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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 14, 17-22

'So say this word to them: May my eyes shed tears night and day, unceasingly, since the daughter of my people has sustained a fearsome wound, a crippling injury.

If I go into the countryside, there lie those killed by the sword; if I go into the city, I see people tortured with hunger; even prophets and priests roam the country at their wits' end.'

Have you rejected Judah altogether? Does your very soul revolt at Zion? Why have you struck us down without hope of cure? We were hoping for peace -- no good came of it! For the moment of cure -- nothing but terror!

Yahweh, we acknowledge our wickedness and our ancestors' guilt: we have indeed sinned against you.

For your name's sake do not reject us, do not dishonour the throne of your glory. Remember us; do not break your covenant with us.

Can any of the nations' Futile Ones make it rain? Can the heavens of their own accord give showers? Are you not the one, Yahweh our God? In you is our hope, since you make all these things.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Faced with evil, the prophet does not look for justifications or people to blame; he does not flee, even if he recognizes the iniquity of the people of Israel. Jeremiah’s response, which is the response of the Psalms and of many other parts of the Bible, is prayer. Prayer leads to a new understanding of evil, pain, and disasters. Prayer is the first response of a person of faith. Even though they are aware of their weakness, believers do not give up, they do not remain without hope, but turn to God and entrust themselves to Him. Jeremiah describes a desperate situation, caused not only by the severe drought that is destroying the land, but also its consequences: hunger, death, and disorientation. We can hear echoes of the words of the lamentations made when Jerusalem was destroyed, or the many psalms that describe tragic situations of sickness, destruction, poverty, and persecution. The words of the prophet describe for us many situations of pain and help us notice the many tears that flow from the eyes of suffering men and women. It is God himself who weeps over the disasters that have struck his people: “Let my eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease, for the virgin daughter—my people—is struck down with a crushing blow, with a very grievous wound.” We must not continue to weep for ourselves. Many people are shedding tears of pain in the world. God weeps with them and teaches us to join in their weeping, not to remain indifferent. How many people are expecting peace, “but find no good; for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.” Nonetheless, even in the midst of suffering and pain, or when evil seems to swallow up the life of the just (Ps 22), prayer opens a way for God to intervene. Prayer evens becomes an insistent question for God, “Have you completely rejected Judah? Does your heart loathe Zion?” In truth, it is not the Lord who has forgotten us. We are the ones, like the people of Israel in times past, who forget the Lord and live turned in on ourselves, forgetful of his presence and of the way he has taken up this world’s pain and wounds.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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