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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Ezekiel 47,1-9.12

He brought me back to the entrance of the Temple, where a stream flowed eastwards from under the Temple threshold, for the Temple faced east. The water flowed from under the right side of the Temple, south of the altar. He took me out by the north gate and led me right round outside as far as the outer east gate where the water flowed out on the right-hand side. The man went off to the east holding his measuring line and measured off a thousand cubits; he then made me wade across the stream; the water reached my ankles. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my knees. He measured off another thousand and made me wade across the stream again; the water reached my waist. He measured off another thousand; it was now a river which I could not cross; the stream had swollen and was now deep water, a river impossible to cross. He then said, 'Do you see, son of man?' He then took me and brought me back to the bank on the river. Now, when I reached it, I saw an enormous number of trees on each bank of the river. He said, 'This water flows east down to the Arabah and to the sea; and flowing into the sea it makes its waters wholesome. Wherever the river flows, all living creatures teeming in it will live. Fish will be very plentiful, for wherever the water goes it brings health, and life teems wherever the river flows. Along the river, on either bank, will grow every kind of fruit tree with leaves that never wither and fruit that never fails; they will bear new fruit every month, because this water comes from the sanctuary. And their fruit will be good to eat and the leaves medicinal.'


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This passage from the prophet Ezekiel describes a vision he had of Jerusalem and the Temple. In the preceding chapters, the prophet made several references to the infidelity of the people of Israel towards the Lord. Likewise in this season of Lent we are invited over and over again to recognize our unfaithfulness--our sin--because we have obeyed our pride more than the Word of the Lord, which has never been denied to us. The Lord is near to us and never fails to give us his word. Today - through this vision of the prophet - the Lord wants to show us the place he is leading us and the dream he has for us and for our future. A vision of the temple and Jerusalem opens before our eyes. The vision is evocative: there is water that flows abundantly from the temple and gives life to those it encounters. The image alludes to the beginning of a new era in which the prosperity of the new people will be intimately connected to the only source of true life. In the language of the Bible, flowing water that irrigates arid land and turns it into a lush garden is a symbol of God’s power that transforms the arid hearts of men and women, not only making them capable of accepting God’s dream but of becoming his active servants. In the Gospel of John it is Jesus himself who reveals himself to be the true temple from which the living water of the Spirit flows: "Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink" (Jn 7:37-38) and the evangelist notes that while Jesus was on the cross, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out" (Jn 19:34). As we move towards Easter this passage from the prophet urges us, especially during these days, not to stray from the fountain of the Word of God so that we can understand and more willingly accept into our hearts the mystery of love that we will celebrate during Holy Week. On those days a river of living water will be poured out over us, nourishing us and making us bear fruit.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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