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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

Deuteronomy 4, 32-40

'Put this question, then, to the ages that are past, that have gone before you, from when God created the human race on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything like it ever heard?

Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you have heard it, and remain alive?

Has it ever been known before that any god took action himself to bring one nation out of another one, by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors -- all of which things Yahweh your God has done for you before your eyes in Egypt?

'This he showed you, so that you might know that Yahweh is the true God and that there is no other.

To instruct you, he made you hear his voice from heaven, and on earth he let you see his great fire, and from the heart of the fire you heard his words.

Because he loved your ancestors and, after them, chose their descendants, he has brought you out of Egypt, displaying his presence and mighty power,

dispossessing for you nations who were larger and stronger than you, to make way for you and to give you their country as your heritage, as it still is today.

'Hence, grasp this today and meditate on it carefully: Yahweh is the true God, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other.

Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and live long in the country that Yahweh your God is giving you for ever.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the passage we have heard we clearly see the will of Moses to make the people more aware of the incredible love that God has for them. It is not an abstract love or made only of hollow feelings and words. It is a concrete love, made of gestures, actions, care. In short it is a love that became the common history of God with us all. Moses’ words invite us to think about the uniqueness and greatness of this love that is manifested concretely in the history of his people. Moses’ words are also an invitation to us as Christians. We must welcome them with gratitude. We too can ask why the Lord has chosen us. What did we have, poor men and poor women, that we are part of this people, that the Lord chose us? He has called us while we were dispersed, each at the mercy of our small and narrow destiny of loneliness and, with the fire of his love, has brought us together to make us his people. He chose us and he continues to speak to educate us to live as children of his and to send us to tell the world about his mercy that saves. Yes, as God acted towards Israel, so he worked with the people that we are. Indeed, it has made us partakers of the mission entrusted to his own Son. The Word of God invites us to read our life as a vocation that he entrusted to us. Only by listening to his word and recognizing his work in us can we live. The pride of believing that we are self-sufficient and thus withdrawn into ourselves, closed into our own narrow horizon, blinds us and does not allow us to participate in the great plan of God. The Lord has made us His people because through us he wants to communicate to the world the strength of his mercy that saves. The awareness of this great gift made to us by the Lord opens us to gratitude and praise. Yes, indeed God has done great things for us, as he did once before for his people. We can never stop thanking him.

Memory of Jesus crucified