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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Clare of Assisi (1193-1253), disciple of Saint Francis on the way of poverty and evangelic simplicity.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Deuteronomy 31, 1-8

Moses went and spoke to all Israel as follows,

'Today, I am one hundred and twenty years old, and can no longer act as leader. Yahweh has told me, "You shall not cross this Jordan."

Yahweh your God himself will lead you across, he himself will destroy and dispossess these nations confronting you; Joshua too will lead you across, as Yahweh has said.

Yahweh will treat them as he has treated Sihon and Og the Amorite kings and their country -- he destroyed them.

Yahweh will put them at your mercy, and you will deal with them exactly as prescribed by the commandments which I have laid down for you.

Be strong, stand firm, have no fear, do not be afraid of them, for Yahweh your God is going with you; he will not fail you or desert you.'

Moses then summoned Joshua and, in the presence of all Israel, said to him, 'Be strong, stand firm; you will be the one to go with this people into the country which Yahweh has sworn to their ancestors that he would give them; you are to be the one who puts them into possession of it.

Yahweh himself will lead you; he will be with you; he will not fail you or desert you. Have no fear, do not be alarmed.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Moses truly is the man of God. Everything he did was always in obedience to God, who guided him to free his people from the Egyptian slavery. Those who listen to God also love his people, because binding one’s life to the Lord means loving and defending his people, whom he has chosen and put into our hands in many ways. For the sake of the promised land, Moses faced the harshness of the desert, the fear of the Egyptian army, his people’s disbelief, their choice to make their own idols, the bitterness of longing for home. He kept leading his people because he listened to God and he first obeyed his law. He came close to the promised land, but never entered it. The Lord had said so. Moses did not despair, he demanded nothing for himself, he did not claim some role or right. He did not own the land for which he endured the whole path. As in the blessing that Jesus reveals to us so we can learn to be people of faith: blessed are those who have not seen and yet they have believed. The believer has got everything! Moses always believed in the Lord’s promise. He did not need to own it. He knew that everything is a gift from God and his love will guide the people. People often mistake gift for possession, they tie what they are called for to their own person, they get carried away by self-absorption and end up binding everything to themselves. Moses asks his people to believe in God, so they can face new challenges. When does the path end? As a matter of fact we all stand and stare from afar and we rely on God who “goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” Joshua led the people because the Lord went before him. Moses’ strong serenity, his freedom from possession, which affects so deeply disciples’ and men’s choices, make him a true believer.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord