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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 2, 5-18

It was not under angels that he put the world to come, about which we are speaking.

Someone witnesses to this somewhere with the words: What are human beings that you spare a thought for them, a child of Adam that you care for him?

For a short while you have made him less than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honour,

put all things under his feet. For in putting all things under him he made no exceptions. At present, it is true, we are not able to see that all things are under him,

but we do see Jesus, who was for a short while made less than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he submitted to death; so that by God's grace his experience of death should benefit all humanity.

It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should, in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering the leader of their salvation.

For consecrator and consecrated are all of the same stock; that is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers

in the text: I shall proclaim your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly; or in the text:

I shall put my hope in him; followed by Look, I and the children whom God has given me.

Since all the children share the same human nature, he too shared equally in it, so that by his death he could set aside him who held the power of death, namely the devil,

and set free all those who had been held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death.

For it was not the angels that he took to himself; he took to himself the line of Abraham.

It was essential that he should in this way be made completely like his brothers so that he could become a compassionate and trustworthy high priest for their relationship to God, able to expiate the sins of the people.

For the suffering he himself passed through while being put to the test enables him to help others when they are being put to the test.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them?” The quotation from Psalm 8 is made by the author of the Letter to remind the believers of the extraordinary love of God who, in order to save men and women from the power of evil and of death, does not remain looking down from on high in the heavens, but sends his own Son so that he may care for and save them. For the Lord, all men and women are not a small thing; they are the object of his love. And it is this love without limits that impelled the Lord to send the Son to the earth in order to bring “many children to glory” (v. 10). And the Son has descended even into the greatest depths of humanity, even into the abyss into which men and women have allowed themselves to fall, to gather together all and to rescue them. Jesus has thus become the “pioneer of salvation” (v. 10) of all humans; he has become our “brother.” Although being the Son of the Most High, he was not ashamed of us, of our sin, or of our poverty. In fact, he said to the Father, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you” (v. 12). For those Christians who lived under the nightmare of persecution and suffering, this announcement was a great consolation because, that which on this earth was oppressing and tormenting them, truly cemented their hearts in the certainty of future salvation. The bond of filiation directly with God and that of firm fraternity with the brothers and sisters have made Jesus the “high priest” for Christians and for the whole of humanity. It is the first time that the title of “high priest” is used for Jesus in the New Testament. This title was not conferred on him to distance him from men and women; on the contrary, He has “become” high priest through his radical brotherhood with us. In this communion that binds the Father, the Son, and the community of brothers and sisters is glimpsed the mystery of the Church intended precisely as a community who prays and who is admitted into the presence of the throne of God by his high priest, Jesus Christ.

Memory of the Church