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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 23, 1-8

'Disaster for the shepherds who lose and scatter the sheep of my pasture, Yahweh declares.

This, therefore, is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people, "You have scattered my flock, you have driven them away and have not taken care of them. Right, I shall take care of you for your misdeeds, Yahweh declares!

But the remnant of my flock I myself shall gather from all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; they will be fruitful and increase in numbers.

For them I shall raise up shepherds to shepherd them and pasture them. No fear, no terror for them any more; not one shall be lost, Yahweh declares!

Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall raise an upright Branch for David; he will reign as king and be wise, doing what is just and upright in the country.

In his days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name he will be called, 'Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice.' "

'So, look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when people will no longer say, "As Yahweh lives who brought the Israelites out of Egypt,"

but, "As Yahweh lives who led back and brought home the offspring of the House of Israel from the land of the north and all the countries to which he had driven them, to live on their own soil." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” These are harsh words against the leaders of Israel, who no longer lead the flocks the Lord has entrusted to them. They have forgotten about the people of God and only care for themselves. It seems that the people bother them, they are so distant. No longer aware of their responsibility to be shepherds, they have learned to do evil. And, without anyone to lead them, the sheep of the flock are walking towards destruction. We might wonder whether it is ever possible for someone to change his or her feelings and give up his or her most precious treasure. When wickedness take a hold of life and evil becomes a habit and when selfishness knows no bounds shepherds become hired hands. Those who should be acting for the good of all and, in particular, the most vulnerable, choose to be more concerned with themselves than the good of others. Then it is the Lord who intervenes and takes up the defence of the poor and the needy, that part of the flock that suffers from severe wounds and is afflicted by so much pain but has no one to lead it. Mercy is the ever-new name of the Lord, who takes up the sheep who are scattered and alone. He is the one who raises up new shepherds who follow his heart and lead the sheep to pasture, loving them with a steady and caring love. These new shepherds are friends of the poor who let any no one get lost, whether by falling prey to fear or dismay or by being left without any consolation. Like the Lord’s people, the poor are often exiled, left as foreigners in their own land. These new shepherds, led by the righteous stem, the Messiah-King who establishes absolute justice and repairs all rejection, will be able to grant rest to the most vulnerable and offer them peace and happiness. The Lord Jesus calls his disciples and makes them defenders of the poor, and he makes this one of the clearest signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 14 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 15 January
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 16 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 17 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 18 January
Memory of the Church
Friday, 19 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 20 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday