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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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

Memorial of the prophet Elijah who was taken into heaven and left his mantle to Elisha.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 1,1.4-10

The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests living at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. The word of Yahweh came to me, saying: 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you; I appointed you as prophet to the nations.' I then said, 'Ah, ah, ah, Lord Yahweh; you see, I do not know how to speak: I am only a child!' But Yahweh replied, 'Do not say, "I am only a child," for you must go to all to whom I send you and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of confronting them, for I am with you to rescue you, Yahweh declares.' Then Yahweh stretched out his hand and touched my mouth, and Yahweh said to me: 'There! I have put my words into your mouth. Look, today I have set you over the nations and kingdoms, to uproot and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

God called Jeremiah to be a prophet at a difficult time in his people’s history. This text describes God’s favour for Jeremiah: he looks at him with love from the day of his birth. He does not choose a well-prepared man to be his prophet: Jeremiah is still young; he has not been educated to speak in public, as a prophet must. He feels that his particular condition is a good excuse to refuse God’s invitation. Especially as he begins to understand the height and depth of the vocation to which God is calling him, placing him within a horizon that is so inconceivable it makes him tremble. But even though the Lord takes Jeremiah’s doubts and the fears that emerge from his words seriously, he affirms his decision to choose him as a prophet. Nonetheless, he reassures him, promising him his constant support: "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you." Most importantly, it will be God himself who will put the words to speak on his lips. In truth, Jeremiah’s experience is the experience of every one of Jesus’ disciples: we are called to communicate the Gospel, not our own words or ideas, but the Word of the Lord, even in the most difficult of times, as Jesus himself will tell his disciples: "When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you" (Mt 10:19-20). God changes our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh and prepares our closed mouths to speak. We must not be afraid. Of course, we need to let our heart and our lips be touched, like Jeremiah, to be able to speak effectively. As disciples we are first of all called to listen to and willingly obey God’s call, and God himself will put his Word on our lips. And it will be effective. What matters is that we have faith in the Gospel and its power to change: "See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." That is the strength of the Gospel accepted and preached with faith: it can change human history.


07/20/2016
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets


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

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