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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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

Remembrance of Athenagoras (1886-1972), patriarch of Constantinople and father of ecumenical dialogue. For Muslims today marks the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr).


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hosea 11,1-4.8-9

When Israel was a child I loved him, and I called my son out of Egypt. But the more I called, the further they went away from me; they offered sacrifice to Baal and burnt incense to idols. I myself taught Ephraim to walk, I myself took them by the arm, but they did not know that I was the one caring for them, that I was leading them with human ties, with leading-strings of love, that, with them, I was like someone lifting an infant to his cheek, and that I bent down to feed him. Ephraim, how could I part with you? Israel, how could I give you up? How could I make you like Admah or treat you like Zeboiim? My heart within me is overwhelmed, fever grips my inmost being. I will not give rein to my fierce anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again, for I am God, not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I shall not come to you in anger.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage describes God’s paternal and maternal care for Israel, his child. It is among the most tender and moving passages in all of Holy Scripture. Pope Francis explicitly recalls several lines in the Bull of Indiction of the Holy Year of Mercy: "My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender," the Lord says looking at Israel. In effect, in this passage God is revealed as a kind father who has loved his people since Israel was a child: "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." The prophet begins the story of the election of Israel with liberation from Egypt. In fact, we already find the image of God as a father in the book of Exodus: "Israel is my firstborn son" (Ex 4:22-23). In this passage we see the lament of a father betrayed by his son despite his deep love for him. God’s initial call rises from a passionate heart that entrusts this child with an extraordinary mission, and so frees him from slavery, and then step by step cares for him, takes him by the hand to teach him to walk, draws him to himself with bonds of goodness, and bends down to feed him. What has that father not done for his son? And yet all he finds is betrayal! It is a passage that could apply to us. The Lord has also taken care of us. His call made us a part of his people, his family, the community of believers. And we have a mother, the Church. The fathers of the early Church said, "One cannot have God as a father without having the Church as a mother. This is the great gift that God has given us. And yet often we too act like Israel: we continue to follow our instincts, straying from God. But the Lord does not give up on his dream for us, the dream of freeing us from the many forms of slavery of this world so that we can give witness to his extraordinary love among all people. And despite our betrayals, God comes back to call us, follow us, forgive us, and draw us to him. No father in the world would continue to act like this. God, however, does not cease to be moved, and reassures, "I will not come in wrath." And he continues to tremble with love for us, following us and speaking for us until we come back to him and let ourselves be wrapped up by his mercy.


07/07/2016
Memory of the Church


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