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The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

Memorial of Shabbaz Bhatti, Minister of Minorities in Pakistan, a Christian, killed by terrorists because of his commitment in the search of pace and dialogue.

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

Deuteronomy 4,1.5-9

'And now, Israel, listen to the laws and customs which I am teaching you today, so that, by observing them, you may survive to enter and take possession of the country which Yahweh, God of your ancestors, is giving you. Look: as Yahweh my God commanded me, I have taught you laws and customs, for you to observe in the country of which you are going to take possession. Keep them, put them into practice, and other peoples will admire your wisdom and prudence. Once they know what all these laws are, they will exclaim, "No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation!" And indeed, what great nation has its gods as near as Yahweh our God is to us whenever we call to him? And what great nation has laws and customs as upright as the entirety of this Law which I am laying down for you today? 'But take care, as you value your lives! Do not forget the things which you yourselves have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live; teach them, rather, to your children and to your children's children.


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

After having recalled several episodes of Israel’s journey in the desert, the author of the book of Deuteronomy wants the people to become aware of their vocation in the world. And he begins by reminding them of their first task, to listen to the Lord. "Listen!" Moses says to the Israelites. It is not a generic plea or a polite invitation. The Israelites must listen. God himself chose to speak his word to them. Therefore listening is demanded by God himself. Indeed, God is the one who chose to come down to be in his people’s midst and decided to guide it through history, making it victorious among the nations. And the Torah, the Law, is Israel’s treasure of wisdom, which makes it God’s witness among men and women. Every Israelite will need to take responsibility for transmitting this wisdom of faith to the next generation so that the story of salvation may ferment each generation. The heart of this passage, which is like a thread that runs through the story of Israel’s journey, is encapsulated in the affirmation posed by Moses as a question: "For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him?" (v. 7). But, as it is today, at that time it was only possible to keep the law as a free response to God, who chose us with love and who wants to bind us to him and to his plan for the salvation of the world. Hence the importance of listening and remembering for the believer. The temptation to listen to ourselves, to remember only our own affairs, and to put our concerns ahead of everything else is always looming. Hence the absolute importance of listening. Faithfulness in listening to Scripture frees us from ourselves and from the trends of this world and binds us to the Lord and his plan of love.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets