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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Hosea 14,2-10

Israel, come back to Yahweh your God your guilt was the cause of your downfall. Provide yourself with words and come back to Yahweh. Say to him, 'Take all guilt away and give us what is good, instead of bulls we will dedicate to you our lips. Assyria cannot save us, we will not ride horses any more, or say, "Our God!" to our own handiwork, for you are the one in whom orphans find compassion.' I shall cure them of their disloyalty, I shall love them with all my heart, for my anger has turned away from them. I shall fall like dew on Israel, he will bloom like the lily and thrust out roots like the cedar of Lebanon; he will put out new shoots, he will have the beauty of the olive tree and the fragrance of Lebanon. They will come back to live in my shade; they will grow wheat again, they will make the vine flourish, their wine will be as famous as Lebanon's. What has Ephraim to do with idols any more when I hear him and watch over him? I am like an evergreen cypress, you owe your fruitfulness to me. Let the wise understand these words, let the intelligent grasp their meaning, for Yahweh's ways are straight and the upright will walk in them, but sinners will stumble.

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

In this season of Lent, the liturgy continues to urge us to return to the Lord. Yes, this is the time of return. This passage from the prophet Hosea emphasizes it: "Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity" (v. 1). It is truly an opportune time to come back to our true selves and once again understand how great God’s mercy is and how decisive his Word is for our lives. By listening to Holy Scripture we once again understand our sin and learn how to speak to the Lord. The prophet urges the people: "Take words with you and return to the Lord" (v. 2). We could say that the prophet is showing us how to return: make room in our minds and our hearts for the Word that God himself speaks to us. Sin, in fact, begins its journey when we stop listening to the Word of God in order to listen to other words, other instructions. Hosea makes this clear to the Israelites when he puts the words they should say to God on their lips: "Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses; we will say no more, ‘Our God’, to the work of our hands" (v. 3). The return to God, which both the prophet and our time demand of us, means to come back to the Lord’s side and listen to him. And he repeats to us: "I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them" (v. 4). The Lord seems to be content merely with our affectionate closeness. We could say that it takes very little for God to have pity on us and fill us with his friendship: "I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon. His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon" (v. 5-6). These are images that describe well how great and strong the love of God is for His people. And it is this abundance of love that makes us understand God’s jealousy for the people on whom He pours all His love.


03/04/2016
Memory of Jesus crucified


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