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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

2 Samuel 7,18-19.24-29

King David then went in, sat down in Yahweh's presence and said: 'Who am I, Lord Yahweh, and what is my lineage, for you to have led me as far as this? Yet, to you, Lord Yahweh, this seemed too little, and now you extend your promises for your servant's family into the distant future. Such is human destiny, Lord Yahweh. for you constituted your people Israel your own people for ever and you, Yahweh, became their God. 'Now, Yahweh God, may the promise which you have made for your servant and for his family stand firm forever as you have said, so that your name will be exalted for ever and people will say, "Israel's God is Yahweh Sabaoth." Your servant David's dynasty will be secure before you, since you, Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, have disclosed to your servant, "I am going to build you a dynasty." Hence, your servant has ventured to offer this prayer to you. Yes, Lord Yahweh, you are God indeed, your words are true and you have made this generous promise to your servant. What is more, you have deigned to bless your servant's dynasty, so that it may remain for ever before you; for you, Lord Yahweh, have spoken; and may your servant's dynasty be blessed with your blessing for ever.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

David is struck by God’s love and by His concern for him and for Israel. And from the king’s heart arises a humble and intense prayer: "Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?" By now David knows very well that everything he is comes from God. David is unable to boast of any special merits and yet God chose him and placed him at the head of a kingdom that is conferred "for ever." David "went in and sat before the Lord." Before any actual movement, there is an interior attitude. At first, he does know how to find words to thank the Lord worthily, but he knows that the Lord is faithful and will never abandon him: "you are great, O Lord God; for there is no one like you." God’s faithfulness to his people establishes Israel’s existence and vocation: "Who is like your people, like Israel? Is there another nation on earth whose God went to redeem it as a people, and to make a name for himself?" Contemplating God’s greatness and generosity, David is taken by wonder. After passing through the Red Sea, Moses also sang of God’s love for Israel. (Ex 15:11). The Psalms (especially Psalm92 to 99) and the prophets (Jer 10:6) also sing of it. David’s words echo those of Deuteronomy: "For ask now about former ages, long before your own, ever since the day that God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of heaven to the other: has anything so great as this ever happened or has its like ever been heard of? Has any people ever heard the voice of a god speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and lived? Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by terrifying displays of power, as the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? To you it was shown so that you would acknowledge that the Lord is God; there is no other besides him" (Deut 4:32-35). David implores the Lord to keep forever his promise made to Israel. It is a bold request (v. 26), so much so that David himself marvels at making it. But he confesses that his audacity in asking is motivated by God’s divine promise (v. 27). David does not tire repeating it (vv. 28-29). He knows well that God is the only Lord who can do everything, and who is faithful forever. David, having become family with God, can ask for blessings from heaven for himself and for his people.

Memory of the Church

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