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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 1,67-79

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited his people, he has set them free,

and he has established for us a saving power in the House of his servant David,

just as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times,

that he would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all those who hate us,

and show faithful love to our ancestors, and so keep in mind his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham,

that he would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies,

to serve him in holiness and uprightness in his presence, all our days.

And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for him,

to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,

because of the faithful love of our God in which the rising Sun has come from on high to visit us,

to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow dark as death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is Christmas Eve and the Gospel puts on our lips the song of joy of the old priest Zechariah, who saw the miracle of the birth of the child. As it happened to Mary, he cannot restrain the joy for the newness of God and he bursts out into a song of joy - the famous hymn of "Benedictus" - for the little John. This prayer of praise is interwoven with quotations from the Scriptures. This seems to suggest a secret prayer to God: the use of the words of the Bible even to pray. This is an invitation that the whole tradition of the Church turns to us. We can think of the Psalms. The pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer said with great spiritual wisdom that God has prepared for us in the Psalms a prayer: by listening to his own words, the Lord would have immediately understood and answered to the prayer. Zechariah thanked the Lord for His "merciful goodness" towards his people that he wants to save from every enemy. Zechariah sees in his son "the prophet of the Most High," who "will go before the Lord to prepare His ways." The Benedictus reminds us that someone was chosen to precede the Lord, who prepares the way for him. Even today, each one of us needs a brother or a sister, who will help us to prepare our hearts, often distracted and full of ourselves. We need to remove any distraction in order to be prepared to meet the Lord, who is coming. We cannot believe alone. We all need an angel. We will be able to see new things and sing, as Zechariah did. If we accept help, it is because the Lord has once again visited his people

Christmas Eve

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday