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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595), "apostle of Rome."

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

1 Peter 2,2-5.9-12

Like new-born babies all your longing should be for milk -- the unadulterated spiritual milk -- which will help you to grow up to salvation, at any rate if you have tasted that the Lord is good . He is the living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him so that you, too, may be living stones making a spiritual house as a holy priesthood to offer the spiritual sacrifices made acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were a non-people and now you are the People of God; once you were outside his pity; now you have received pity. I urge you, my dear friends, as strangers and nomads, to keep yourselves free from the disordered natural inclinations that attack the soul. Always behave honourably among gentiles so that they can see for themselves what moral lives you lead, and when the day of reckoning comes, give thanks to God for the things which now make them denounce you as criminals.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Comparing the new people to a family, the apostle calls the disciples to live like just born children, that is, like children who abandon themselves faithfully into the hands of the mother, the Church. The indispensable discipleship to the Gospel renders Christians children of the Church, always. We could say, therefore, that it renders us always children, that is always needful of this good and caring mother—the Church. Christians must nourish themselves continuously from her motherly milk. Therefore, with a sixth exhortation, the apostle invites believers to "get close" to Christ’s "living rock," to "be built into a spiritual house." The image of the rock recalls both the strength of the love and the pulse of life, as it happened to the rock in the desert from which the water of life flowed. This rock, thrown away by the builders of a violent and evil world, was chosen by God and made the cornerstone of a new spiritual edifice, that is, the community of believers. The stones that make up this edifice are the believers. They must be like the cornerstone, that is, to live in the same love and resist with the same strength. Maybe even they will be thrown away by people, as it happened to the cornerstone; but exactly for this reason they are determining for the building up of a new spiritual edifice. The otherness from the world is the proof of evangelical truth of the Christian community. For this reason, only God, the one and true architect, can build this Temple. But each believer must feel the responsibility of being a living rock, that is: clear in the faith, generous in love and strong in hope. Perhaps Peter, while he writes this letter, remembered in particular the words Jesus told him at Caesarea Philippi: "You are Peter on this rock I build my church" (Mt 16:18). But he widens the meaning to the disciples: all Christians are living rocks of the new spiritual edifice based on the foundation, which is Jesus himself. Peter can say therefore that Christians are the "chosen race, the royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people chosen by God." United around Jesus, they become one single body, that with one heart and one soul, turns to the Lord in praise, in thanksgiving and in prayer for the salvation of the world. The Christian community, therefore, is not built up for itself but to become the new temple among men and women to "proclaim" to all the love of the Lord and to direct all toward salvation.

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