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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

Revelation 11,4-12

These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in attendance on the Lord of the world. Fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and anyone who tries to harm them will certainly be killed in this way. They have the power to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they have the power to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like. When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them and kill them. Their corpses lie in the main street of the great city known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified. People of every race, tribe, language and nation stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried, and the people of the world are glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.' After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up on their feet, and everybody who saw it happen was terrified; then I heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, 'Come up here,' and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We are still within the context of the sixth trumpet. John is now given a rod to measure the Temple; it is, however, like the staff used to measure the new Temple, that is, the Church, the body of Christ. In this image we can understand an invitation to recognize those who are part of the Christian community, who feel that the Church is their family. The Church is not anonymous; it is not an undifferentiated group. The believer recognizes his or her community in the family of faith to which he belongs. We cannot be Christians alone, and we cannot save ourselves alone. God did not want to save men and women individually, but by gathering them together in a people. This is the story of the people of Israel and the story of the Church; both, however, are at the service of the salvation of all people and nations. The Church – as well as the Jewish people - is called to spend her life and energy for the salvation of the entire world, so that all nations of the earth may acknowledge that the Lord is the one Father of all. At her heart there is a preoccupation with universality that cannot be suppressed. The more each individual Christian descends into the depths of the mystery of the Church, the more he or she opens his or her heart to the entire world. This is why the very nature of the community of believers contradicts all turning inward, all self-reference, and all individualism. And this is why those who make selfishness their law and self-love the rule of their lives, are in opposition to the Church even when they belong to it. Opposition to the Gospel and its disciples happened during John’s time, and it happens even in our day. Jesus’ disciples can never completely "adapt" to the world; they will always be opposed and persecuted. This is what also happened to Jesus. The two witnesses who appear are the personification of all this. Perhaps John is referring to the apostles Peter and Paul, who fell as martyrs in Rome, the "great city." In any case, the two witnesses represent the entire Church. The two preached the Gospel in Rome where they were martyred. They followed the Lord to the letter. But death and the tomb are not their final destination. Just as in Ezekiel’s surreal vision of the dry bones that take on flesh and life through the breath of God’s Spirit (37:10), so too is the resurrection made real in the bodies of the two martyrs. Their experience, like that of the Church, retraces the experience of Christ himself. Dead like him, they rise with him, revealing their glory to the world. They too are "assumed" into heaven. Jesus himself had said to the Father: "I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am" (Jn 17:24).

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 26 March
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 27 March
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 28 March
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 29 March
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 30 March
Memory of the Church
Friday, 31 March
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 1 April
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 2 April
Liturgy of the Sunday