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The Everyday Prayer

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

Feast Of Joachim and Anna, ancestors of the Lord. We remember all the elderly who, with love, communicate their faith to the young. Memorial of Mary, a mentally ill woman who died in Rome. With her we remember all who are mentally ill.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 14,17-22

'So say this word to them: May my eyes shed tears night and day, unceasingly, since the daughter of my people has sustained a fearsome wound, a crippling injury. If I go into the countryside, there lie those killed by the sword; if I go into the city, I see people tortured with hunger; even prophets and priests roam the country at their wits' end.' Have you rejected Judah altogether? Does your very soul revolt at Zion? Why have you struck us down without hope of cure? We were hoping for peace -- no good came of it! For the moment of cure -- nothing but terror! Yahweh, we acknowledge our wickedness and our ancestors' guilt: we have indeed sinned against you. For your name's sake do not reject us, do not dishonour the throne of your glory. Remember us; do not break your covenant with us. Can any of the nations' Futile Ones make it rain? Can the heavens of their own accord give showers? Are you not the one, Yahweh our God? In you is our hope, since you make all these things.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Faced with evil, the prophet does not look for justifications or try to find the guilty; he does not flee, even if he recognizes the wickedness of the people of Israel. Jeremiah’s response, like the response of the Psalms and many other pages of the Bible, is prayer. In prayer we can understand evil, pain, and calamity in a new way. Prayer is the person of faith’s first response. Even though he or she is aware of his or her weakness, the believer does not become resigned or lose hope, but turns to God and entrusts him or herself to Him. Jeremiah describes a desperate situation, caused by the drought that is destroying the land and its consequences: hunger, death, and bewilderment. We hear echoes of the lamentations made after the destruction of Jerusalem, or the many psalms that describe tragic situations of sickness, destruction, poverty, or persecution. The words of the prophet describe many situations of pain for us and help us notice the many tears that flow from the eyes of suffering men and women. It is God himself who weeps over the calamity that has struck his people, "Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter—my people—is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound." We must not continue to weep for ourselves. Many people shed tears of pain in the world. God weeps with them and teaches us to join in his weeping, not to remain indifferent. How many people expected peace, "We look for peace, but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead." Nonetheless, in the midst of suffering and pain, when evil seems to swallow the lives of the righteous (Ps 22), prayer opens the way for God to intervene. Prayer can even became an insistent demand from the Lord: "Have you completely rejected Judah? Does your heart loathe Zion?" In truth, it is not the Lord who has forgotten. We are the ones, like the people of Israel, who have forgotten the Lord and live turned in on ourselves, forgetful of God’s presence and of the fact that he has taken the burden of the pain and the wounds of the world on himself.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord