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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

Isaiah 48,17-19

Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Yahweh your God and teach you for your own good, I lead you in the way you ought to go. If only you had listened to my commandments! Your prosperity would have been like a river and your saving justice like the waves of the sea. Your descendants would have been numbered like the sand, your offspring as many as its grains. Their name would never be cancelled or blotted out from my presence.


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 wants to affirm his presence in a world that easily distances itself from him, thinking life is better that way. But life is never good far from God. Rather, it immediately becomes sad and violent. The weakest know this best as they are left to themselves. The prophet’s decision to repeat his reminder of God’s presence and oneness, almost obsessively in this part of the book, is meant to break through our hard-headed close-mindedness and our lazy selfishness. We need to immediately raise our eyes from ourselves and notice the Lord and his love for us. The prophet presents a God who is close to his people, who accompanies them, and who above all asks to be recognized and loved. We all know from experience how easy it is to be caught up in ourselves, our rhythms, and our worries and to forget the Lord and his love. And when we get used to living unaware of God’s presence, it is easier to let ourselves be dragged into a dull and meaningless life. Only the Lord knows how to guide our steps towards peace. Through the prophets, he continues to speak to his people and to us so that we will welcome and act on his commands. Listening to the Word of God is a blessing for our lives. Illuminated by the Word, we will become a blessing for many, as happened to Abraham, who listened to the voice of the Lord, trusted his love, and became a blessing for many. Unfortunately, our persistent selfishness and the way we give in to the little idols of daily life distract us from the Lord and from listening to his Word. But when we do this, our lives become arid and we cease being signs of God and his presence for those who are at our side.

Memory of Jesus crucified