I shall show you;

and I shall make you a great nation, I shall bless you and make your name famous; you are to be a blessing!

I shall bless those who bless you, and shall curse those who curse you, and all clans on earth will bless themselves by you.'

So Abram went as Yahweh told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.

Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had amassed and the people they had acquired in Haran. They set off for the land of Canaan, and arrived there.

Abram passed through the country as far as the holy place at Shechem, the Oak of Moreh. The Canaanites were in the country at the time.

Yahweh appeared to Abram and said, 'I shall give this country to your progeny.' And there, Abram built an altar to Yahweh who had appeared to him.

From there he moved on to the mountainous district east of Bethel, where he pitched his tent, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built an altar to Yahweh and invoked the name of Yahweh.

Then Abram made his way stage by stage to the Negeb.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the confusion and dispersion of nations, the Lord never abandons men and women. Even though every nation had established a land limited by boundaries, with its own language, God called Abraham out from his own land, his country and his home. The history of salvation, that of Abraham with God begins with an exodus. The sacred author emphasizes God's command: “Go from your country ... into a land I will show you.” Only by listening to the Lord's invitation to come out of our borders can we receive the blessing, that is God's life, and be a source of blessing for others. In the beginning of the story of Abraham, the Bible seems to say that only by refusing to listen just to ourselves and our traditions can we accept the universal vision of life and of the world. In fact, Abraham, the man who in obedience to the Word of God left his land, has become the principle of unity and life for the whole world. He is the father of believers, of those who choose to listen to God and start down the path that the Lord himself indicates. It is the path of being part of a people, of meetings to be realized, of steps to go until we reach the promised land, the land of Canaan (as Palestine was called at that time). Once the promised land is entered, searching and listening to the Lord do not stop. God appears to Abraham just as he reaches the land of Canaan, and renews his promise to him. The company of God is indeed blessing, life and prosperity. And Abraham needs to remember that God is always with him. This memory, the heart of believers' lives, frees Abraham from slavery to idols. There is only one altar, next to the tent he plants. Abraham chooses to live next to his Lord; he does not want to be parted from the place of his presence. He knows that the Lord will not only accompany him on the path of life, but is, indeed, before him to show him the way. Abraham will move the tent and plant it wherever the Lord leads him. This is an example to believers: their dwelling is not to be with themselves, but with the Lord who accompanies them in the ways of the world.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets