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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Father Aleksandr Men’, Orthodox priest from Moscow, barbarically murdered in 1990.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jeremiah 30, 1-11

The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, as follows,

'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "Write for yourself in a book all the words I have spoken to you.

For look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall bring back the captives of my people Israel (and Judah), Yahweh says. I shall make them come back and take possession of the country I gave to their ancestors." '

These are the words Yahweh spoke about Israel (and Judah):

Yahweh says this: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, not of peace.

Now ask and see: can a man bear children? Then why do I see each man with his hands on his loins like a woman in labour? Why has every face grown pale?

Disaster! This is the great day, no other like it: a time of distress for Jacob, though he will be saved from it.

(That day, Yahweh Sabaoth declares, I shall break the yoke now on your neck and snap your chains; and foreigners will enslave you no more,

but Israel and Judah will serve Yahweh their God, and David their king whom I shall raise up for them.)

So do not be afraid, my servant Jacob, Yahweh declares, Israel, do not be alarmed: for look, I shall rescue you from distant countries and your descendants from the country where they are captive. Jacob will return and be at peace, secure, with no one to trouble him.

For I am with you to save you, Yahweh declares, I shall make an end of all the nations where I have driven you, but I shall not make an end of you, only discipline you in moderation, not to let you go quite unpunished.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage begins the “Book of Consolation,” which includes chapters 30 and 31. Up until this point, the prophet has pronounced many oracles announcing disasters, death, and exile. All of this did not come about by chance, but was the bitter consequence of the rebellion of the people of Judah. They no longer were following the Word of the Lord and did not listen to the prophet, who was communicating it with conviction and persistence. But the Lord, who is always merciful, is moved by his people and announces a great change. He knows the anguish and pain that the people all but created for themselves when they abandoned God’s Law. It is the Lord, once again, who is moved. He calls the prophet and says, “Write in a book all the words that I have spoken to you. For the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people...and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their ancestors and they shall take possession of it.” Once again, it is the Lord who takes the initiative in freeing his people. He cannot stand the “cry of panic, of terror, and no peace.” He decides to intervene to bring about the day of liberation: “On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will break the yoke from off his neck, and I will burst his bonds, and strangers shall no more make a servant of him.” This time, it is the Lord who breaks the yoke and bursts the bonds. And the people can look to the future with real hope. The land that had been given to them will be theirs once again. The experience of the Exodus is repeated: the people will come out of the land where they lived as foreigners and enter in the land that is the sign of their covenant with God. But will the people be able to read this new intervention of the Lord’s? Only if they turn their ears to the Lord, who never fails to speak his word to them. The salvation of believers always comes through renewed listening. The Lord is not far off and silent. He continues to speak. And this time he says, “have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity.” And this will not happen as the result of an easy, optimistic request. This liberation occurs because “I am with you...to save you,” the Lord ensures. This is the fullest explanation of what will happen: the Lord will come a saviour, as the One who frees his people from the shadows and from loneliness and brings them back into the land they once possessed. The Lord himself changes the sign of his “day” and makes it a day of freedom and goodness. Terror becomes peace and the cries of fear will not longer be heard. A Messiah of peace will come, and his day will be full of happiness.

Memory of the Poor

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