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The Everyday Prayer

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

Feast of Mary of Mount Carmel.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Micah 2,1-5

Disaster for those who plot evil, who lie in bed planning mischief! No sooner is it dawn than they do it, since they have the power to do so. Seizing the fields that they covet, they take over houses as well, owner and house they seize alike, the man himself as well as his inheritance. So Yahweh says this: Look, I am now plotting a disaster for this breed from which you will not extricate your necks; you will not hold your heads up then, for the times will be disastrous indeed. That day they will make a satire on you, they will strike up a dirge and say, 'We have been stripped of everything; my people's land has been divided up, no one else can restore it to them, our fields have been awarded to our despoiler.' Because of this, you will have no one to measure out a share in Yahweh's community.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The prophet’s words make up the first part of a diptych addressed to the powerful who arbitrarily and violently exercise their power. The initial section, which describes how the powerful act, demonstrates the strength of evil’s plots in human life. Micah lives in Jerusalem, a city that is not so different from the Samaria described by Amos. He not only presents an accusation of tyranny and oppression, but he reveals the perversion which seizes those who become slaves of the power they exercise. The desire to possess and to display their power takes possession of them. They devise evil even at night; all of their time is occupied by the evil one. The prophet warns his readers not to be tricked by the desire to possess, because everything ends and falls into ruin. Even in our time, the love of money continues to create disparities and leave the poor outside the door, as happened to the poor man Lazarus. The world has never been as materially wealthy as it is today, and yet the poor have never been as numerous. For God this is an unbearable injustice. The cry of the poor reaches God’s hear and moves him. The prophetic Word comes to denounce the scandal of this disparity. It starts with "alas!" an expression that communicates both a threat and regret for those who do evil, urging them to recognize what they are doing before it is too late. Evil will indeed turn against the violent: those who devise evil day and night are fooling themselves if they think they will go unpunished. The injustice that oppresses is an offense against God, who is Father of all. The community of believers must draw near the weak and the poor to make them feel the mercy and compassion of God. For the Lord favours them and defends them.

Sunday Vigil