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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of St. Anthony of the caves of Kiev (+1073). Father of Russian monasticism, with St. Theodosius he is considered the founder of the monastery of the caves.

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

1 Peter 4, 12-19

My dear friends, do not be taken aback at the testing by fire which is taking place among you, as though something strange were happening to you;

but in so far as you share in the sufferings of Christ, be glad, so that you may enjoy a much greater gladness when his glory is revealed.

If you are insulted for bearing Christ's name, blessed are you, for on you rests the Spirit of God, the Spirit of glory.

None of you should ever deserve to suffer for being a murderer, a thief, a criminal or an informer;

but if any one of you should suffer for being a Christian, then there must be no shame but thanksgiving to God for bearing this name.

The time has come for the judgement to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who refuse to believe God's gospel?

If it is hard for the upright to be saved, what will happen to the wicked and to sinners?

So even those whom God allows to suffer should commit themselves to a Creator who is trustworthy, and go on doing good.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

For the second time Peter calls the Christians "beloved," as if wanting to make his affection felt for those who were undergoing harsh persecution. Perhaps the violence unleashed against them, and which the apostle compares to a fire, was particularly intense. He encourages them then, to not be surprised by it: it is normal for suffering caused by opposition to the Gospel to accompany the life of the disciple. In fact, Peter adds that they must even rejoice in it because in this way they participate in the same suffering of Jesus. This is the path that the disciples have to follow in order to obtain the very same glory that comes with the resurrection. Actually, no pain is wasted and no sacrifice goes unnoticed under the eyes of God. There is a mystery and a ministry of suffering that manifests the saving truth of the cross: it is from the cross that salvation begins. It is not God who sends evil and suffering, even less death, however in suffering we are sympathetic with him who suffered for all of us. The disciples of Jesus called to "sharing Christ’s suffering" cooperate with him in the salvation of the world. For this reason, the imitation of Christ remains the highest ideal for the disciples: they must strive for it with all of their strength, desire it above every other thing and constantly implore the Lord for it in prayer. Perhaps, precisely to stress this imitation, Peter uses the term "Christian" to connote the disciple of Jesus. It is a term used only three times in the New Testament, twice in the Acts of the Apostles and once in this letter. But this term conveys that the disciple’s greatness consists entirely in this name that Peter does not use by chance when he speaks of the suffering inflicted upon the disciples. We can say that the disciple, when he or she suffers as Christ suffered, becomes "Christian", a disciple to the end.

Memory of the Poor

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