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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

Hebrews 4, 3-13

We, however, who have faith, are entering a place of rest, as in the text: And then in my anger I swore that they would never enter my place of rest. Now God's work was all finished at the beginning of the world;

as one text says, referring to the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day after all the work he had been doing.

And, again, the passage above says: They will never reach my place of rest.

It remains the case, then, that there would be some people who would reach it, and since those who first heard the good news were prevented from entering by their refusal to believe,

God fixed another day, a Today, when he said through David in the text already quoted: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts.

If Joshua had led them into this place of rest, God would not later have spoken of another day.

There must still be, therefore, a seventh-day rest reserved for God's people,

since to enter the place of rest is to rest after your work, as God did after his.

Let us, then, press forward to enter this place of rest, or some of you might copy this example of refusal to believe and be lost.

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two-edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts.

No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The temptation of Christians, about which the author wants to put us on guard, is analogous to that which the Israelites came to at the gates of Canaan, that is, “to remain behind” and not to enter the promised land. This means “to hold oneself back” before the love of God; not to allow oneself to be touched by his embrace. And yet this indeed is good news for Christians: Jesus has come to meet us in order to love us; not only does he take away nothing from us, he gives all to us. Also He, we may say, does not “remain behind”, rather he offers his very own life for us. Now, the “rest” proposed to the disciples is precisely this loving embrace from God. It is a love to welcome and to live by; it is a communion to inhabit together as brothers and sisters. The Church lives already from now on the day of “rest”, the “seventh day,” when God reigns with love over all. The author rightly exhorts believers to enter in haste that rest: “Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.” In fact, to enter “rest” means to take part in the life of the community. The link that the author establishes between “rest” and the “house” refers exactly to the gift that Christians receive by being part of the Christian community where they are loved and guarded. Not by chance does the author, in this context, weave praise of the Word of God, the true and solid foundation on which the house is built. And it is not a foundation laid once and for all. The Word of God is living because if listened to, every day it “refounds” the community: it nourishes the faithful with an always new food, a food for every spiritual age, and it sustains them so that they may know how to eradicate evil and to build up the good. The author praises it: the Word of God “is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (v. 12). It understands us much more than we understand ourselves. For this reason believers are invited to entrust themselves to it if they wish to know the depth of their own hearts; and they must listen to it if they desire to live the peace and the salvation for their self and for the world. In Scripture, it is God himself who speaks to his own, even to us. The Word is a light for our steps and for those who allow themselves to be illuminated: “Before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account” (v. 13).


06/04/2013
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri