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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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

Psalm 103, 13-18

13 As a father has compassion for his children,
  so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

14 For he knows how we were made;
  he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
  they flourish like a flower of the field;

16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
  and its place knows it no more.

17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
  on those who fear him,
  and his righteousness to children’s children,

18 to those who keep his covenant
  and remember to do his commandments.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Psalm 103, of which today’s liturgy has us sing a few verses from the second part – is a hymn to God’s love, which is compared to the compassion of a father towards his children: “As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him” (v. 13). The psalmist is not afraid of presenting the God of Israel with the face of a compassionate father who bends down over men and women, as he did using Moses at the beginning of the liberation of Israel from the slavery of the Egyptians: “He made known his ways to Moses” (v. 7). Ever since then, the Lord has accompanied his people with power and strength, without ever abandoning them. And he never abandoned his covenant with his people even when they strayed from him, which they did with incredible frequency. But the Lord never let his anger against his people prevail. The book of Exodus reads: “The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (34:6). As if to underline God’s mercy, the psalmist sings, “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting… and his righteousness to children’s children” (v. 17). There is enthusiasm for the greatness of God’s love in the psalmist’s words: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him” (v. 11). The fragility of humanity is not unknown to the psalmist. The psalmist sings of the Lord: “For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust” (v. 14). And believers should also be aware of their fragility and their radical weakness: “As for mortals, their days are like grass; they flourish like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more” (v. 15-16). But the psalmist’s vision is not an anguished one. Indeed, it is precisely human weakness that explains God’s love and compassion for us. In effect, it is our weakness that moves the Lord’s heart with compassion and pushes him to bend down over us and take care of us. God has chosen the dust that we are to give us love and forgiveness. That is what he did at the beginning of creation, when he chose dust to form Adam and breathe life into him. God “remembers that we are dust” and that is why he is at our side “from everlasting to everlasting” (v. 17). The psalmist reminds us that God’s justice is not meant to condemn but to exercise his mercy towards those who trust in him, towards those who place their salvation in him: “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments” (v. 17-18).


02/25/2017
Sunday Vigil


Calendar of the week
JAN
21
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
JAN
22
Monday, 22 January
Memory of the Poor
JAN
23
Tuesday, 23 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
JAN
24
Wednesday, 24 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
JAN
25
Thursday, 25 January
Memory of the Apostles
JAN
26
Friday, 26 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
JAN
27
Saturday, 27 January
Sunday Vigil
JAN
28
Sunday, 28 January
Liturgy of the Sunday