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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Pancratius, who died a martyr for the love of the Gospel when he was 14 years old. Prayer for younger generations so that they may meet the Gospel and the Lord.

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

Acts 22,30; 23,6-11

The next day, since he wanted to know for sure what charge the Jews were bringing, he freed Paul and gave orders for a meeting of the chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin; then he brought Paul down and set him in front of them. Now Paul was well aware that one party was made up of Sadducees and the other of Pharisees, so he called out in the Sanhedrin, 'Brothers, I am a Pharisee and the son of Pharisees. It is for our hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.' As soon as he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was split between the two parties. For the Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit, while the Pharisees accept all three. The shouting grew louder, and some of the scribes from the Pharisees' party stood up and protested strongly, 'We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit has spoken to him, or an angel?' Feeling was running high, and the tribune, afraid that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered his troops to go down and haul him out and bring him into the fortress. Next night, the Lord appeared to him and said, 'Courage! You have borne witness for me in Jerusalem, now you must do the same in Rome.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Loosed from his chains, Paul is brought before the Sanhedrin to clarify the reason for his guilt. The apostle "looks intently" at them all, and sure of the help of the Lord, addresses the Sanhedrin as "brothers." Paul wants to demonstrate that he is the "true" Jew and consequently that Christians are the true heirs of Judaism. He tries to summarize what he had already said in his defence (22:1-21), stressing that he had led his life with a "clear conscience" before God. The high priest considers his response brazen and orders the guard to strike him on the mouth, thus repeating, almost literally, the scene of Jesus’ trial. Paul, who is intimately familiar with the differences that existed between the Sadducees and the Pharisees, pits one group against the other in a clever dialectical move, drawing attention to his faith in the resurrection of the dead. This line of argumentation leads to dissension between the various groups, and some who are present even speak favourably of the apostle, using the same words that were spoken of Jesus: "We find nothing wrong with this man!" As the clamour grows louder, the tribune decides to have Paul brought back to his cell out of fear that he might be lynched. During the night, Paul feels the Lord come close to him and announce the mission of preaching the Gospel all the way to Rome: "Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome." Paul’s "path" is now clearly marked: he "must" - Jesus tells him - preach the Gospel in Rome. The text has the Jews trapped in internal debates, prisoners of themselves and their disputes, while the apostle is instructed by the Lord himself to go beyond: from Jerusalem to Rome. These are valuable instructions for us, who run the risk of remaining trapped in our internal disputes and losing sight of the need to obey the ever-new word of the Lord.

Memory of the Church

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday