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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

Ephesians 1,15-23

That is why I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love for all God's holy people, have never failed to thank God for you and to remember you in my prayers. May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of him. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope his call holds for you, how rich is the glory of the heritage he offers among his holy people, and how extraordinarily great is the power that he has exercised for us believers; this accords with the strength of his power at work in Christ, the power which he exercised in raising him from the dead and enthroning him at his right hand, in heaven, far above every principality, ruling force, power or sovereignty, or any other name that can be named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under his feet, and made him, as he is above all things, the head of the Church; which is his Body, the fullness of him who is filled, all in all.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul thanks God for the faith of the Ephesians and also for their brotherly love. The community of Ephesus, which was particularly dear to him, is the object of his prayers. He asks for them the gift of the Spirit so that they may be led to a deep understanding of God’s mystery. Only the Spirit in fact guides the hearts of the faithful to intimacy with God. The work of the Spirit consists in ‘‘enlightening the eyes of the heart" that is, in communicating to the believer the wisdom that is not born by natural reason but by obedience to the Word of God. From this relationship with the Holy Scriptures, the Ephesians may understand "what is the hope to which they have been called," i.e. how lofty is the goal of believers. The apostle is aware of the "riches of his glorious inheritance" that has been reserved to us. Unfortunately we sometimes forget it, or rather we do not live it. Paul extends his gaze to the "saints", i.e. the universal Church of Heaven and earth, the angels and the deceased who already share the divine glory, and those to whom we are associated on the way to the goal. We are all clothed with the power of God that was manifested in its fullness in Jesus’ resurrection (v. 20): God made death die and regenerated believers to life. Through the history of Israel, the Lord had prepared the resurrection of Jesus, the eschatological act par excellence. And with the resurrection God has placed him at His right hand where he reigns over the cosmic powers. Our culture does not speak of beings that populate the heavens, which those of antiquity believed in spontaneously. Today there is no shortage of "rule and authority," "power and dominion" that make the lives of many people in our world bitter. To acknowledge the supremacy of Christ means to give back to the world the true face of "creation" destined to be inhabited by all, and to offer to human beings the freedom to love and be loved. At this point the apostle speaks of the Church as "Body of Christ," the universal Church. But if Christ is proclaimed Head of the cosmos and of the Church, only the Church is called his Body. The Church alone has a completely privileged relationship with the Lord; only in her is the sovereignty of the Risen Christ now clear and effective. It is a relationship that the apostle defines with the word "pleroma", or fullness. The Church, even with all the limitations of her members, is rich with the fullness of Christ who dwells in her.

Sunday Vigil