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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 Peter 1,3-9

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into a heritage that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you who are being kept safe by God's power through faith until the salvation which has been prepared is revealed at the final point of time. This is a great joy to you, even though for a short time yet you must bear all sorts of trials; so that the worth of your faith, more valuable than gold, which is perishable even if it has been tested by fire, may be proved -- to your praise and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described; and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is, the salvation of your souls.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The letter begins with the name that the apostle had received from Jesus: Peter. To be a "rock" was an attribute generally reserved for God, but Jesus also bestows it to a poor and weak man such as Simon after he had made his profession of faith. And Peter, to whom Jesus gave the task of feeding his sheep, with this letter from Rome, addresses the Christians of the scattered communities in the region of modern day Turkey to support them in faith as they were suffering from persecution. His letter expresses the universal love that characterizes Jesus’ disciples starting from the "first" apostle. Peter calls Christians "chosen" by God and, perhaps for this reason, "exiles", that is, foreigners to this world. They are, in fact, called to participate in the new community of believers born of Jesus’ resurrection, regenerated: "into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you." The apostle blesses God for the great gift he has given believers, that is, the assurance of a hope that goes beyond death, that reaches the very life of God. Christian hope, Peter says, is not an empty or random promise. It is a gift given now though it will be fulfilled in the future. It is the seed of the resurrection deposited in the heart of believers who, exactly because of the resurrection become first fruits of the redemption. Up until now, they hope for those in desperation, and they take part in their tribulations to free the greatest number of people possible from the slavery of sin. The apostle exhorts the believers to have before their eyes the final objective, certain that the Lord takes protects them from the assaults of evil, until the full manifestation of the Kingdom. The apostle invites Christians, who are tried by the opposition of the world, to not get discouraged, rather to exult: "In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials." The trials which life brings are to purify the life of the disciples, just like fire purifies gold, freeing it from impurities. Already in the book of Wisdom we read, "But the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God... because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them" (3: 1-7). Such purification is to render disciples like Jesus. Therefore they should turn their gazes to him. The apostle writes to them, "Although you have not seen him, you love him" but there are the eyes of the heart which lead us to see the very face of Jesus. While writing, Peter wanted perhaps that Christians could experience what he himself lived when, in the night of the betrayal he met eyes with the Teacher, or when on the shores of Lake Galilee he was questioned on love: "Simon, son of John do you love me more than these?" and he responded: "Lord you know that I love you" (Jn 21: 15-17). To have our gazes fixed toward the face of Jesus is the source of an "unspeakable joy" and sustenance to achieve the "salvation of souls." The apostle intends salvation of the entire Christian community, of which every disciple must take care. Yes, the salvation of the community must be the first concern of every believer, as it was for the ancient prophets, who for this reason seek and meditate "day and night" on the Holy Scriptures (Ps 1: 2). This same Spirit that guided the prophets is at work also today: every time believers welcome the Gospel in their heart they are guided by the spirit to understand that mystery of salvation held hidden and which the Father revealed to his children.

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