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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Jeremiah 18,18-20

'Come on,' they said, 'let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah, for the Law will not perish for lack of priests, nor advice for lack of wise men, nor the word for lack of prophets. Come on, let us slander him and pay no attention to anything he says.' Pay attention to me, Yahweh, hear what my adversaries are saying. Should evil be returned for good? Now they are digging a pit for me. Remember how I pleaded before you and spoke good of them, to turn your retribution away from them.

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This short passage reports the thoughts and contradictions that shake the soul of the prophet Jeremiah. In him we see the figure of the believer who is being persecuted by his enemies and who receives "evil" for the "good" he does. Not only did his enemies refuse his preaching, but they even felt it was unnecessary. They claimed they already knew what the will of God was because of their ritual practices and the responsibility they had to interpret the law. It is the same attitude the Pharisees will have toward Jesus, who will be challenged certainly because he preaches a teaching centred on love, but most of all because he presents himself as the true and authoritative interpreter of the mind of God, indeed as the one and only Teacher. And this is the attitude of all those - even in the Christian story - who consider themselves self-sufficient and capable of living their faith alone. The prophet Jeremiah knows that he was not the one who chose to be a prophet. And, in fact, he neither speaks on his own initiative nor proposes his own ideas. It is the Lord who chose him and sent him to speak to the people and to reveal God’s will. The presence of prophets is a sign of God’s love, who does not want his people to be slaves of their own thoughts and their own narrow horizons. Through the prophets and finally through his own Son, the Lord wants to involve believers in his Word, in his great plan of love for all the peoples on earth. Despite his hesitation, Jeremiah realizes he cannot yield surrender to the enemies who continue to lay deadly traps for him. This is why he speaks directly to the Lord: "Give heed to me, O Lord, and listen to what my adversaries say" (v. 19). And with the familiarity of the believer, he reminds God of the time when he interceded for those who are now his enemies. He does not hesitate to invoke punishment for their evil deeds: "Do not forgive their iniquity" (v. 23). The Lord Jesus, who brings the proclamation of the Kingdom to its climax, purifies Jeremiah’s request and invites his disciples to pray even for their enemies, setting the example for them himself. The love that the Lord gives us is stronger than any evil, strong enough to defeat it.


02/24/2016
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets


Calendar of the week
NOV
27
Sunday, 27 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
NOV
28
Monday, 28 November
Memory of the Poor
NOV
29
Tuesday, 29 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
NOV
30
Wednesday, 30 November
Memory of the Apostles
DEC
1
Thursday, 1 December
Memory of the Church
DEC
2
Friday, 2 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
3
Saturday, 3 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday