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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Ezekiel 2,8-3,4

But you, son of man, are to listen to what I say to you; do not be a rebel like that rebellious tribe. Open your mouth and eat what I am about to give you.' When I looked, there was a hand stretch- ing out to me, holding a scroll. He un- rolled it in front of me; it was written on, front and back; on it was written 'Lamentations, dirges and cries of grief '. He then said, 'Son of man, eat what you see; eat this scroll, then go and speak to the House of Israel.' I opened my mouth; he gave me the scroll to eat and then said, 'Son of man, feed on this scroll which I am giving you and eat your fill.' So I ate it, and it tasted sweet as honey. He then said, 'Son of man, go to the House of Israel and tell them what I have said.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The prophet receives his mission from God through a kind of sacramental Liturgy. First, the Lord asks Ezekiel to listen and obey: "But you, mortal, hear what I say to you; do not be rebellious." He does not yet know what task the Lord will give him, but first he must obey the Word of the Lord. In our relationship with the Lord, we are first called to welcome his word and put it into practice. This is the meaning of faith. We become believers precisely when we trust in the word of the Lord, listening to it faithfully and putting it into practice word for word. That is what makes us believers and then prophets, that is, people who communicate the Word of the Lord. Without this willingness to listen - which requires the humility of those who trust in someone else - we cannot receive any mission. We could say that trust in God is not only the requirement for mission, but the substance of the faith. The prophet sees the hand of God stretching out and handing him a scroll with writing on both front and back. It is a parchment with writing on both sides. The scroll bears the words the Lord wants communicated to the people, and they must descend into the depths of the prophet’s heart, indeed, into his very flesh. In short, he must be nourished by that scroll. That is why the Lord asks him to eat it. Unlike Jeremiah, whose mouth was touched by God and who received the words on his lips, Ezekiel must eat the scroll: "O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." His investiture as a prophet is represented by "eating the scroll." That is to say that the prophet does not speak on his own initiative, nor is he called to repeat an abstract lesson or promulgate a theory. A prophet has to be nourished by Holy Scripture until he or she becomes a living word. A prophet must communicate the Word of God through his or her very existence and behaviour. That is how a prophet gains authority. Well aware of this biblical vision, the ancient Fathers of the Church emphasized the necessity of constantly being nourished by the Word of God, the need to ruminate on it constantly so that the very life of the believer would be steeped in its meaning and its strength. For us, eating the scroll means listening to Holy Scripture every day, learning it, meditating on it, and living it. And then communicating it. In addition, we could say that the scroll covered with writing on both sides represents a spiritual reading, that is, reading the words of the Bible and applying them to daily life: behind the literal meaning of what is written is hidden a spiritual meaning, that which the text says to my life and to the community in order to transform the world as God desires it.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday