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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Isaiah 1, 10.16-20

Hear what Yahweh says, you rulers of Sodom; listen to what our God teaches, you people of Gomorrah.

wash, make yourselves clean. Take your wrong-doing out of my sight. Cease doing evil.

Learn to do good, search for justice, discipline the violent, be just to the orphan, plead for the widow.

'Come, let us talk this over,' says Yahweh. 'Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

If you are willing to obey, you shall eat the good things of the earth.

But if you refuse and rebel, the sword shall eat you instead -- for Yahweh's mouth has spoken.'


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

In this time of Lent, in harmony with the invitation to live this time in penance and conversion, the liturgy offers us this page from the prophet Isaiah. With the opening words of the prophet the heart of biblical faith is introduced: listening to the word of God. Isaiah speaks to political leaders, calling them "leaders of Gomorrah", and then the evil men, whom he calls "people of Gomorrah," who probably, gathered in the courtyard of the temple, are participating in the worship. Reference to the city of Gomorrah lays out in the words of the prophet the imminence of God's judgment on the people of Jerusalem. It warns all sternly: "Hear the word of the Lord ... listen to the teaching of our God" (v.10). The Lord does not turn to the people with generic words of exhortation. And neither can the people stand before God in a superficial and ritualistic way. There is responsibility in this relationship. In Scripture the Lord makes it repeatedly clear that he does not love a religious ritual that is detached from the pursuit of justice and love for the poor. The prophet reports God's thought: "remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes" (v.16). And immediately he adds: "Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow" (v.17). This is the way to worship God. It is saying that there can be no division between the liturgical worship of the altar in the temple (and churches) and the worship of justice and closeness to the poor. They are two inseparable religions. And whoever practices them enters into that infinite mercy which saves us from any sin. In fact, the Lord says, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow" (v.18). It is the victory of God's love over every sin, as long as we let him embrace us, as long as we let him love and instruct us: "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land" (v. 19). Lent is the appropriate time to let ourselves be loved and purified by the Lord

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 18 June
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Monday, 19 June
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 20 June
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 21 June
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 22 June
Memory of the Church
Friday, 23 June
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 24 June
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 25 June
Liturgy of the Sunday