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The Everyday Prayer


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

Memory of Moses. Called by the Lord, he freed the people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt and led them to the “promised land.”


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

Jeremiah 26, 1-24

At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh,

'Yahweh says this, "Stand in the court of the Temple of Yahweh. To all the people from the towns of Judah who come to worship in the Temple of Yahweh you will say everything I have ordered you to say, not omitting one syllable.

Perhaps they will listen and each turn from his evil way: if so, I shall relent and not bring the disaster on them which I intend because of their misdeeds."

Say to them, "Yahweh says this: If you will not listen to me and follow my Law which I have given you,

and pay attention to the words of my servants the prophets whom I have never tired of sending to you, although you never have paid attention,

I shall treat this Temple as I treated Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the world." '

The priests and prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah say these words in the Temple of Yahweh.

When Jeremiah had finished saying everything that Yahweh had ordered him to say to all the people, the priests and prophets and all the people seized hold of him and said, 'You will die for this!

Why have you made this prophecy in Yahweh's name, "This Temple will become like Shiloh, and this city become an uninhabited ruin"?' And the people all crowded in on Jeremiah in the Temple of Yahweh.

Hearing of this, the chief men of Judah came up from the royal palace to the Temple of Yahweh and took their seats at the entry of the New Gate of the Temple of Yahweh.

The priests and prophets then said to the chief men and all the people, 'This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.'

Jeremiah, however, replied to all the chief men and all the people as follows, 'Yahweh himself sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city all the things you have heard.

So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and Yahweh will relent about the disaster that he has decreed for you.

For myself, I am, as you see, in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me.

But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its inhabitants, since Yahweh has truly sent me to you to say all this for you to hear.'

The chief men and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, 'This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God.'

And some of the country's elders rose to address all the assembled people.

'Micah of Moresheth,' they said, 'who prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, had this to say to all the people of Judah, "Yahweh Sabaoth says this: Zion will become ploughland, Jerusalem a heap of rubble and the Temple Mount a wooded height."

'Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death for this? Did they not rather, fearing Yahweh, plead with him, to such effect that Yahweh relented about the disaster which he had decreed for them? Are we now to burden our souls with such a crime?'

There was another man, too, who used to prophesy in Yahweh's name, Uriah son of Shemaiah, from Kiriath-Jearim. He prophesied exactly the same things against this city and this country as Jeremiah.

When King Jehoiakim with all his officers and all the chief men heard what he said, the king was determined to put him to death. On hearing this, Uriah took fright and, fleeing, escaped to Egypt.

King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Achbor to Egypt with others,

who brought Uriah back from Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him put to the sword and his body thrown into the common burial ground.

But Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The text opens with an invitation for Jeremiah to go to the temple. The Lord asks him to “speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word.” He adds, “It may be that they will listen, all of them, and will turn from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster that I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings.” But then he asks him to warn them “If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently—though you have not heeded— then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.” These are very serious words, these words that the Lord speaks to the prophet. He knows that he has to communicate them all faithfully: the very fate of the city depends on whether the people will listen to them and observe them. Indeed, the prophet’s own fate is in the balance. Jesus himself mentions what happened to the prophets: “I [the Lord] will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute “(Lk 11: 49). The prophet has been caught up in a vocation that puts no limits on the divine Word. His very liberty is connected to the courage with which he can communicate what the Lord has ordered him to say. The prophet - and every believer is called to be one - does not calculate whether or not his life is in danger before he speaks. As a child and friend of the Word that has been entrusted to him, he communicates it whether the circumstances are favourable or unfavourable, as the apostle will say. Indeed, he is bound to his mission. He cannot renounce the call he has received. And Jeremiah suffered the bitterness of not being listened to. The text reads, “When Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him.” It is the same thing that happened to Jesus, who was arrested by those who did not want to recognize him as the Messiah, the Lord’s Anointed One. Neither Jeremiah nor Jesus spoke about himself, nor did they think about their personal safety. Both spoke in the name of God and addressed the hearts of the people. There were some who believed Jeremiah’s words and understood that they were meant for everyone’s good. Their wisdom led them to oppose the decision made by the leaders of the temple, who were only interested in maintaining the institution they represented and controlled. And Jeremiah was able to escape death. Some who had listened to his word and turned from their “evil way” (v. 3) saved him. The Word of the Lord was not lost in the midst of the unmentionable interests of the leaders of the temple. The world is saved when there are just and truthful people who recognize God’s voice and try to make it heard amidst the confusion and lies.


09/04/2013
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets


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