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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of St. Anthony from the caves of Kiev (+1073). The father of Russian monks he is considered the founder of the Monastery of the Caves with St. Theodosius.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 7,1-11

The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 'Stand at the gate of the Temple of Yahweh and there proclaim this message. Say, "Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you of Judah who come in by these gates to worship Yahweh. Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this: Amend your behaviour and your actions and I will let you stay in this place. Do not put your faith in delusive words, such as: This is Yahweh's sanctuary, Yahweh's sanctuary, Yahweh's sanctuary! But if you really amend your behaviour and your actions, if you really treat one another fairly, if you do not exploit the stranger, the orphan and the widow, if you do not shed innocent blood in this place and if you do not follow other gods, to your own ruin, then I shall let you stay in this place, in the country I gave for ever to your ancestors of old. Look, you are putting your faith in delusive, worthless words! Steal, would you, murder, commit adultery, perjure yourselves, burn incense to Baal, follow other gods of whom you know nothing?- and then come and stand before me in this Temple that bears my name, saying: Now we are safe to go on doing all these loathsome things! Do you look on this Temple that bears my name as a den of bandits? I, at any rate, can see straight, Yahweh declares.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Temple of Jerusalem, built by King Solomon, had become the heart of the relationship of the people of Israel with God. It was the place for prayer and especially sacrifice. Within its holy courts, believers entered into communion with the Lord, gave thanks to him for the blessings they had received, and were granted forgiveness for their sins. Jeremiah recalls an ancient truth of Israel’s faith, one that is present all through the prophets: the Temple is not a place to worship God with outwardly focused rituals that do not correspond to the ?worshipers’ lives. Starting with Isaiah (chapter 1), and then Hosea (6:1-6) and Amos (4:4-5) the prophets affirm that the sacrifices and prayers of people whose hands are stained with blood are not pleasing to God. Violence and injustice do not go along with visiting God’s house. As Jesus will say: "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord", will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven" (Mt 7:21). Communion with God, which is established in the Temple, requires a life based on listening to his word, not to ourselves. We sometimes run the risk of becoming satisfied with a disembodied faith, which does not become life or love for our neighbours, which does not change hearts and history. Devotions and prayers that become their own measure are not enough. The Temple is the place of the community, the people of God. We are not alone there. Christian faith, which is rooted in the faith of Israel, is not a private affair between individuals and God, as if no one else existed. This is why faith is sometimes abstract and cannot touch lives or people’s daily experience: it becomes a private affair, which everyone manages by him or herself, without the comfort or correction of anyone else. Speaking with the Lord’s voice, Jeremiah adds, "Amend your ways and your doings, and let me dwell with you in this place." We can follow this command by living lives that are nourished by the Word of God, that take care of the poor ("do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow"), that engage with the faith of others, and that do not give in to idolatry. We cannot be disciples without putting the Lord’s commandments into practice, without joining together to search for the path of justice and love.

Sunday Vigil

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