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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

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Romans 15, 22-32

That is why I have been so often prevented from coming to see you;

now, however, as there is nothing more to keep me in these parts, I hope, after longing for many years past to visit you, to see you when I am on the way to Spain-

and after enjoying at least something of your company, to be sent on my way with your support.

But now I have undertaken to go to Jerusalem in the service of the holy people of God there,

since Macedonia and Achaia have chosen to make a generous contribution to the poor among God's holy people at Jerusalem.

Yes, they chose to; not that they did not owe it to them. For if the gentiles have been given a share in their spiritual possessions, then in return to give them help with material possessions is repaying a debt to them.

So when I have done this, and given this harvest into their possession, I shall visit you on the way to Spain.

I am sure that, when I do come to you, I shall come with the fullest blessing of Christ.

Meanwhile I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, that in your prayers to God for me you exert yourselves to help me;

praying that I may escape the unbelievers in Judaea, and that the aid I am carrying to Jerusalem will be acceptable to God's holy people.

Then I shall come to you, if God wills, for a happy time of relaxation in your company.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul wants to extend his mission past Rome to Spain, as if to reach the “very ends” of the earth. Perhaps Asia is for us what Spain was for Paul. Christianity is still a little seed in Asia, while the people who are waiting there are many. The urgency of communicating the Gospel was truly devouring the apostle. His example questions the indolence of many of the Christian communities of today and shakes the laziness that takes hold of many disciples of the Lord. The apostle’s decision not to close himself in to one territory shows how he resists any form of self-referentiality, any form of closure, in order to take on the universal horizons that are characteristic of the Gospel. Every Christian community needs to live with the same tension that Paul felt, pushing him to communicate the Gospel to the very ends of the earth. This certainly does not mean forgetting where we come from. The fact that Paul writes so much about the aid that he needs to bring to Jerusalem is not insignificant: he speaks of it as something we “owe” the city from which we received the faith. It is a debt that we need to feel with even more urgency today. The apostle’s gesture is an example of that communion between Christian communities that we need to revive today more than ever.

Sunday Vigil