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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Chronicles 7, 11-22

Thus Solomon finished the Temple of Yahweh and the royal palace, and he successfully concluded everything that he was of a mind to do in the Temple of Yahweh and in his own palace.

Then Yahweh appeared to Solomon in the night and said, 'I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.

If I shut the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the country, or if I send pestilence among my people,

if my people who bear my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my presence and turn from their wicked ways, then I will listen from heaven and forgive their sins and restore their country.

Now and for the future my eyes are open and my ears attentive to prayer offered in this place,

for now I have chosen and consecrated this Temple, for my name to be there for ever; my eyes and my heart will constantly be there.

And if, for your part, you walk before me as your father David did, and do everything that I have commanded you to do, and keep my laws and my ordinances,

I shall make your royal throne secure, as I covenanted with your father David when I said: You will never lack for a male to rule in Israel.

But if you turn away and forsake my laws and commandments which I have laid down for you, and go and serve other gods and worship them,

then I shall uproot them from the country which I have given them, and shall disown this Temple which I have consecrated for my name and make it a proverb and a byword among all the peoples.

And at this once-exalted Temple, everyone who passes by will be appalled, and will say, "Why has Yahweh treated this country and this Temple like this?"

And the answer will be, "Because they deserted Yahweh, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshipped and served them; that is why he has brought all these disasters on them." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The feast of the dedication finished, Solomon receives, as a gift, the vision of God who speaks to him. It is night, as if to emphasize the intimacy of the encounter, but also the severity of what the Lord was going to say to his servant. God ensures Solomon of his presence in the temple, vigilant and warm. Not only is He attentive with his eyes and his ears, but his heart is also in that place. “Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that my name may be there for ever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time.” These are affirm­ations that move us by their strength of love. Certainly they refer to the recently built temple, but the true place in which the Lord wants to live is the assembly of believers, the Church. Yes, the Lord is present among his people. Jesus himself would say: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Mt 18:20). And the apostle Paul, in this same line, calls upon the Corinthians: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor 3:16). But the presence of God is not to be taken for granted. Simply belonging to the Church as if it were an ethnic group, or any group, among others, is not enough. The link with the Lord passes through the heart, through faithfulness to his covenant, through obedience to the pact of love established with him. It is a bond that touches the depths of the heart. With severity, the Lord addresses Solomon: “But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will pluck you up from the land that I have given you; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.” These are harsh words; the rupture of the covenant with God is the beginning of innumerable disasters. To deny the covenant means to twist not only the relationship with God but also that among men and women and with nature itself. The severity of the words corresponds to the gravity of the consequences. They do, however, also show forth the height of the love of the Lord and the depth of his involvement with the people that He chose. It is the very love of God which is lofty, very. And God has paid its price. To liberate his people, the Lord engaged in a hard struggle against Pharaoh. And above all, his Son saved men and women with the blood poured on the cross. Contemplating the Crucified, we are able to understand the radicality of God’s love for us. Whence comes the great exigency of Gospel love. We need to rediscover its heroic dimensions, the martyrs’ ones. We need to flee the temptation to render salt insipid and to blur the light of the Gospel. It is not a matter of ignoring our weakness and frailty. The Lord knows them well. But they are not an obstacle to the heights of love. Only one thing is asked of us: to entrust ourselves totally to God. That is, to welcome into our hearts at least one drop of the gratuitous love of God. Jesus presents to us the measure of love: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34).

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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