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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

1 Peter 2, 4-10

He is the living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him

so that you, too, may be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

As scripture says: Now I am laying a stone in Zion, a chosen, precious cornerstone and no one who relies on this will be brought to disgrace.

To you believers it brings honour. But for unbelievers, it is rather a stone which the builders rejected that became a cornerstone,

a stumbling stone, a rock to trip people up. They stumble over it because they do not believe in the Word; it was the fate in store for them.

But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

Once you were a non-people and now you are the People of God; once you were outside his pity; now you have received pity.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With this sixth exhortation, the apostle invites the believers to "come to" Christ, "a living stone", so that they may be "themselves built into a spiritual house." The imagery of the stone calls to mind both the steadfastness of love and the pulse of life, like the rock in the desert from which gushed forth the water of life. This stone, rejected by the builders of a violent, evil world, has been chosen by God as the corner stone of a new spiritual house, the community of believers. The stones that make up this house are the believers. They should found their lives on the cornerstone, that is the Lord who sustains the house of the community, and they should live by the same love and resist evil with the same fortitude. Perhaps they too will be rejected by the people, as happened to the corner stone, and yet, this is why they are so important to build a new spiritual house. Being different from the world is the confirmation of the evangelical truthfulness of the Christian community. This is why only God, the only and true architect, can build this temple. But it is necessary that each believer feel the responsibility of being a living stone, that is clear in faith, generous in love, and strong in hope. Perhaps, while writing this letter, Peter was remembering in a particular way the words that Jesus spoke to him in Caesarea Philippi: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church" (Mt 16:18). And Peter extends the meaning of those words to the disciples: all Christians are living stones of a new spiritual house built on the foundation that is Jesus himself. Peter can then say that Christians are, like Israel, the "chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people" (ex 19:6). The believers, reunited around Jesus, become the single body that, with one heart and one soul, turns to God in praise, thanksgiving and invocation so that the world may be saved. We are not divided individuals anymore, but a people who has found God’s mercy (see Hos 2:25). The Christian community is not built for itself but to become the new temple built amidst the people to "proclaim" to all the love of the Lord and direct all on the way of salvation.

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