Riccardi Andrea: on the web

Riccardi Andrea: on social networks

change language
you are in: home - prayer - the everyday prayer contacting usnewsletterlink

Donation Topbar


The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

Memory of St. Romuald (950-1027), anchorite and father of Camaldolensis monks.

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

Hebrews 11, 1-16

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of realities that are unseen.

It is for their faith that our ancestors are acknowledged.

It is by faith that we understand that the ages were created by a word from God, so that from the invisible the visible world came to be.

It was because of his faith that Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain, and for that he was acknowledged as upright when God himself made acknowledgement of his offerings. Though he is dead, he still speaks by faith.

It was because of his faith that Enoch was taken up and did not experience death: he was no more, because God took him; because before his assumption he was acknowledged to have pleased God.

Now it is impossible to please God without faith, since anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and rewards those who seek him.

It was through his faith that Noah, when he had been warned by God of something that had never been seen before, took care to build an ark to save his family. His faith was a judgement on the world, and he was able to claim the uprightness which comes from faith.

It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the call to set out for a country that was the inheritance given to him and his descendants, and that he set out without knowing where he was going.

By faith he sojourned in the Promised Land as though it were not his, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

He looked forward to the well-founded city, designed and built by God.

It was equally by faith that Sarah, in spite of being past the age, was made able to conceive, because she believed that he who had made the promise was faithful to it.

Because of this, there came from one man, and one who already had the mark of death on him, descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore which cannot be counted.

All these died in faith, before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in the far distance and welcomed them, recognising that they were only strangers and nomads on earth.

People who use such terms about themselves make it quite plain that they are in search of a homeland.

If they had meant the country they came from, they would have had the opportunity to return to it;

but in fact they were longing for a better homeland, their heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, since he has founded the city for them.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Letter immerses the reader in the long history of faith, beginning from ancient times, so that one may feel part of it. The long list helps the reader to grasp the richness of this history and not to abandon it. As the author defines faith, it is not an abstract exercise, but the “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is the assurance of possessing even now that better homeland (11:13-16) toward which we are heading. Indeed, faith gives possession of what is hoped for; it is itself proof of what we do not see. Moreover, the author notes, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.” Visible things, creation and the events of this world, are created by the Word that, although invisible, has however the power to create. The history of believers was launched by faith, beginning with that of Abel, who offered to God a sacrifice more precious than that of Cain. His story recalls that of Jesus himself who offered a sacrifice better than the priests of the old covenant were able to offer. Then comes Enoch who was taken up: “Enoch pleased the Lord and was taken up, an example of repentance to all generations” (Sir 44:16). He is a model of faith because he was close to God and through this faith; he obtained the reward of being taken up to Him. Then there is Noah whose faith consisted of a firm confidence in the promise of God. Also we, like him, have been taught about “things not seen” (11:1), and like him we must carry out the commands of God even if we scarcely understand them. The obedience of Noah meant salvation for many, and at the same time manifested the condemnation of those who would not believe. Jesus recalls that, “For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man” (Mt 24:37-39). Even Abraham is a man of faith: he promptly obeyed the call of God and left his homeland to go towards that promised to him by God. When he arrived there, he did not settle down, because “he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (11:10). From the faith of Abraham have come descendants “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore,” namely, the host of believers who entrust themselves to God and who wait for the homeland that he promised them, of which they already have a foretaste. All of them, in fact, “died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth” (11:13). For them the Lord has prepared a strong city.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets