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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Ecclesiastes 5,7-11

If in a province you see the poor oppressed, fair judgement and justice violated, do not be surprised, for over every official there watches a higher official, and over these, higher officials still.

But what the land yields is for the benefit of all, a king is served by the fields.

No one who loves money ever has enough, no one who loves luxury has any income; this, too, is futile.

Where goods abound, parasites abound: where is the owner's profit, apart from feasting his eyes?

The labourer's sleep is sweet, whether he has eaten little or much, but the surfeit of the rich will not let him sleep at all.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Qohelet, who has already dealt with some attitudes that corrupt social life, now pauses to consider the economic-administrative dimension of the state structure as a pyramid, from the centre to the periphery, which oppresses and exploits the weak and poor. Before such corruption of political administration, Qohelet, unlike the prophets which would have reacted violently, urges that we not marvel: it is a given that there is corruption. It is no use in any case to hypothesize a return to a pre-state economy where each one thought only of his own affairs. The problem, in fact, lies not in the system in place, but rather in man himself and his insatiable covetousness. In any political system the root of evil lies in the insatiable desire to possess, for which one never has sufficient receivables. For the one who is a slave to money and riches, income is obviously never enough, and desire for it is never quenched (cf. 1:8; 4:8). Therefore, it is in the human heart that we must seek the causes of oppression and injustice, not first of all in the organization of society. The thirst for money and riches too is "hebel," a breath of wind. Qohelet warns of the danger that money and riches represent for humans. Even if they are administered magnanimously, parasites are seen to grow, "lovers of wealth," those who let themselves be seduced by money. The soberness of the worker is better than the satiety of the rich. The former is not agitated by worries and does not suffer from insomnia, while the "satiety" of the rich is nothing but covetousness never satisfied.

Memory of Jesus crucified

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday