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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo (†1584), bishop of Milan.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 20,29-32

'I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. So be on your guard, remembering how night and day for three years I never slackened in counselling each one of you with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In bidding farewell to the elders, Paul confirms the pastoral commitment that led his activities in Ephesus for three years. His words to them have the flavour of a last will. And the elders receive them with moved attention. Truly, they can imitate the apostle in his pastoral commitment. Paul knows that with his departure, problems will rise in the life of the community. Therefore, he exhorts them to be alert, as, in fact, he did without sparing himself of any effort. He reminds them, “I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears” (v. 31). His are passionate words that show the extraordinary love of Paul for the community of Ephesus. He knows nonetheless that Christian life, including that of shepherds, is not only the fruit of the good will of the individuals. It is the Lord who gives strength and wisdom to fulfil Christian life. This is why he tells them, “And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace.” It is very peculiar that the apostle does not entrust the Word to the minsters, but rather the ministers to the Word. It is a statement that may seem paradoxical. In truth, to entrust the believers to the Word means that they are called to put their faith and their hope in the Word of God and not in themselves, in their ideas, or in other people or things. Thus, every day, as authentic servants of the Lord, we should make our hearts attentive to the Word (Is 50:4); every day we should let the Lord open our ears without withdrawing (Is 50:5); every day we should make room for the Word of God so that it may dwell in us (Jn 15:7). Even before being entrusted to us so that we may communicate it, the Word keeps, protects and blesses us, as during the liturgical celebration at the end of the proclamation of the Gospel. Jesus’ disciples will be able to bring the Word to others only if the Word will first sustain them. The Gospel remains the substance of the life of the Church and therefore also ours. Without the Gospel, the Church is nothing; and without the Gospel, we do not have anything to say to anyone. Without the Gospel, it is useless to occupy ourselves, even with sacred things. The Gospel is the Lord himself. And as he said, “Because apart from me, you can do nothing,” (Jn 15:5) in the same way without a life-giving encounter with the Word of God, even our life loses its meaning.

Sunday Vigil

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