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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

Exodus 11, 10-12,14

Moses and Aaron worked all these wonders in Pharaoh's presence, but Yahweh made Pharaoh stubborn, and he did not let the Israelites leave his country.

Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt,

'This month must be the first of all the months for you, the first month of your year.

Speak to the whole community of Israel and say, "On the tenth day of this month each man must take an animal from the flock for his family: one animal for each household.

If the household is too small for the animal, he must join with his neighbour nearest to his house, depending on the number of persons. When you choose the animal, you will take into account what each can eat.

It must be an animal without blemish, a male one year old; you may choose it either from the sheep or from the goats.

You must keep it till the fourteenth day of the month when the whole assembly of the community of Israel will slaughter it at twilight.

Some of the blood must then be taken and put on both door-posts and the lintel of the houses where it is eaten.

That night, the flesh must be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with the head, feet and entrails.

You must not leave any of it over till the morning: whatever is left till morning you must burn.

This is how you must eat it: with a belt round your waist, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. You must eat it hurriedly: it is a Passover in Yahweh's honour.

That night, I shall go through Egypt and strike down all the first-born in Egypt, man and beast alike, and shall execute justice on all the gods of Egypt, I, Yahweh!

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are. When I see the blood I shall pass over you, and you will escape the destructive plague when I strike Egypt.

This day must be commemorated by you, and you must keep it as a feast in Yahweh's honour. You must keep it as a feast-day for all generations; this is a decree for all time.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord continues to speak to Moses and Aaron. God intervenes in their lives to free them from Pharaoh. It takes a long time to be freed from evil, which makes us slaves and wants us to be subservient to it and its system! God’s people cannot be prisoners of worldly logic or slaves of the world. God promises his Passover, his passage, which opens the always-difficult passage from slavery to freedom, from sin to love. God ordains the supper with the lamb, the Passover that Jesus wanted to celebrate with his disciples, who are for him a true family, the new people that he has chosen. The lamb will serve as both nourishment and protection, because its blood will be sprinkled on the doorposts and the lintel of their houses so that they will be spared. These indications will reach their fullness in the Passover of the Lord Jesus, the true lamb sacrificed to open for us the way to complete victory over evil and to the even more difficult - yet indispensable - victory of life over death. Jesus is the lamb that John the Baptist points to, the ultimate sacrifice for a fullness of love that is confirmed once and for all. God indicates how Passover is to be eaten. In many images of the Last Supper, for example, the disciples are shown with staffs at their feet to represent God’s command to sit at the table with “your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in hand.” It is a good image of the disciple, who is always ready, so as to avoid being lured by the logic of evil. This day will be a day of remembrance for the people of God, celebrated as a festival to the Lord.

Memory of Jesus crucified