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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 5, 17-19

'Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.

In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved.

Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The passage of the first reading of today’s Mass is from the first of Moses’ speeches in Deuteronomy (4:1.5-9), and it emphasizes the fulfilment of the law of the Lord: “So that you may live… You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples.” But everything is originated from listening to the Word of God: “So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land…” Scriptures tightly connect listening and observing the commandments with human life and happiness. Faith arises from listening, as will be repeated by the apostle Paul in the letter to the Romans (10:17). Jesus, in the Gospel passage we read, affirms, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil.” He came to fulfil all the Scriptures of the Old Testament, from Abraham to Moses and to the Prophets. What does it mean that he is their fulfilment? It means that in each page of the Scripture, we may say in each “iota” (which is the smallest letter of the Jewish alphabet) there is a reference to Jesus. The Old Testament is neither abolished nor surpassed, it keeps its permanent value, but for us Christians, Jesus becomes the key to interpret the whole Holy Scriptures, even the Old Testament. In Jesus, the story of the love of God that crosses all the pages of the Bible finds its climax. This is why the fulfilment of the law is the Gospel love, that love which led Jesus to the cross. And we may also say that the one who loves fulfils the law of the Lord. Each page of the Bible is to be heard, for it contains the story of this extraordinary love of God for men and women. Each page is to be meditated and kept with care and devotion. Better a new devotion should arise for this holy Book that contains the Word of God. As well as there is devotion for the Eucharist, devotion for the Holy Scriptures should be established. St. Francis’ example of exhorting the brothers to collect pieces of paper fallen to the ground because they could contain words of the Gospel, is beautiful. Following the Teacher, disciples should receive each word of the Holy Scriptures in their hearts and fulfil them in their everyday life.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets