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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 7,9-17

After that I saw that there was a huge number, impossible for anyone to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted in a loud voice,

'Salvation to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'

And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four living creatures, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God

with these words: Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.

One of the elders then spoke and asked me, 'Who are these people, dressed in white robes, and where have they come from?'

I answered him, 'You can tell me, sir.' Then he said, 'These are the people who have been through the great trial; they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb.

That is why they are standing in front of God's throne and serving him day and night in his sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.

They will never hunger or thirst again; sun and scorching wind will never plague them,

because the Lamb who is at the heart of the throne will be their shepherd and will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

A third vision opens before John’s eyes. In place of the community of ancient Israel there now appears an immense crowd, boundless and universal. While God’s Israel was meticulously counted tribe by tribe, this crowd "that no one could count" is only spoken about in terms of planetary totality: those who make up the crowd belong to all the peoples of the earth. With this vision, John reveals God’s grand plan for human history: the vision reveals the universal Church as a sign of, and a means to, the unity of the entire human species. First Israel and now the Church are the tools chosen by God to reunite the peoples of the earth in a mysterious but real unity. This is why the Church cannot live for itself. The Lord wanted the Church to exist so that it might become a leavening of unity for the entire world. This is a responsibility for the entire Church and for each individual Christian community, indeed for each individual disciple. We are all called to help bring this universal plan of salvation for all the peoples of the earth to completion. The ranks of Jesus’ disciples spread out before our eyes; they "will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 8:11), as Jesus said. Yes, these people will stand before God and Christ, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands as if for a great and royal festival. They suffered persecution and they sacrificed themselves without holding anything back; now they are in glory. They offer perfect worship before the throne, an eternal liturgy of praise like the one performed in the temple of Zion. From high on his throne, the Lord spreads his holy canopy over them, thus transforming the community of the elect into his living temple, in which he reveals himself and is present (v. 15). In the prologue to the fourth Gospel, it is the Word that set up his tent among men and women through his flesh (Jn 1:14); now it is the messianic people that becomes, with Christ, the temple of God. Paul says; "Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?" (1 Cor 3:16). The lives of those who are saved are now full: "They shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall strike them down, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them," wrote Isaiah (49:10). We who are still pilgrims on the earth can already experience this fullness every time we welcome God’s lordship over our lives.

Memory of the Church

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