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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Ambrose (+ 397), bishop of Milan. Pastor of his people, he remained strong in the face of the emperor’s arrogance.
In the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere the Community of Sant’Egidio prays for the sick.

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

Isaiah 35,1-10

Let the desert and the dry lands be glad, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom; like the asphodel, let it burst into flower, let it rejoice and sing for joy. The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; then they will see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God. Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees and say to the faint-hearted, 'Be strong! Do not be afraid. Here is your God, vengeance is coming, divine retribution; he is coming to save you.' Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed, then the lame will leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy; for water will gush in the desert and streams in the wastelands, the parched ground will become a marsh and the thirsty land springs of water; the lairs where the jackals used to live will become plots of reed and papyrus. And through it will run a road for them and a highway which will be called the Sacred Way; the unclean will not be allowed to use it; He will be the one to use this road, the fool will not stray along it. No lion will be there, no ferocious beast set foot on it, nothing of the sort be found; it will be used by the redeemed. For those whom Yahweh has ransomed will return, they will come to Zion shouting for joy, their heads crowned with joy unending; rejoicing and gladness will escort them and sorrow and sighing will take flight.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Chapter 35, as well as chapter 34 of the book of Isaiah end with a prophetic song of joy addressed to Jerusalem and Judah. Why should the people rejoice in a difficult time, when they see themselves deprived of their land, of what is most valuable? When facing difficulties one finds it easier to resign, to have "weak hands and feeble knees", as those who do not believe that it may still be possible to build a better future, as one who has a "fearful heart." How many elderly, how many frail and poor people feel the weight of uselessness! But the Lord does not leave his people alone; he does not want resignation to win. His word invites us to hope and asks us to look to the future and the work that God can still accomplish. Not everything is in our hands, but we can help make the world and life better by listening to the Lord, believing in the miracle of his word that, when welcomed, changes history: "Say to those who are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God." Be strong, the Lord tells us through the prophet. We must not be afraid, we must not close in on ourselves, we cannot resign ourselves to evil. Nothing is impossible to those who believe, because nothing is impossible to God. Then his word will transform everything: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy." How can one not rely on God’s promise in this difficult time, when evil seems to prevail and when sometimes we seem to be without hope and without answers? If we get lost seeking ourselves, if we give in to resignation, if we trust those who have taught us only to complain and blame others, if we sometimes blame the poor for our discomfort and for the difficulties of our time, we have an opportunity today to change our mind, to entrust to the Lord our uncertainties and doubts. He will not leave us alone or without answers. But first we need to "believe", that is, to rely on his word, listening and living it. There is a future before us; there is hope for the lost heart. We too can "see the glory of the Lord" in the works of his mercy.

Prayer for the Sick

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