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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Exodus 3, 1-6.9-12

Moses was looking after the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led it to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.

The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame blazing from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing, but the bush was not being burnt up.

Moses said, 'I must go across and see this strange sight, and why the bush is not being burnt up.'

When Yahweh saw him going across to look, God called to him from the middle of the bush. 'Moses, Moses!' he said. 'Here I am,' he answered.

'Come no nearer,' he said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.

I am the God of your ancestors,' he said, 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' At this Moses covered his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Yes indeed, the Israelites' cry for help has reached me, and I have also seen the cruel way in which the Egyptians are oppressing them.

So now I am sending you to Pharaoh, for you to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.'

Moses said to God, 'Who am I to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?'

'I shall be with you,' God said, 'and this is the sign by which you will know that I was the one who sent you. After you have led the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Moses has lost the outrage he once felt at injustice, and now lives a peaceful life with his family. But the Lord has not forgotten the misery of his people. And he bursts into Moses’s life like a burning fire. It is the fire of God’s love, the fire of compassion, which appears in an unexpected way to a man who has grown forgetful and resigned, intent on tending to his flocks. The Lord comes and calls him by name. Moses responds promptly and with trust. It is the same thing that happens to us when, in the holy land of the Christian community, in the place of prayer, the book of holy scriptures is opened and God speaks to us. The fire of his word wakes us up from a stressful and distracted life. And we discover a God who is the Lord of the history of the men and women of faith who came before us and, with faith, answered, “Here I am.” Because of the faith of one man, God saved an entire people. Let us not pull back from God’s call. Like Moses, like Samuel (1 Sam 3), like Isaiah (Is 6), and like so many other prophets, we too should respond with faith, “Here I am.” The Lord will make us prophets of his love in order to save the world. God is not far from men and women; indeed he lowers himself enough to touch their misery and free them. The author has God say, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry.” The Lord is not immoveable. The cry of his people moves him. And he decides to come down from heaven to rescue them. This is the same descent of God that will become even more visible in Jesus, the suffering servant, who took upon himself the suffering not only of the people of Israel, but of the entire world. God does not act alone. He works with Moses and with each one of us because of his concern for salvation, and he sends us towards the suffering and the poor to be a concrete sign of his mercy. We often make the same objection as Moses, “who am I?” to go and free that nation of slaves, to face a powerful man like Pharaoh? It is an objection that in truth hides our laziness. The Lord will stand by our side. We are not alone in our struggle against evil; we are not alone at the side of those who suffer. God is our strength. That is why we serve him on the mountain where he appeared and spoke to us.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday