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The Everyday Prayer

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

Remembrance of Saint Ireneus, bishop of Lyon and martyr (130-202); he went to France from Anatolia to preach the Gospel.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Amos 3,1-8.11-12

Listen, Israelites, to this prophecy which Yahweh pronounces against you, against the whole family which I brought up from Egypt: You alone have I intimately known of all the families of earth, that is why I shall punish you for all your wrong-doings. Do two people travel together unless they have agreed to do so? Does the lion roar in the forest if it has no prey? Does the young lion growl in his lair if it has caught nothing? Does a bird fall on the ground in a net unless a trap has been set for it? Will the net spring up from the ground without catching something? Does the trumpet sound in the city without the people being alarmed? Does misfortune come to a city if Yahweh has not caused it? No indeed, Lord Yahweh does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. The lion roars: who is not afraid? Lord Yahweh has spoken: who will not prophesy? This is why -- Lord Yahweh says this- an enemy will soon besiege the land, he will bring down your strength and your palaces will be looted. Yahweh says this: As the shepherd rescues two legs or the tip of an ear from the lion's mouth, so will the children of Israel be salvaged who now loll in Samaria in the corners of their beds, on their divans of Damascus.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After condemning Israel for trampling on justice and the rights of the poor, hiding behind the observance of ritual precepts (2:6-15), the words of the prophet declare the voice of God, who cries out against the hardness of the heart of a people who, deaf to His word and to His calls, refuse to repent and to nurture the feelings of mercy God has had with them. Again the prophet recalls the benefits the people received from God with the deliverance from Egypt so that they may witness the greatness of divine mercy among all peoples. The theme of the election is central in the prophetic preaching, as well as throughout all Christian preaching. God is the source of salvation. Through seven examples the prophet urges the people to read history and its signs in depth The Word of God is likened to a lion’s roar: it is like an inner strength that comes with unstoppable force, inevitably causing the effect for which it was sent. God’s choice for His people is to give them a mission, namely to proclaim His Word to the ends of the earth. By sending Jesus this choice reaches its clearest climax. God has chosen Jesus, as He favoured the people of Israel, so that we welcome His word and become its proclaimers and witnesses. This word - God’s, not ours - has irresistible power and is not subject to human limits. It is sent to fertilize the land and does not return to God without effect, without achieving what God wishes and the goal for which it was sent, as the book of Isaiah says (55:10-11). If God has spoken, says Amos, who can but prophesy? When God speaks, if we listen, we cannot but be prophets in this world. The Word of God is a power that works miracles, that goes beyond the boundaries of the impossible, that undermines the greedy and narrow-minded realism that so often impedes God’s dream. Nothing is impossible to God and nothing is impossible to Jesus’ disciples if they listen to his word and live it. Amos’ final words call us to a new responsibility: "Because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God." It is the call for a new mission at the beginning of this new millennium.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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