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The Everyday Prayer


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

Memorial of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Memory also of Ananias, who baptized Paul, preached the Gospel and died a martyr. Today the week of prayer for the unity of Christians ends. Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of Christian communities in Asia and Oceania.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 9,1-9

Meanwhile Saul was still breathing threats to slaughter the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest and asked for letters addressed to the synagogues in Damascus, that would authorise him to arrest and take to Jerusalem any followers of the Way, men or women, that he might find. It happened that while he was travelling to Damascus and approaching the city, suddenly a light from heaven shone all round him. He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 'Who are you, Lord?' he asked, and the answer came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do.' The men travelling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus by the hand. For three days he was without his sight and took neither food nor drink.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If we die with him, we shall live with him,
if with him we endure, with him we shall reign.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church remembers the conversion of Saul from Tarsus, an event that marked Christian history in a unique way. Saul, carrying the letters from the High Priest, wanted to persecute the Christians in Damascus with the utmost rigour. While Paul was approaching the city, a light suddenly surrounded him; blinded, he fell on the ground and heard a voice calling him twice by name: "Saul, Saul." He did not see anything; he only heard a voice that called him by name. The fact of being called by name is in certain moments a decisive and unforgettable experience. Bewildered, Saul asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The answer came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." We do not know what Paul’s first thought was; certainly he may have thought that you cannot persecute a dead person; evidently, Jesus was alive. He got up but he could not see anything; taken by hand by his companions, astonished at what had happened, Paul went to Damascus as Jesus’ voice had ordered him. What happened to Paul? It was not a matter, as it is generally thought, of a conversion from one religion to another: the Christian group was still entirely within Judaism and nobody was thinking of another religion. It was a much deeper event for Paul, an event that radically changed him; it was a true rebirth. This is why Paul’s fall is one of those emblematic episodes that question the life of each person, as if to say that if "we do not fall", if "we do not touch the ground," we will hardly understand what it means to live. Unfortunately we are all too used to relying on ourselves, to insisting on our ego. Not only do we not fall on the ground, we do not even look down, towards the sorrow of others. In truth, each of us is a poor man or a poor woman. Only when we acknowledge our poverty can we take the way of wisdom. Indeed, pride brings us to ruin, to clash with others, and to violence. On the contrary, humility generates us anew, makes us more understanding, more in solidarity with others, more human. Paul’s fall is a sign for all, for those who believe and for those who do not, for it makes all more human and therefore open to salvation. Paul, fallen from his own self, welcomed the Gospel and became a universal man. His preaching overcame not only the ethnic Jewish borders, but also any border. The words of the risen Jesus to the Eleven, "Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation" became the gist of Paul’s mission. "Woe to me if I do not evangelise," Paul wrote to the Corinthians and he went to preach the Gospel till the ends of the earth. And everywhere, his proclamation was confirmed by wonders and if he took in his hand some snakes, like it happened in Malta, he was not affected by it. Even today Paul asks us to understand the primacy of evangelisation in the life of Christian communities.


01/25/2016
Memory of the Apostles


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri