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The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

Isaiah 45,6-8.18.21-25

so that it may be known from east to west that there is no one except me. I am Yahweh, and there is no other, I form the light and I create the darkness, I make well-being, and I create disaster, I, Yahweh, do all these things. Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down saving justice, let the earth open up and blossom with salvation, and let justice sprout with it; I, Yahweh, have created it! For thus says Yahweh, the Creator of the heavens -- he is God, who shaped the earth and made it, who set it firm; he did not create it to be chaos, he formed it to be lived in: I am Yahweh, and there is no other. Speak up, present your case, let them put their heads together! Who foretold this in the past, who revealed it long ago? Was it not I, Yahweh? There is no other god except me, no saving God, no Saviour except me! Turn to me and you will be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is no other. By my own self I swear it; what comes from my mouth is saving justice, it is an irrevocable word: All shall bend the knee to me, by me every tongue shall swear, saying, 'In Yahweh alone are saving justice and strength,' until all those who used to rage at him come to him in shame. In Yahweh the whole race of Israel finds justice and glory.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the only passage in the Old Testament in which a foreign king, Cyrus king of Persia, the nation that had conquered the Babylonian Empire, is called "messiah," meaning the "anointed" one, sent by God. This must have sounded very strange to the people of Israel who were slaves in exile in Babylon. In truth, God has great freedom of action. Even a foreign king can become a tool to carry out his loving plan. The Lord exercises great freedom in calling, beyond the bonds of blood, relationship, or belonging. And he does not favour only those who know him. Everyone, in fact, can contribute to his dream of justice and peace for the world. This passage from the prophet shows the freedom of God, who even acts outside of the borders of Israel. The universal plan of salvation, with which God mysteriously reaches all people, can already be seen in the Old Testament. Jesus’ disciples are called to recognize the universal dimension of God’s work and praise him for his limitless love. Prayer is also an invocation to God for peace and justice. From the very beginning, this is the dream of the book of Isaiah: God will grant peace and justice to a world tormented by war and injustice, especially towards the poor. This helps us understand the invocation that we just read: " Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also." This is the invocation that rises from every Christian community, from every nation torn by war, from every corner of the earth where the poor cry out to God in their pain and in their need. People who accept injustice, enmity, and war as inevitable facts often criticize God’s actions. But the Lord has planned a future of peace for his children, and he put men and women on the earth to establish it. Believers are confident that God listens to their invocations for peace, because God listens to those who pray insistently with faith. Anyone who has persevered in prayer has experienced the force for peace that comes from praying. The prophet calls us not to remain closed in hopeless pessimism, but to open our mouths in insistent and shared payer.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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