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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Proverbs 1, 1-7

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

for learning what wisdom and discipline are, for understanding words of deep meaning,

for acquiring a disciplined insight, uprightness, justice and fair dealing;

for teaching sound judgement to the simple, and knowledge and reflection to the young;

Let the wise listen and learn yet more, and a person of discernment will acquire the art of guidance.

for perceiving the meaning of proverbs and obscure sayings, the sayings of the sages and their riddles.

The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; fools spurn wisdom and discipline.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We begin the Book of Proverbs, a collection of sage reflections gathered over the centuries. Along with the Song of Songs and the Book of Wisdom, the Book of Proverbs is attributed to Solomon, considered the wise par excellence. As 1 Kings (5:9-14) amply recounts, Solomon knows how to uncover and show the laws that regulate the cosmos and human life. The theme that runs throughout the entire book can be summed up in the last verse of this passage: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." The author places human knowledge under the authority of the "fear of the Lord." "Fear" does not mean being afraid, but a recognition that we depend on God, from whom comes all wisdom. We cannot inherit wisdom or acquire it mechanically; rather, we acquire it through instruction. The task of the wise is to penetrate life’s and nature’s secrets in order to identify the laws that the Lord made so we may conform to them: "Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles." The wise accept putting in the effort to search for wisdom, knowing that wisdom cannot be grasped once and for all. In this sense, wisdom reflection allows a degree of human autonomy that grants a great deal of confidence in human beings’ capacity to discern the laws that regulate the universe. Hence, these first verses insist upon the need for putting effort into comprehending. What is asked of the reader of this book is to put effort into knowing, understanding, acquiring wisdom, becoming wise and giving knowledge. Faith does not mean simply adhering to established truths. Faith asks of each one of us to take on the responsibility of growing in understanding so that faith may become a culture of life. If we want, the wise man in the Book of Proverbs invites us to put ourselves to the test of making the continuous effort of growing in wisdom and knowledge, so that our faith may contribute to progress and cultural development. Wisdom search shows that God has given humanity freedom, so that we may orient ourselves through research in the complexity of the universe, which we will never sufficiently comprehend.

Memory of the Poor

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday