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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Boniface, bishop and martyr. He announced the Gospel in Germany and was killed while celebrating the Eucharist (†754).

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 4, 14-16; 5,1-10

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must hold firm to our profession of faith.

For the high priest we have is not incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us, but has been put to the test in exactly the same way as ourselves, apart from sin.

Let us, then, have no fear in approaching the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace when we are in need of help.

Every high priest is taken from among human beings and is appointed to act on their behalf in relationships with God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins;

he can sympathise with those who are ignorant or who have gone astray, because he too is subject to the limitations of weakness.

That is why he has to make sin offerings for himself as well as for the people.

No one takes this honour on himself; it needs a call from God, as in Aaron's case.

And so it was not Christ who gave himself the glory of becoming high priest, but the one who said to him: You are my Son, today I have fathered you,

and in another text: You are a priest for ever, of the order of Melchizedek.

During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, with loud cries and with tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death, and, winning a hearing by his reverence,

he learnt obedience, Son though he was, through his sufferings;

when he had been perfected, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation

and was acclaimed by God with the title of high priest of the order of Melchizedek.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The second part of the Letter opens with a statement intended to hearten Christian readers who are experiencing a difficult moment in their life due to strong opposition from an environment hostile to the Gospel. The author writes that they have “a great high priest who has passed through the heavens.” The title of “high priest”, already above given to Jesus (2:17), is now being developed in a broader way. It is urgent to strengthen the confidence of Christians in the help of God. The Letter therefore invites the believers to come close with confidence and without fear to the Lord, certain of being heard because we have a “high priest” who understands us, even more, who is full of compassion for us and who knows how to present to God our lives which have become harder. Jesus knows well our difficulties and our weaknesses because he himself “in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.” The Letter insists that his compassion for us stems from the fact that he has come to dwell among us and has known in his own flesh our weakness, save for sin. But he has not scorned us. Indeed, he has made his weakness our weakness in order to liberate us from it. We may say that he understood our weakness from within; and, in his compassion, he has carried this weakness in his body up into heaven. For this reason the author exhorts: “Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness.” Not only will we be heard but also will be succoured and helped by God. The author inserts Jesus in the line of priests, who receive that ministry through family membership. The author does not place him in the descendants of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the other prophets, but in that of Aaron. Jesus has been constituted as priest, inheriting this ministry from God, by whom he has been generated as Son (1:4f.). Therefore he affirms that he “did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest,” but it has been entrusted to him by the One who said to him: “You are my Son, today I have begotten you.” And Jesus exercised his priesthood on this earth, “in the days of his flesh,” offering “prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death.” The author pauses on the absolute gratuitousness of Jesus’ love for us: “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Compassion is the reason of the mystery of love; he has come among us to save us. As every priest, he was “chosen from among mortals … [and] put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” The extraordinary thing about this mystery is in the fact that while any other priest, taken from among men, is marked by sin, Jesus, despite his being immune from sin, is made thus by God so that we may be liberated from sin, from which He was immune. And all of this out of love. This extraordinary “mercy” of Jesus continues to open heaven to us.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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