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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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

Ezekiel 1,2-5.24-28

On the fifth of the month -- it was the fifth year of exile for King Jehoiachin- the word of Yahweh was addressed to the priest Ezekiel son of Buzi, in Chaldaea by the River Chebar. There the hand of Yahweh came on him. I looked; a stormy wind blew from the north, a great cloud with flashing fire and brilliant light round it, and in the middle, in the heart of the fire, a brilliance like that of amber, and in the middle what seemed to be four living creatures. They looked like this: They were of human form. I also heard the noise of their wings; when they moved, it was like the noise of flood-waters, like the voice of Shaddai, like the noise of a storm, like the noise of an armed camp; and when they halted, they lowered their wings; there was a noise too. Beyond the solid surface above their heads, there was what seemed like a sapphire, in the form of a throne. High above on the form of a throne was a form with the appearance of a human being. I saw a brilliance like amber, like fire, radiating from what appeared to be the waist upwards; and from what appeared to be the waist downwards, I saw what looked like fire, giving a brilliant light all round. The radiance of the encircling light was like the radiance of the bow in the clouds on rainy days. The sight was like the glory of Yahweh. I looked and fell to the ground, and I heard the voice of someone speaking to me.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

For the next two weeks, starting from today, the Liturgy presents excerpts from the prophet Ezekiel. Very little is known about him. He was a married man and a member of a priestly family that had been formed in the shadow of the Temple of Jerusalem, but he lived out his ministry as a prophet mostly in the Babylonian diaspora, after the first invasion of Jerusalem. In this situation of slavery, the prophet had the task of helping the people of Israel to understand again the covenant with God while they are far from Jerusalem and without the help of Temple rituals to invoke the Lord. The passage that opens the book of Ezekiel tells of the prophet’s call. It does not happen in an abstract way, but as is always true in the Bible, in a specific context of history: God always speaks through human history to transform it from a history of slavery into a history of salvation. The book opens with a precise historical notation: "On the fifth day of the month (it was the fifth year of exile of King Jehoiachin)." The prophet identifies the beginning of his ministry and shows that it was not born of his decision or calculations: he does not begin his ministry by his own initiative, but because God calls him. This event, as the prophet describes it, was completely unexpected and stirred in him a profound transformation. Ezekiel describes his vision with a series of stunning images that show the profound upheaval happening to him. In truth, the experience that Ezekiel describes is similar to that of every believer, though of course in a different way for each one. A call to conversion always implies a profound change of life. It means, in fact, to abandon concern for oneself and for one’s individual plans in order to welcome God’s call to participate in His plan of salvation. Conversion is a dispossession of oneself—as it was for Ezekiel and all the prophets—to accept God’s call to participate in His plan of salvation for the world. Ezekiel receives a call from God so that he may serve the Lord and God’s plan of salvation. The loftiness of this call makes the prophet "fall on his face"; signifying the sense of greatness of the vocation to which the Lord calls. We, too, must rediscover the "fear of the Lord" to preserve and answer the call to serve the Gospel and the poor.


08/08/2016
Memory of the Poor


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