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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Gregory the Great (540-604), pope and doctor of the Church.

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

Jeremiah 25, 15-38

For Yahweh, the God of Israel, said this to me, 'Take this cup of the wine of wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it;

they will drink and reel and lose their wits, because of the sword I am sending among them.'

I took the cup from Yahweh's hand and made all the nations to whom Yahweh sent me drink it

(Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and its chief men, to make them a ruin, an object of horror and derision and a curse, as is the case today):

Pharaoh king of Egypt, his officials, his chief men and all his people,

with the whole conglomeration of peoples there (all the kings of the country of Uz); all the kings of the country of the Philistines, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and what is still left of Ashdod;

Edom, Moab and the Ammonites;

(all) the kings of Tyre, (all) the kings of Sidon, the kings of the island across the sea;

Dedan, Tema, Buz, all the people with shaven temples;

all the kings of Arabia (and all the kings of the conglomeration of peoples) who live in the desert

(all the kings of Zimri), all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media;

all the kings of the north, near and far, one after another: in short, all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. (As for the king of Sheshak, he will drink last of all.)

'You will say to them, "Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Drink! Get drunk! Vomit! Fall, never to rise again, before the sword that I am sending among you!"

If they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, you will say to them, "Yahweh Sabaoth says this: You must drink!

Look, for a start, I am bringing disaster on the city that bears my name, so are you likely to go unpunished? You certainly will not go unpunished, for next I shall summon a sword against all the inhabitants of the land, Yahweh declares."

'For your part, you are to prophesy all these words to them. Say to them: "Yahweh roars from on high, he thunders from his holy dwelling-place, loudly he roars at his own fold, shouts aloud like those who tread the grape at all the inhabitants of the land.

The noise resounds to the remotest parts of the earth. For Yahweh is indicting the nations, arraigning all humanity for judgement; the wicked he assigns to the sword, Yahweh declares.

Yahweh Sabaoth says this: Look, disaster is spreading from nation to nation, a mighty tempest is rising from the far ends of the earth.

"Those slaughtered by Yahweh that day will be scattered across the world from end to end. No dirge will be raised for them; no one will gather them or bury them; they will stay lying on the surface like dung.

"Howl, shepherds, shriek, roll on the ground, you lords of the flock, for your days have come to be slaughtered and to be scattered, and like a choice vase you will fall.

No refuge then for the shepherds, no escape for the lords of the flock!

Listen! A shriek from the shepherds, a howl from the lords of the flock! For Yahweh has laid their pasture waste,

the peaceful sheepfolds are reduced to silence owing to Yahweh's furious anger.

The lion has left his lair and their country is a wasteland now, owing to the devastating fury, owing to his furious anger." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord asks the prophet to take in his hands a cup full of the “wine of wrath” and to give it to the nations to whom he will be sent for, “They shall drink and stagger and go out of their minds because of the sword that I am sending among them.” The Lord uses this image to describe the drunkenness into which individual people and entire societies fall when they only follow their pride. In realty, no one can stand before the Lord feeling invincible; no one can believe that his or her own strength makes him or her self-sufficient, with no need for help from anyone else. The power that comes from weapons, the advantages that can be obtained with money, and even a personal sense of self-sufficiency, in reality, do not save—they are only appearances. Ambition leads to humiliation and pride to fear and bewilderment. The psalmist uses the image of a horse to make a similar warning, because the horse was considered a sign of strength and power: “The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save” (33:17). For both individuals and people, starting with the people of Judah, the root of sin is hubris, self-inebriation, the pride of self-sufficiency that leads people to place themselves on the same level as God. On account of this sin, Nebuchadnezzar ended up eating grass, like a beast of the forest (see Dan 4:30)! Jeremiah’s oracle is a prophecy for all those who concentrate on themselves, on their own egos. We have to be careful not to unleash God’s wrath with our inebriation. This divine wrath comes down on those who put themselves in God’s place and use violence against others, especially the poor. They think that they have become the masters of good and evil and that no one can oppose their interests. Their confidence in themselves ruins them, as the psalmist says, “Some take pride in chariots, and some in horses, but our pride is in the name of the Lord our God” (20:7). This is the alternative that Jeremiah proposes to the people: trust in the Lord, obey his commandment, draw near to him with affection and by listening to his Word, and call on the Name that is above every other name. That is how the sword will be defeated and violence will no longer impose its law of death.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord