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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Kings 8,1-7.9-13

Solomon then summoned the elders of Israel to Jerusalem to bring the ark of the covenant of Yahweh up from the City of David, that is, Zion. All the men of Israel assembled round King Solomon in the month of Ethanim, at the time of the feast (that is, the seventh month). When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark and the Tent of Meeting and all the sacred utensils which were in the Tent. King Solomon and all Israel, present with him before the ark, sacrificed countless, innumerable sheep and oxen. The priests brought the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place, in the Debir of the Temple, that is, in the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the winged creatures for the winged creatures spread their wings over the place where the ark stood, forming a canopy over the ark and its shafts. There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed in it at Horeb, the tablets of the covenant which Yahweh made with the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. Now when the priests came out of the Holy Place, the cloud filled the Temple of Yahweh, and because of the cloud the priests could not stay and perform their duties. For the glory of Yahweh filled the Temple of Yahweh. Then Solomon said: Yahweh has chosen to dwell in thick cloud. I have built you a princely dwelling, a residence for you for ever.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Once the building of the Temple was completed, it was necessary to dedicate it to God. It was evident that it was not enough to raise the walls, as sumptuous and rich as they could be, so that they might welcome the presence of God. It was necessary for God to take possession of the temple so that it could be his home. Israel knew that God’s presence among the people was guaranteed by the Tablets of the Law contained in the Ark of the Covenant. Thus it was necessary for the Ark of the Covenant, carried by David on the hill of Zion after the capture of the city, as told in the Second Book of Samuel (6:17), to be brought into the Temple. Solomon gathered all the people, just as Moses had gathered them when he received the Tablets of the Law. He offered sacrifices to God and had the ark carried by the priests into the "Holy of Holies", the most sacred place of the Temple. It was the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, formerly called the Feast of Harvest, which was celebrated in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, corresponding to today’s September-October. The piece points out that "there was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone that Moses had placed there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, when they came out of the land of Egypt." This note clarifies even more the inner dimension of the covenant that God established with Israel. We are far from a religion based on nature or that revolves around externals, rituals or an esoteric symbolism. The ark contains only the Word, nothing else. It is the Word in which the Lord who reveals himself, the heart of the Jewish faith and therefore also of the Christian faith. This statement is similar to that which we find at the end of the Gospel of the Transfiguration. The evangelist Mark tells us that the disciples, surrounded by the cloud, "saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus" (Mk 9:8). Only the Word is sufficient. Only Jesus is the foundation upon which our faith rests. . And it is remarkable that, what will happen on the day of the Transfiguration, happened just at the entrance of the ark in the Holy of Holies: "When the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord." The Lord took possession of that place through the entrance of his Word. And anyone who welcomes the Word of God in his or her heart, becomes a Temple of God, and His shadow covers them.

Memory of the Poor

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