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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

Ezekiel 18,1-10.13.30-32

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows, 'Why do you keep repeating this proverb in the land of Israel: The parents have eaten unripe grapes; and the children's teeth are set on edge? 'As I live -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- you will have no further cause to repeat this proverb in Israel. Look, all life belongs to me; the father's life and the son's life, both alike belong to me. The one who has sinned is the one to die. 'But if a man is upright, his actions law-abiding and upright, and he does not eat on the mountains or raise his eyes to the foul idols of the House of Israel, does not defile his neighbour's wife or touch a woman during her periods, oppresses no one, returns the pledge on a debt, does not rob, gives his own food to the hungry, his clothes to those who lack clothing, does not lend for profit, does not charge interest, abstains from evil, gives honest judgement between one person and another, keeps my laws and sincerely respects my judgements -- someone like this is truly upright and will live -- declares the Lord Yahweh. 'But if he has a son prone to violence and bloodshed, who commits one of these misdeeds- lends for profit, or charges interest, such a person will by no means live; having committed all these appalling crimes he will die, and his blood be on his own head. So in future, House of Israel, I shall judge each of you by what that person does -- declares the Lord Yahweh. Repent, renounce all your crimes, avoid all occasions for guilt. Shake off all the crimes you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why die, House of Israel? I take no pleasure in the death of anyone -- declares the Lord Yahweh -- so repent and live!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage from the prophet is meant to awake a sense of personal responsibility - both towards God and towards human beings - in the conscience of the Israelites, who were in exile. They should not have let the sadness of the condition in which they were living lead them to some kind of resignation, or worse, of sin, placing the responsibility for their situation on others. The prophet reminds each believer that he or she is personally responsible for his or her own behaviour. Of course, there is also a generational responsibility, and every generation is called to build a new world in accordance with God’s plan. But even in the context of our generation we are all called to discover our own task, which the Lord entrusts to us and which we have a responsibility to carry out, obviously within the context of the plan for peace and salvation to which the Lord calls us. The Lord had already warned believers about their responsibility to choose between good and evil in the book of Deuteronomy: "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity" (Deut 30:15), stressing that "Surely, this commandment...is not too hard for you, nor is it too far away" (Deut 30:11). The prophet uses concrete examples to explain which path the righteous person should follow and which he or she should abandon. It is significant that the link between worship and mercy is emphasized in this text, as well. These two dimensions are never separated in any biblical passage. Moreover, in every page of Scripture, the bond between God and his children, especially if they are weak, poor, or needy, can clearly be seen. It cannot be taken for granted that believers will behave according to the Lord’s will, however. Indeed, it is easy for us to stray from the Lord and his Word. That is why the prophet insists on the conversion of the believer: "Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit." These are instructions that everyone, including us, must take seriously. A wise Jew said, "If you want to change the world, start by changing your heart." It is from new hearts that a new world will be born.

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