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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

Baruch 1, 15-22

You must say: Saving justice is the Lord's, we have only the look of shame we bear, as is the case today for the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

for our kings and princes, our priests, our prophets, and for our ancestors,

because we have sinned before the Lord,

have disobeyed him, and have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God telling us to follow the commandments which the Lord had ordained for us.

From the day when the Lord brought our ancestors out of Egypt until today we have been disobedient to the Lord our God, we have been disloyal, refusing to listen to his voice.

And we are not free even today of the disasters and the curse which the Lord pronounced through his servant Moses the day he brought our ancestors out of Egypt to give us a land flowing with milk and honey.

We have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God in all the words of those prophets he sent us;

but, each following the dictates of our evil heart, we have taken to serving alien gods, and doing what is displeasing to the Lord our God.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The author of this little book, attributed to Baruch, the companion and secretary of Jeremiah, probably belongs to a group of spiritual men devoted to the Law, the Basids. They never stopped hoping that God would intervene directly in history and save his people. Trusting prayer was their weapon of choice. They felt deeply connected to the entire people of Israel, and they thought that the sad condition in which the people lived was the consequence of the sins of previous generations. They know that they are a minority, but they feel they represent the entire people before God. They do not consider themselves a distant and detached elite. Consequently, they make a sort of examination of conscience by recalling all of the great works God had performed on behalf of the people of Israel. The prophet seems to want to make a collective examination of conscience as he also recalls the sins of the people, who disobeyed the Lord’s commandments. The sad situation in which the people find themselves is the consequence of disobedience to God and his law, "From the time when the Lord brought our ancestors out of the land of Egypt until today, we have been disobedient to the Lord our God, and we have been negligent, in not heeding his voice" (v. 19). The prophet clearly indicates the root of the evil that assails Israel. And his words are obviously intended to make the people aware of the sins they have committed so they will once again convert to the Lord. It is not difficult, the prophet seems to say: the confession of faults is accompanied by the narration of God’s incredible love and the delight with which he loves his people. The words of the prophet are meant to push the people of Israel to be moved by so much love and to change their lives. Not only should they not be fascinated by the neighbouring people, which truthfully is always a temptation for Israel, but once again they are invited to let themselves be attracted by a love as extraordinary as the love of their God. The memory of his love, along with continuous listening to the Holy Scriptures that narrate it, preserve the people of Israel from forgetfulness and the subtle attraction of the neighbouring peoples. And, most importantly, it pushes the Lord to intervene as he always has.

Memory of Jesus crucified