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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

Acts 13,26-33

'My brothers, sons of Abraham's race, and all you godfearers, this message of salvation is meant for you. What the people of Jerusalem and their rulers did, though they did not realise it, was in fact to fulfil the prophecies read on every Sabbath. Though they found nothing to justify his execution, they condemned him and asked Pilate to have him put to death. When they had carried out everything that scripture foretells about him they took him down from the tree and buried him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had accompanied him from Galilee to Jerusalem: and it is these same companions of his who are now his witnesses before our people. 'We have come here to tell you the good news that the promise made to our ancestors has come about. God has fulfilled it to their children by raising Jesus from the dead. As scripture says in the psalms: You are my son: today I have fathered you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We are still inside the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia and Paul continues to preach. In this, the second part of his sermon, Paul addresses those present as "My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family." Later in his life - in the Letter to the Romans - Paul clearly expresses his deep convictions about Abraham’s paternity and the strength of his faith. But it is still on the basis of this Abrahamic paternity that the apostle addresses his Jewish listeners as "brothers." In reality, there is great spiritual depth in calling the Jews "brothers": Paul underlines the "fraternity" of Jews and Christians, a result of the fact that both groups are descended from Abraham. A fact that should never be forgotten, but appreciated ever more deeply. Of course this does not simplify their relationships, but it is an invitation to examine them in greater depth and entrust them to the spiritual wisdom of both parties. The apostle speaks clearly of the faults of the leaders of the people and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who did not recognize Jesus and put him to death. However he also underlines that his death - as in a mysterious reflection - fulfilled the prophecies. There is a mystery to contemplate, even if it is difficult to unravel. It is the mystery at the heart of the relationship between Jews and Christians. Paul continues his speech by affirming the heart of the Christian message, that is, the resurrection of Jesus as the culmination of the history of salvation. This is the mystery that must be proclaimed. In summary, Paul affirms, "And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus" (v. 32). Paul is speaking in the plural because he wants to emphasize the witness of the apostles and the many other disciples to whom Jesus appeared after the resurrection. And, as if to invite his listeners to read the passages of Holy Scripture in great depth, he quotes Psalm 2:7: "You are my Son; today I have begotten you." Peter had already cited this passage in his sermon on Pentecost. The resurrection becomes the definitive start of Jesus’ kingship over the kingdom of God.

Memory of Jesus crucified