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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of the first martyrs of the Roman Church during persecution of Nero.

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

Genesis 19, 15-29

When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your feet! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.'

And as he hesitated, the men seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters -- Yahweh being merciful to him -- and led him out and left him outside the city.

When they had brought him outside, he was told, 'Flee for your life. Do not look behind you or stop anywhere on the plain. Flee to the hills or you will be swept away.'

'Oh no, my lord!' Lot said to them,

'You have already been very good to your servant and shown me even greater love by saving my life, but I cannot flee to the hills, or disaster will overtake me and I shall die.

That town over there is near enough to flee to, and is small. Let me flee there-after all it is only a small place -- and so survive.'

He replied, 'I grant you this favour too, and will not overthrow the town you speak of.

Hurry, flee to that one, for I cannot do anything until you reach it.' That is why the town is named Zoar.

The sun rose over the horizon just as Lot was entering Zoar.

Then Yahweh rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire of his own sending.

He overthrew those cities and the whole plain, with all the people living in the cities and everything that grew there.

But Lot's wife looked back, and was turned into a pillar of salt.

Next morning, Abraham hurried to the place where he had stood before Yahweh,

and looking towards Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole area of the plain, he saw the smoke rising from the ground like smoke from a furnace.

Thus it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he did not forget Abraham and he rescued Lot from the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities where Lot was living.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This passage from the Bible suggests that when human cities refuse to welcome foreigners, they are doomed to destruction. Indeed, the inhabitants of Sodom, who, in their feelings, had closed themselves off from the world, assail Abraham’s brother, Lot, because he had dared to welcome a few foreigners. The root of this attitude lies in a narrow heart that is unable to recognize foreigners as brothers and sisters. ?This is why the citizens of that city assail Lot too and refuse to have him in their midst. That city had built walls and established boundaries in order to not welcome those who came from the outside. But if a city, a society, or a nation chooses to live with its doors closed, it is working towards its own impoverishment. Closing a city, like closing a heart, leads to a sad life, that sooner or later leads to dissolution. But the logic of closing off others is such a strongly-rooted conviction that even Lot eventually lets himself be drawn in. He cannot manage to break away from the city. ?The Lord comes to his aid with a “great kindness” and leads him to safety. ?God comes towards our weakness, and, in his mercy, frees us from evil, teaching us to live with a broad heart.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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