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The Everyday Prayer


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

Remembrance of the dedication of the Roman basilicas of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican and Saint Paul’s outside the walls.


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

Revelation 10,8-11

Then I heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. 'Go', it said, 'and take that open scroll from the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.' I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, 'Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but it will taste as sweet as honey.' So I took it out of the angel's hand, and I ate it and it tasted sweet as honey, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour. Then I was told, 'You are to prophesy again, this time against many different nations and countries and languages and kings.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage represents the central scene of the book of Revelation. While John is looking at the Angel (the Messiah) holding the "little scroll" in his hand, he hears a voice order him to go and take it from his hand. In doing so, he performs the same gesture as the Lamb, who took the scroll from the hand of the One who was seated on the throne (Rev 5:7). But, while the Lamb moved on his own, demonstrating his full power, John has to wait for the command: "Go, take the scroll." We always need an angel to show us what to do and how to do it. We all need to be invited to "take the little scroll." Salvation does not come from us, from our effort or our hard work; it comes from listening to the Gospel. And to make listening easier for us, there is a brother or sister who helps us understand the deeper meaning of what is written. The Word of God cannot be read by someone who is alone and detached from the community of believers. Just as no one can baptize him or herself (no one can become a Christian alone), no one can listen to the Word of God outside of the Church. We always need to listen again and again to the angel. John hears the voice add: "Take it, and eat!" The Gospel needs to be listened to, attended to, fathomed, learned by heart, read and reread, seen and seen again, just as we would handle our most precious treasure. Repeating the image used by John, we could say that it does not just need to be swallowed; it needs to be digested. Our salvation and the salvation of the world depend on that little book. It is a word that is "sweet as honey," because it is "God’s love-letter to us," as the Fathers say. But it is also a "bitter" word when it descends into our stomach, that is, when it enters our lives. It corrects and directs our lives; it cuts and builds, exhorts and rebukes. This "bitterness" is needed to pull us away from our selfishness and to help us grow to the stature of Christ.


11/18/2016
Memory of Jesus crucified


Calendar of the week
JAN
22
Sunday, 22 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
JAN
23
Monday, 23 January
Memory of the Poor
JAN
24
Tuesday, 24 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
JAN
25
Wednesday, 25 January
Memory of the Apostles
JAN
26
Thursday, 26 January
Memory of the Church
JAN
27
Friday, 27 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
JAN
28
Saturday, 28 January
Sunday Vigil
JAN
29
Sunday, 29 January
Liturgy of the Sunday