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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 1, 4-10

The word of Yahweh came to me, saying:

'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations.'

I then said, 'Ah, ah, ah, Lord Yahweh; you see, I do not know how to speak: I am only a child!'

But Yahweh replied, 'Do not say, "I am only a child," for you must go to all to whom I send you and say whatever I command you.

Do not be afraid of confronting them, for I am with you to rescue you, Yahweh declares.'

Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and touched my mouth, and Yahweh said to me: 'There! I have put my words into your mouth.

Look, today I have set you over the nations and kingdoms, to uproot and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

God called Jeremiah to be a prophet in a difficult time in the history of his people. The text reveals the Lord’s special affection for the prophet, upon whom he has looked with love since the day of his birth. God has affection for each one of us: he has always looked upon us with love, especially when we let ourselves be drawn into the uncertainties of the time in which we live. The Lord does not choose a man who is already prepared: Jeremiah is young, and he has not received any kind of training in public speaking. In fact, he tries to use his lack of experiences as an excuse to avoid the task God wants to entrust to him. But even though the Lord takes this issue seriously and is well aware of the fear that can be heard in Jeremiah’s words, he confirms his choice, reassuring him by saying that he will never abandon him. Indeed, he will always be with him, and He himself will place on his lips the words he needs to say. The same thing that happened to Jeremiah should be repeated with every believer. Each of us, in fact, is called to communicate the Gospel. Some times we step back, claiming that we are not up to the task and maintaining that the communication of the Gospel is entrusted to some and not others. But we should not worry; we should not be afraid, because the Lord has chosen us, and he will not abandon us. Jesus tells his disciples, “When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Mt 10:19-20). It is God himself who places on our lips the words we need to say. And God gives Jeremiah the task of speaking not only to his own people, but to other nations, people who are far away from the faith of Israel. He wants his word to reach all people and to transform their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Disciples should not keep their mouths closed, but open and ready to speak. We are asked to listen to and to obey God’s call willingly: He himself will place his Word on our lips, so that we might proclaim it to all the nations in the word.

Prayer for the Sick