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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

Jeremiah 1, 11-19

The word of Yahweh came to me, asking, 'Jeremiah, what do you see?' I answered, 'I see a branch of the Watchful Tree.'

Then Yahweh said, 'Well seen, for I am watching over my word to perform it.'

A second time the word of Yahweh came to me, asking, 'What do you see?' I answered, 'I see a cooking pot on the boil, with its mouth tilting from the north.'

Then Yahweh said: 'From the north disaster will come boiling over on all who live in the country,

for I am now summoning all the families of the kingdoms of the north, Yahweh declares. They will come, and each will set his throne in front of the gates of Jerusalem, all round, against its walls and against all the towns of Judah.

I shall pronounce my judgements on them because of all their wickedness, since they have abandoned me, offering incense to other gods and worshipping what their own hands have made.

'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up and tell them all I command you. Have no fear of them and in their presence I will make you fearless.

For look, today I have made you into a fortified city, a pillar of iron, a wall of bronze to stand against the whole country: the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests and the people of the country.

They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you, Yahweh declares, to rescue you.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Being a prophet means living by visions, beginning to see other people and history through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of our own narrow horizons. God keeps asking Jeremiah what he sees: it is an exhortation to listen continuously to the Word of God, which, like a light, helps us to read the “signs of the times”, as the Blessed John XXIII would say. The prophet is the one who, having listened to the Word of God, has to communicate it to the world in order to help the world gain a deeper understanding of history. People cannot live with their eyes turned in on themselves. The word of God takes us beyond a superficial reading of events; it opens our eyes to the future; it helps us understand the direction of history, without leaving us prisoners of prejudice, fear, or anxiety when we are faced with things that are difficult to understand. The Lord sends the prophet to all nations, not just to his own people. In fact, prophecy opens a believer’s eyes and heart to the world, allowing him or her to have a new, broader understanding of history. The Word of God therefore does not us distract us from history. On the contrary, it carries us deeper into its drama to show us the way of salvation. The Lord himself “watches over” the world to ensure that his word will be fulfilled and reach all people. In fact, as is written in the book of Isaiah, the word of God “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (55:11). We should not be afraid of difficult times like the ones in which we are living. Rather, we urgently must welcome God’s promise and, like Samuel, never let any of the words we hear “fall to the ground.” God’s call flings open our closed hearts, frees us from fear, and sends us into history with a new spirit and a new vision. The Lord himself makes the prophet as strong as a fortified city and as solid as a bronze wall. This same steadfastness is what drives God to send his own Son, Jesus Christ, to be Emmanuel, “God with us,” and accompany us “always, to the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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