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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

Tobit 13,2.6-8

  Blessed be God who lives forever,
  because his kingdom lasts throughout all ages.

2 For he afflicts, and he shows mercy;
  he leads down to Hades in the lowest regions of the earth,
  and he brings up from the great abyss,
  and there is nothing that can escape his hand.

6 If you turn to him with all your heart and with all your soul,
  to do what is true before him,
  then he will turn to you
  and will no longer hide his face from you.
  So now see what he has done for you;
  acknowledge him at the top of your voice.

7 Bless the Lord of righteousness,
  and exalt the King of the ages.

8 In the land of my exile I acknowledge him,
  and show his power and majesty to a nation of sinners:
  “Turn back, you sinners, and do what is right before him;
  perhaps he may look with favour upon you and show you mercy.”

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today, the liturgy has us pray with the last prayer (the fifth) that appears in the book of Tobit. Over the past few days, the daily mass has presented us with the story told in the book of Tobit. Today, with the reading of the last chapter, it places on our lips the prayer of Tobit, who blesses God for the good he has received from him and for the mercy he has shown towards him. The elderly father – who still lives in exile – knows that he may never see Jerusalem again. And his heart is fixed on Jerusalem, the city that will be “his house forever” (13:16), where the people will be able to live together in peace. Tobit’s dream gathers together the universal aspiration to live in a city of peace. Even for Christians, the heavenly Jerusalem – as it is presented in Revelation – represents the dream that all cities might be places of peace. Today, however, we know all too well that cities, especially the giant metropolises, are often places of injustice and violence. Tobit’s vision reveals that human cities are always fragile and weak, but “there is nothing that can escape his hand” (13:2). He is the one who “leads down…and brings up.” Tobit has personally experienced weakness and precariousness, and felt the burning of adversity, but he lifted his eyes to God and discovered that “he is your God, our Father and God forever and ever!” (v. 4). And, after having discovered this personally, he communicates it to his brothers and sisters in faith (and not just to them): if they entrust themselves to the Lord in times of darkness, they will experience his mercy. Hope in the Lord is never misplaced. God desires joy for his children. But we must trust in him. Tobit declares, “If you turn to him… then he will turn to you and will no longer hide his face from you” (v. 6). He insists, “Turn back, you sinners, and do what is right before him; perhaps he may look with favour upon you and show you mercy” (v. 6). If people chose the path of conversion to the Lord – as Tobit’s own personal experience proves – he adds, “So now see what he has done for you; acknowledge him at the top of your voice” (v. 6). Later he writes that Jerusalem will become “A bright light [that] will shine to the limits of the earth” (v. 11). From it will come salvation for all nations: “Many nations will come to you from afar, and inhabitants of all the ends of the earth to your holy name” (v. 11). This is the vision of universal salvation that the prophets revealed and that each believer is called to welcome and make his or her own. Tobit passes it on to us, too, at the beginning of this new millennium. We need to dream and work so that all people will gather around the Lord as one family in peace.


06/10/2017
Sunday Vigil


Calendar of the week
JAN
14
Sunday, 14 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
JAN
15
Monday, 15 January
Prayer for peace
JAN
16
Tuesday, 16 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
JAN
17
Wednesday, 17 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
JAN
18
Thursday, 18 January
Memory of the Church
JAN
19
Friday, 19 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
JAN
20
Saturday, 20 January
Sunday Vigil
JAN
21
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday