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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Augustine of Canterbury (†605 ca.), bishop, father of the English church.

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

Hebrews 1, 1-4

At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but

in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages.

He is the reflection of God's glory and bears the impress of God's own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command; and now that he has purged sins away, he has taken his seat at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.

So he is now as far above the angels as the title which he has inherited is higher than their own name.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The author knows that the substance of the Christian faith is contained in God’s decision to enter into dialogue with humankind. The Sacred Scripture is none other than the history of the revelation of God to humanity. In fact, with it, the dialogue of God with men and women continues still today. The Letter to the Hebrews itself is a continuation of this dialogue. The text is presented as a homiletic exhortation addressed to Christians of either the first or second Christian generation, to call them not to keep listening and yet, because the Lord continues to speak today, this Letter is also addressed to us. The author laments a kind of laziness in listening on the part of Christians, so much so that they become “dull in understanding” (5:11). There is a clear invitation to rediscover the centrality of the Word of God in their own lives. Also, for Israel, listening to God was central, and their history began when God decided to speak to the ancient fathers of Israel, as the author notes: “God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets.” Indeed, never has God withheld his Word from the people of Israel, both in joyful and painful occasions. And if there have been difficult and heavy moments in the history of the chosen people, these arose when they became deaf to the words of God and instead listened to others’ words. However, the Lord, who wants to use Israel to save all peoples of the earth, “in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.” The Son of God made into flesh is the culmination of revelation. The Father, in fact, impelled by a limitless love for men and women, has sent the Word who “in the beginning, was with God.” This Word was turned towards God, that is, was living in God; it was bound to Him in a total way. Now that Word has been turned also to us. It is the mystery that we are being asked to welcome: God himself speaks directly to us, without intermediaries. No longer does he speak through the voice of prophets, but through his very own Son. The Letter opens with a song to the strength and power of the Son: “He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.” The Word, who has been in existence since the origin of creation, has become flesh, has come to dwell among us so that we all may be able to enter into direct dialogue with God, without other mediators; the Word now is seated “at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” This is the richness of the Christian mystery, a mystery of boundless love which binds the children directly to the Father through this revealed Word.

Memory of the Poor