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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Saint John Damascene, priest and Doctor of the Church who lived in Damascus in the eighth century.

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

Romans 1, 8-15

First I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because your faith is talked of all over the world.

God, whom I serve with my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness that I continually mention you in my prayers,

asking always that by some means I may at long last be enabled to visit you, if it is God's will.

For I am longing to see you so that I can convey to you some spiritual gift that will be a lasting strength,

or rather that we may be strengthened together through our mutual faith, yours and mine.

I want you to be quite certain too, brothers, that I have often planned to visit you -- though up to the present I have always been prevented -- in the hope that I might work as fruitfully among you as I have among the gentiles elsewhere.

I have an obligation to Greeks as well as barbarians, to the educated as well as the ignorant,

and hence the eagerness on my part to preach the gospel to you in Rome too.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul makes known his strong desire to visit the Christians in Rome. For a long time he had desired to visit them, and until now he has been impeded. He wants to see them because he admires the fact that “their faith is proclaimed throughout the world.” Before anything else, the apostle gives thanks to the Lord for the vitality of the Roman community and assures them that they are remembered in his prayers. His words are not just for simple flattering; the apostle knows very well that praying for one another strengthens communion and increases the faith (and he says as much many times in his letters). He is also convinced that visiting one another brings joy because with all the gifts that God gives to his children, it promotes the enrichment of one another. For this reason he writes: “For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” There is a need to share the richness of fellowship: no one can live unbound from others, or worse, entirely for him or herself. Communion should arise not only among individual believers, but also among Christian communities. In this way we realize that circle of communion that enriches one another. Paul notes this explicitly: while he writes that he wants to communicate a spiritual gift to them to fortify them, in the same moment he desires also to be reassured in faith. Through fraternal exchange, we bear gifts for others while at the same time receiving gifts from them. We console and in turn are consoled. We encourage others and in turn are encouraged. The source of this reciprocal consolation lies in adhering to the one Gospel, to the one faith, that unite us in one, single body and that makes us into one family. And this communion pushes each one of us to a greater passion to communicate the Gospel to the world. If anything, Paul wants to enrich the community in Rome with this passion, revealing to them the “debt” that he feels to communicate the Gospel “both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.” We could say that Paul wanted the universality of salvation, inherent in the Gospel, to shine forth in an entirely particular manner in the community in the empire’s capital. And this is the gift he wants to communicate to them. This debt to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, to the ends of the earth, to others should be felt and above all else lived out by every believer and by every community. The Gospel transforms the disciples into “universal brothers and sisters.” A Gospel for all of humanity asks that we all who follow it live out a fraternity without borders.

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