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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 the sick.

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

Isaiah 65,17-21

For look, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered and will come no more to mind. Rather be joyful, be glad for ever at what I am creating, for look, I am creating Jerusalem to be 'Joy' and my people to be 'Gladness'. I shall be joyful in Jerusalem and I shall rejoice in my people. No more will the sound of weeping be heard there, nor the sound of a shriek; never again will there be an infant there who lives only a few days, nor an old man who does not run his full course; for the youngest will die at a hundred, and at a hundred the sinner will be accursed. They will build houses and live in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.


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

The passage we have just heard from Isaiah refers to the return of the people of Israel to Jerusalem after their exile, as the city is being rebuilt. They have been back in Jerusalem for a while, but the Israelites are struggling to return to the Lord with their hearts, to keep his law and to rediscover the joy of the covenant with the Lord and participation in his plan of love. And here we have the prophet’s intervention: he is called to shake the people of Israel from the resignation into which they fell after returning from exile, as if now there was no longer any hope of a new and beautiful future for them. The Word of God resounds again to awaken the people of Israel from their lethargy and resignation. And, once again it is the Lord who reveals his vision and the mission he wants to entrust to them. The prophet calls them to go beyond their sadness, "For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight"(v. 17-18). Evidently the memory of exile had deeply marked the hearts and minds of the people of Israel. So much so that it had extinguished in them all hope of a new future. And perhaps it had even led them to resign themselves to living out a narrow and self-referential destiny. The Lord intervenes and gives his people a new vision and a new dream, as well as with new energy. It is God himself who involves his people in a full way. The resignation that had pushed the people to withdraw into themselves came from their lack of trust in the Lord, as if rebuilding the city was their work alone. Indeed, the Lord descends once again among his people and involves them in his grand design, in the dream to make one family of all people and to make Jerusalem a city for everyone: "No more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress" (v. 19). And more: "No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed" (v. 20). It is a dream that is so prophetic that it still beckons today. The Lord entrusts this dream to us, asking us to abandon all laziness and resignation.

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