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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

Romans 2, 12-24

All those who have sinned without the Law will perish without the Law; and those under the Law who have sinned will be judged by the Law.

For the ones that God will justify are not those who have heard the Law but those who have kept the Law.

So, when gentiles, not having the Law, still through their own innate sense behave as the Law commands, then, even though they have no Law, they are a law for themselves.

They can demonstrate the effect of the Law engraved on their hearts, to which their own conscience bears witness; since they are aware of various considerations, some of which accuse them, while others provide them with a defence . . . on the day when,

according to the gospel that I preach, God, through Jesus Christ, judges all human secrets.

If you can call yourself a Jew, and you really trust in the Law, and are proud of your God,

and know his will, and tell right from wrong because you have been taught by the Law;

if you are confident that you are a guide to the blind and a beacon to those in the dark,

that you can teach the ignorant and instruct the unlearned because the Law embodies all knowledge and all truth-

so then, in teaching others, do you teach yourself as well? You preach that there is to be no stealing, but do you steal?

You say that adultery is forbidden, but do you commit adultery? You detest the worship of objects, but do you desecrate holy things yourself?

If, while you are boasting of the Law, you disobey it, then you are bringing God into contempt.

As scripture says: It is your fault that the name of God is held in contempt among the nations.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

“For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” Paul’s words echo the end of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, when he says: “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Paul reaffirms the necessity of listening so as to change one’s heart and one’s life. God wrote an interior law on the hearts of the Jews and Gentiles. And all are called to observe it. We could say that this law reports to the law of love, the law that moves us to bend down before the weak and poor. This law is universal. It is a rule that must be loved and lived if we let our heart speak within the barriers imposed on it by self-love. Observance of this law leads to salvation. Simply being knowledgeable of the law or belonging to God’s people are enough to be saved. Love must be received and given by everyone, believers and non-believers. For the believers, however, who had the privilege of listening to the Word of God, the responsibility is even greater. By failing to follow the law they become witnesses lacking credibility. Paul severely warns that wicked behaviour on the part of the Jews gives reason to the Gentiles to disregard God. Numerous times throughout the Gospels Jesus’ disciples are called upon to give witness to the power of the Gospel that transforms life. For all of this we must give an account to God. More will be asked of those to whom more had been given.

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