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The Everyday Prayer

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

In the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere the Community of Sant’Egidio prays for peace.

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Leviticus 19,1-2.11-18

Yahweh spoke to Moses and said: 'Speak to the whole community of Israelites and say: "Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy. "You will not steal, nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your fellow-citizen. You will not swear by my name with intent to deceive and thus profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh. You will not exploit or rob your fellow. You will not keep back the labourer's wage until next morning. You will not curse the dumb or put an obstacle in the way of the blind, but will fear your God. I am Yahweh. "You will not be unjust in administering justice. You will neither be partial to the poor nor overawed by the great, but will administer justice to your fellow-citizen justly. You will not go about slandering your own family, nor will you put your neighbour's life in jeopardy. I am Yahweh. You will not harbour hatred for your brother. You will reprove your fellow-countryman firmly and thus avoid burdening yourself with a sin. You will not exact vengeance on, or bear any sort of grudge against, the members of your race, but will love your neighbour as yourself. I am Yahweh.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This passage of Leviticus is enclosed by two commandments, which crown an alternate version of the ten commandments reported by the sacred author: "You shall be holy, for I am holy," and "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." Here, too, God and neighbour are connected by the Word of God, but in a different way than in the double commandment to love God and neighbour. Holiness is the condition of God himself. That is, God is other than us, separate and transcendent, but not closed off in his own existence. God asks us to share in His life. Hence the invitation, "You shall be holy." He seems to be telling us: "Do not be afraid to take part in my very way of being, in my perfection." The love of neighbour makes holiness real; it allows each one of us to take part in divine life and the condition of God. Between these two invitations are enclosed several commandments that trace out the concrete way to become holy. Some of them are similar to the Ten Commandments of Exodus 20, like, for example, verse 11, which echoes the seventh and eighth commandments: "You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another." The latter commandment is also echoed in part in verses 15 and 16, which deal with legal injustice and slander. The commandments are focused in particular on the neighbour in need: do not oppress one’s neighbour or deprive him of his goods, pay workers, do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, judge justly in court, do not spread slander, and do not take part in the death of a neighbour (this is perhaps a reference to the possibility of condemning someone by false testimony, as happens to Naboth in 1 K 21), do not harbour hatred but reproach your neighbour openly, do not seek revenge or hold a grudge. As we can see, even though the language is marked by the juridical practices of the time, these commandments are still very relevant today and help us reflect on the concrete behaviours that keep us from walking on the path to holiness, loving our neighbour as ourselves. The Lord does not ask for the impossible. However, if we think about how much everyone loves him or herself, we can imagine how different the world would be if we lived with as much love for others. ????

Prayer for peace

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