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The Everyday Prayer

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

Remembrance of the dedication of the Roman basilicas of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican and Saint Paul’s outside the walls.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 24,10-27

When the governor motioned him to speak, Paul answered: As you can verify for yourself, it is no more than twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem on pilgrimage, and it is not true that they ever found me arguing with anyone or stirring up the mob, either in the Temple, in the synagogues, or about the town; neither can they give you any proof of the accusations they are making against me now. 'What I do admit to you is this: it is according to the Way, which they describe as a sect, that I worship the God of my ancestors, retaining my belief in all points of the Law and in what is written in the prophets; and I hold the same hope in God as they do that there will be a resurrection of the upright and the wicked alike. In these things, I, as much as they, do my best to keep a clear conscience at all times before God and everyone. 'After several years I came to bring relief-money to my nation and to make offerings; it was in connection with these that they found me in the Temple; I had been purified, and there was no crowd involved, and no disturbance. But some Jews from Asia -- these are the ones who should have appeared before you and accused me of whatever they had against me. At least let those who are present say what crime they held against me when I stood before the Sanhedrin, unless it were to do with this single claim, when I stood up among them and called out, "It is about the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today." ' At this, Felix, who was fairly well informed about the Way, adjourned the case, saying, 'When Lysias the tribune comes down I will give judgement about your case.' He then gave orders to the centurion that Paul should be kept under arrest but free from restriction, and that none of his own people should be prevented from seeing to his needs. Some days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and gave him a hearing on the subject of faith in Christ Jesus. But when Paul began to treat of uprightness, self-control and the coming Judgement, Felix took fright and said, 'You may go for the present; I will send for you when I find it convenient.' At the same time he had hopes of receiving money from Paul, and for this reason he sent for him frequently and had talks with him. When two years came to an end, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus and, being anxious to gain favour with the Jews, Felix left Paul in custody.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul delivers a speech in his own defence in which he explains that he has been accused because of the doctrine about the resurrection of the dead. He rather effectively argues that he is neither a political inciter nor a traitor to Judaism. He explains that he stands in contrast to the Jews because of the “way” opened by Christ. Paul states that Jesus, by resurrecting from the dead, opened the way to salvation. In fact, Paul speaks more than once of the resurrection of the flesh as the hope for all believers. The resurrection is a fundamental belief in the Christian faith; it means that none of the believers will be lost in the darkness of death. Those who believe in the risen Jesus will rise themselves with their bodies. It is not simply a matter of believing in the immortality of the soul, as the Greeks affirmed, but in the resurrection of the whole person, body and soul. Jesus himself, who became the firstborn, began this mystery of salvation. He, in fact, has risen as the hope of all humankind. In order to preach this central mystery of the Christian faith, it was worthwhile for Paul to endure what he was suffering.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 17 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 18 December
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 19 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 20 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 21 December
Memory of the Church
Friday, 22 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 23 December
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 24 December
Liturgy of the Sunday