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The Everyday Prayer

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

For Muslims, it is the end of the month of fasting, Ramadan (Eid al-Fitr).

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 15, 1-9

Yahweh said to me, 'Even if Moses and Samuel pleaded before me, I could not sympathise with this people! Drive them out of my sight; away with them!

And if they ask you, "Where shall we go?" tell them this, "Yahweh says this: Those for the plague, to the plague; those for the sword, to the sword; those for famine, to famine; those for captivity, to captivity!

"I shall consign them to four kinds of thing, Yahweh declares: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the birds of heaven and wild animals of earth to devour and to destroy.

I shall make them an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, and what he did in Jerusalem." '

Who is there to pity you, Jerusalem, who to grieve for you, who to go out of his way and ask how you are?

'You yourself have rejected me, Yahweh declares, you have turned your back on me; so I have stretched my hand over you and destroyed you. Tired of relenting,

I have winnowed them with a winnow at the country's gates. They have been bereft, I have destroyed my people, but they refuse to leave their ways.

I have made their widows outnumber the sand of the sea. On the mother of young warriors I bring the destroyer in broad daylight. Suddenly I bring anguish and terror down on her.

The mother of seven sons grows faint and gasps for breath. It is still day, but already her sun has set, she is dismayed and distracted; and the rest of them I shall consign to the sword, to their enemies, Yahweh declares.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The prophet’s words have become harsh. God truly seems unfair, just as he seemed to Job. Yes, God is angry at a people who do not listen, a people who follow their own habits: “I have bereaved them, I have destroyed my people; they did not turn from their ways.” God’s anger comes from his love, from his passion, which does not give in when faced with people who do not listen and continue to follow only themselves. He goes as far as to say that he will not listen to their prayers, even “though Moses and Samuel stood” before him. Moses and Samuel are men whose prayers were answered and who changed the history of their people. Moses began the Exodus, the liberation of Israel from the slavery of Egypt. His prayer was indeed effective! Samuel also lived at the dawn of a new era, the beginning of the monarchy in Israel, beginning with Saul and then David. Two prophets, two intercessors. No prayer is acceptable to God if it is not made with a humble heart that is willing to listen and change. There is a type of prayer that is spoken out of habit and that does not transform the heart. This is what Jesus means 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” (Mt 7:21). All those who do not come to terms with God in prayer and learn to do his will are destined to follow their sad destiny, as if God were unable to do anything for those who turn away from him and follow themselves. “Send them out of my sight, and let them go! And when they say to you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: Those destined for pestilence, to pestilence...” The Word of God does not compel; it does not impose itself. Sometimes people stubbornly choose a sad fate, because they continue in their habits and do not recognize the end that awaits them.

Memory of the Church

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