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The Everyday Prayer

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

The Jews celebrate the beginning of Passover (Pesa). Memorial of Saint Adelbert, bishop of Prague. He suffered martyrdom in eastern Prussia where he had gone to preach the Gospel (+997). He spent time in Rome, where his memory is venerated in the basilica of Saint Bartholomew on the Tiberine Island.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 13,44-52

The next Sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, filled with jealousy, used blasphemies to contradict everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out fearlessly. 'We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, here and now we turn to the gentiles. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said: I have made you a light to the nations, so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of the earth.' It made the gentiles very happy to hear this and they gave thanks to the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside. But the Jews worked on some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city; they stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas and expelled them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went off to Iconium; but the converts were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle Paul comes back to speak in the synagogue the next Sabbath. The author of Acts notes, "Almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord." It seems to be a repetition of the scene briefly described by the evangelist Mark, in which the crowd gathered in front of the house in Capernaum to listen to Jesus. Today, perhaps more than ever, our cities need to listen to that same Word. The climate of fear, the tendency to turn in on oneself, and the feelings of rootlessness that affect many people and that seem to be spreading throughout the world are an unconscious invocation for Jesus to come and touch people’s hearts. Of course it is still possible today for jealousy and envy to violently block the preaching of the Gospel, just as Paul experienced at the hands of the Jews who were listening to him. And yet he had spoken to them first. The history of Christian preaching is full of analogous examples: obstacles to the Gospel are never lacking, and they are sometimes raised by those who should be the first to welcome it. But Paul does not give up and begins to speak to the Gentiles. It is a decisive moment in the life of the first Christian community, a sort of watershed. This pastoral choice comes from the spiritual wisdom of being able to read the "signs of the times." After being rejected by the Jews, Paul experiences first hand, so to speak, the great willingness of the Gentiles to welcome the Gospel. And he cannot but respond to their desire. In fact, many adhere to the faith, quite willingly. Rightly satisfied, Luke can once again write: "Thus the Word of the Lord spread throughout the region." Paraphrasing the words of Gregory the Great, we can truly say, "The Scriptures grow with those who listen to them." This is a lesson that we too must learn in our time. Billions of people are waiting for words of salvation. In our globalized world, it is urgent for the Word of the Lord to spread, to become globalized, so that it can reach even the most distant hearts and console them.

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