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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the stigmata of St. Francis. He became like the Lord and received the signs of Jesus’ wounds on Mount Verna.

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 32, 26-44

The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as follows,

'Look, I am Yahweh, God of all humanity. Is anything impossible to me?

'So, Yahweh says this, "I shall hand this city over to the Chaldaeans and to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will capture it;

the Chaldaeans attacking this city will enter it, fire it and burn it to the ground, with the houses on whose roofs incense has been offered to Baal and libations poured to other gods, to provoke my anger.

For the people of Israel and Judah alike have done nothing but what displeases me since they were young. (The people of Israel in fact have done nothing but provoke my anger by their actions, Yahweh declares.)

Yes, from the day when this city was built until today, it has been such cause of anger and wrath to me that I mean to remove it from my sight,

on account of all the wickedness the people of Israel and the people of Judah have done to provoke my anger; they, their kings, their chief men, their priests, their prophets, the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

They turned to me their backs, never their faces; and though I taught them so urgently, so untiringly, they would not listen and accept correction.

Instead, they set up their Horrors in the Temple that bears my name to defile it,

and built the high places of Baal in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom, to burn their sons and daughters alive in honour of Molech: a thing I have never ordered, that had never entered my thoughts -- that they would cause Judah to sin by anything so loathsome!

"So now, this is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says about this city of which you now say: By means of sword, famine and plague, it is already within the king of Babylon's clutches:

Look, I shall gather them in from all the countries where I have driven them in my anger, my fury and great wrath. I shall bring them back to this place and make them live in safety.

Then they will be my people, and I shall be their God.

I shall give them singleness of heart and singleness of conduct so that they will always fear me, for their own good and that of their children after them.

I shall make an everlasting covenant with them, never to cease in my efforts for their welfare, and I shall put respect for me in their hearts, so that they will never turn away from me again.

My joy will lie in them and in doing them good, and I shall plant them firmly in this country, with all my heart and soul.

For Yahweh says this: Just as I have brought this complete and total disaster on this people, so I shall bring them all the good things I have promised them.

Fields will again be bought in this country of which you now say: It is a wasteland without human or animal, already in the clutches of the Chaldaeans.

People will buy fields, pay money, draw up deeds, seal them and have them witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the districts round Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah, of the highlands, of the lowlands and of the Negeb. For I shall bring back their captives, Yahweh declares." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The people’s sins were heavy and repeated. During the centuries of history of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the people’s infidelities and forgetfulness of the Lord grew in an alarming manner: “They have turned their backs to me, not their faces” (v. 33), the Lord laments. The people learned to follow their own path and not to trust in the Lord’s will. And when the Lord corrected them, they would not listen but continued to follow their own ways. Sin often finds us stubborn and persevering in error until we become slaves to ourselves. We have all had this sad experience. We do not listen to the cry for help of the poor and the oppressed, perhaps walking past as we look the other way, then our sin passes all bounds. In Jerusalem, the leaders of the city offered human sacrifices to the god Molech, imagining that the blood of children would have brought them all sorts of good! True religion and true humanity cannot accept the shedding of innocent blood like the blood of children. And we note with sadness that innocent blood is still spilled on the altars of self-interest today. Just as it did then, sin reaches intolerable limits. At the time of the prophet Jeremiah, the end of the Jerusalem meant the end of a world that could no longer continue with such injustice and cruelty. Is there any alternative to the destruction of a world that as a matter of fact does not want a future? God himself gives us the answer, “Is anything too hard for me?” (v. 27). God’s merciful power is unstoppable and invincible. Believers can change and hope for a new future in so far as they follow the Word of the Lord and allow the Lord to work in their hearts. The Lord says, “I will give them one heart and one way” (v. 39). Here is where the world begins to change. We must accept the love of the Lord in our hearts, and the world will change.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday