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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 2, 11-22

Do not forget, then, that there was a time when you who were gentiles by physical descent, termed the uncircumcised by those who speak of themselves as the circumcised by reason of a physical operation,

do not forget, I say, that you were at that time separate from Christ and excluded from membership of Israel, aliens with no part in the covenants of the Promise, limited to this world, without hope and without God.

But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far off have been brought close, by the blood of Christ.

For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one entity and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, by destroying in his own person the hostility,

that is, the Law of commandments with its decrees. His purpose in this was, by restoring peace, to create a single New Man out of the two of them,

and through the cross, to reconcile them both to God in one Body; in his own person he killed the hostility.

He came to bring the good news of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.

Through him, then, we both in the one Spirit have free access to the Father.

So you are no longer aliens or foreign visitors; you are fellow-citizens with the holy people of God and part of God's household.

You are built upon the foundations of the apostles and prophets, and Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone.

Every structure knit together in him grows into a holy temple in the Lord;

and you too, in him, are being built up into a dwelling-place of God in the Spirit.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle is worried about the community’s unity, which has been jeopardized by the tensions between the former Jews and the former pagans. This passage has three parts: the first recalls the distance between Jews and pagans in order to underscore Jesus’ work, which breaks down the wall to build unity. Paul reminds the pagans of their former condition, precisely, the fact that they were far from God, away from His revelation. This reflection is specific to the time in which the apostle writes; nonetheless, each one of us can refer it to him or herself by thinking of the time when he or she was far from God, away from communion with Him. These words also make us think about the Church today: how many divisions there are among Christians! And if we widen the scope: how many conflicts there are among peoples! As believers, we cannot give up and accept such divisions as this would make us accomplices. We are called to work to restore fraternity among all people, the fraternity that God desires. Therefore, the apostle presents Jesus as our peace, as he who has united Jews and Gentiles in one body. We can also add that he works for the unity of those who are separated or dispersed so that everyone may be gathered in unity. Christ makes peace because he is peace. For this reason, he works for full communion among all people. Peace is neither a feeling of well-being nor the simple absence of war. Peace is, in fact, fullness of communion, the supreme messianic good. In order to make it possible, Jesus entered into the depths of conflict and suffered death. With his cross, he broke down the wall of selfishness that divides people, and reunited all in his love; he created a "new humanity," the man and woman in whose hearts all humankind lives. In the heart of the believer, in fact, every division, barrier and boundary is overcome; for Jesus’ disciples there are no enemies to fight against, but only brothers and sisters to love. From this "crucified" love the Church is born as a communion of brothers and sisters. Jesus took away the enmity that divides people by taking enmity, hate and division upon himself, without reacting to it or using violence against it, but by forgiving. In this way, he nailed the enmity upon the cross along with himself and made love flow instead. A new fraternity on earth is born from the cross: the communion of believers. To this community is given the task of bringing reconciliation wherever there are division and separation. Together with Isaiah we can sing, to this day: "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news" (Is 52:7). By welcoming the love of the cross, the disciples are no longer strangers and foreigners: they have become "citizens with the saints," members of God’s family who enjoy the good things of heaven, while still here on earth.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday