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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

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Dal libro del Deuteronomio 26,16-19

Oggi il Signore, tuo Dio, ti comanda di mettere in pratica queste leggi e queste norme. Osservale e mettile in pratica con tutto il cuore e con tutta l'anima. Tu hai sentito oggi il Signore dichiarare che egli sarà Dio per te, ma solo se tu camminerai per le sue vie e osserverai le sue leggi, i suoi comandi, le sue norme e ascolterai la sua voce. Il Signore ti ha fatto dichiarare oggi che tu sarai il suo popolo particolare, come egli ti ha detto, ma solo se osserverai tutti i suoi comandi. Egli ti metterà, per gloria, rinomanza e splendore, sopra tutte le nazioni che ha fatto e tu sarai un popolo consacrato al Signore, tuo Dio, come egli ha promesso".


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

In Deuteronomy’s typical language, this page insists upon the particular relationship between Israel and its God: the covenant. “He will be your God” and Israel will be “his people.” It is one of the central points of theology in Deuteronomy and of the following books from Joshua until the second book of Kings. The entire history of Israel is marked by the vision of this tight relationship between God and Israel. The Lord has chosen this small people to “consecrate it” to his name. He has separated them from other peoples on earth—even ones more numerous and powerful like Assyria, Egypt, Babylonia, to make it his own, as we read in chapter 7: “It was not because you were more numerous than any other people that the Lord set his heart on you and chose you—for you were the fewest of all peoples. It was because the Lord loved you” (v.7-8). The covenant with God implicates fidelity to the Law. And the Law opens with an invitation to listen to the Lord: He will be “your God; and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and to obey him.” Everything hinges upon listening. Israel’s profession of faith, still today recited by all Jews, begins with the words of Deuteronomy 6:4: “Hear Oh Israel: the Lord is your God, one is the Lord.” To observe the laws, to walk the ways of God, becomes possible only if we have an attitude of listening. The time of Lent is a good time to get out of our habit of listening to ourselves and to put ourselves before the Lord and listen to his word of life. Only in this perspective will the conversion of our hearts and the entrusting our lives to God be possible, so that he may be the only Lord of our lives. Today too, as in the time of Israel, the sky is populated with idols and concepts, with things we can worship and even sacrifice ourselves. There are so many false prophets that speak every day in order to bend our hearts toward the idols of money, success, glory, power, consumption, and immediate satisfaction of self and one’s own cravings. And many unfortunately allow themselves to be attracted, broadening in this way the idolatric cult of worldly things. To remove ourselves from the slavery of new idolatries we must listen to the Word of God every day, treasure it in our hearts and live it with obedience. The Word of God will take care of us in keeping the Lord’s covenant and protecting our freedom.

Sunday Vigil