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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Ezekiel 43,1-7

He took me to the gate, the one facing east. I saw the glory of the God of Israel approaching from the east. A sound came with him like the sound of the ocean, and the earth shone with his glory. This vision was like the one I had seen when I had come for the destruction of the city, and like the one I had seen by the River Chebar. Then I fell to the ground. The glory of Yahweh arrived at the Temple by the east gate. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; I saw the glory of Yahweh fill the Temple. And I heard someone speaking to me from the Temple while the man stood beside me. He said, 'Son of man, this is the dais of my throne, the step on which I rest my feet. I shall live here among the Israelites for ever; and the House of Israel, they and their kings, will never again defile my holy name with their whorings and the corpses of their kings,


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Book of Ezekiel opened with the grand vision of the Glory of God: God revealed himself to men and women in all of his splendour. It makes us think of the vision that the disciples had on Mount Tabor when Jesus was transfigured before them and appeared in his splendour. Jesus is indeed the full manifestation of the Glory of God, the dimension of God and his love for us that we can contemplate. The Gospel of John explains this very well from the beginning: "And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth" (Jn 1:14). But this extraordinary presence of God in the world is obscured by sin. This is why at the end of chapter 11, the prophet Ezekiel announces that the glory of God abandons the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, the place where people could contemplate the glory of God and enjoy God’s presence. Now that the Temple has been rebuilt and purified (chapters 40-42), the Lord enters it again and his glory takes possession of it. Once again God is in his people’s midst, and they can enjoy his presence. Like Ezekiel, we too cannot keep from falling to the ground before the extraordinary and splendid presence of the Lord. None of us can lay claim to justice and goodness in front of the grace of a God who deigned to come and live among us despite the sin and the pettiness of our lives. Here only humble and poor men and women can enjoy his presence. The proud and those who trust in themselves and in their wealth or power never bow before this presence. They remain standing, but they stand on emptiness. Those who believe contemplate the glory of God that is manifested in the Word, in the beauty of the Liturgy, and in the gift of the Eucharist. But there is another manifestation of the glory of God: in the wounds of the crucified one whom we encounter in the pain of the poor of the world. Let us pray to the Lord that we may not contribute to driving his presence, which is so beautiful, from us and from the world, a presence from which we cannot be cut off unless we close in on ourselves in selfishness and pride. The Lord always reveals himself to us and we open our eyes and heart to welcome him and rejoice in his glory.

Sunday Vigil