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The Everyday Prayer

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

Remembrance of Nunzia, a mentally disabled woman who died in Naples; with her we remember all the mentally disabled people who have fallen asleep in the Lord.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 26,11-16.24

The priests and prophets then said to the chief men and all the people, 'This man deserves to die, since he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.' Jeremiah, however, replied to all the chief men and all the people as follows, 'Yahweh himself sent me to prophesy against this Temple and this city all the things you have heard. So now amend your behaviour and actions, listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and Yahweh will relent about the disaster that he has decreed for you. For myself, I am, as you see, in your hands. Do whatever you please or think right with me. But be sure of this, that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood on yourselves, on this city and on its inhabitants, since Yahweh has truly sent me to you to say all this for you to hear.' The chief men and all the people then said to the priests and prophets, 'This man does not deserve to die: he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God.' But Jeremiah had a protector in Ahikam son of Shaphan, so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The chapter from which this passage is taken opens with the Lord’s command to Jeremiah to go to the Temple. The Lord says to him, "Speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord; speak to them all the words that I command you; do not hold back a word." He adds: "It may be that they will listen, all of them, and will turn from their evil way, that I may change my mind about the disaster that I intend to bring on them because of their evil doings." But then the Lord tells him to warn them: "If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently—though you have not heeded— then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth." These are very serious words that the Lord is speaking to the prophet. And he knows that he must faithfully transmit them all: the very fate of the city depends on their observance. As, we might add, does the fate of the prophet himself. Jesus himself recalled the fate of prophets when he said, "I (the Lord) will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute" (Lk 11:49). The prophet finds himself taken by a vocation that does not put limits on the divine Word. His freedom is identified with his courage in communicating what the Lord has ordered him to say. The prophet - and every believer is called to be one - does not calculate what risks there might be for his life when he speaks. As a son and a friend of the Word that has been entrusted to him, the prophet communicates the Word at the right time and the wrong time, as the apostle will say. He is bound to his mission: he cannot turn away from the call he has received. And Jeremiah immediately experiences the bitterness of not being heard. The text reads, "And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him." The same thing will happen to Jesus, who was arrested by those who did not want to recognize him as the Messiah, the Lord’s Anointed One. Neither Jeremiah nor Jesus spoke on his own or thought about his safety. Both spoke in God’s name directly to the people’s hearts. There were some who accepted Jeremiah’s words and understood that they were for the good of all. Their wisdom led them to oppose the decisions of the Temple leaders, who were only concerned with maintaining the institution that they represented and controlled. And Jeremiah was able to avoid death. The ones who had accepted his words and turned from their "evil way" (v. 3) saved him. And the Word of the Lord was not lost among the shameful interests of those in charge of the temple. The world is saved when righteous and honest people recognize God’s voice and try to make it prevail over confusion and lies.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday