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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Ephesians 3,2-12

You have surely heard the way in which God entrusted me with the grace he gave me for your sake; he made known to me by a revelation the mystery I have just described briefly- a reading of it will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. This mystery, as it is now revealed in the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets, was unknown to humanity in previous generations: that the gentiles now have the same inheritance and form the same Body and enjoy the same promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I have been made the servant of that gospel by a gift of grace from God who gave it to me by the workings of his power. I, who am less than the least of all God's holy people, have been entrusted with this special grace, of proclaiming to the gentiles the unfathomable treasure of Christ and of throwing light on the inner workings of the mystery kept hidden through all the ages in God, the Creator of everything. The purpose of this was, that now, through the Church, the principalities and ruling forces should learn how many-sided God's wisdom is, according to the plan which he had formed from all eternity in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him we are bold enough to approach God in complete confidence, through our faith in him;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The grand plan of God for humanity, namely the unity of all peoples and their access to the Father, is the horizon in which Paul places his mission: "I Paul am a prisoner for Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles." The Apostle emphasizes the link with Christ who chose him and sent him to the Gentiles, that is, to all those who do not belong to the people of Israel. Paul feels like a "prisoner" of this mission, in the sense that he lives this mission in total dependence on the Lord. He is certainly an apostle like the others (see. Eph 2:20), but more than the others, he deserves the title "apostle to the nations." Paul is aware of the greatness of his mission, that of being made a "servant of the Gospel." This is not a matter of personal pride; he is well aware of what life he was pulled from and for what mission he has been chosen. His former condition as a persecutor of the Church leads him to consider himself "the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God" (1 Cor 15:9). Not only is he the least of the apostles, he is even ‘the most least’ among the saints, among all Christians. Paul emphasizes his smallness to highlight the greatness of the vocation he received, to communicate "the boundless riches of Christ." This "mystery" made manifest in him is inaccessible to natural experience. Only God reveals it. For Paul it was an overwhelming spiritual experience, a light that penetrated deep into his heart and enabled him in turn to illuminate men and women (see 2Cor 4:6). In Paul’s experience we can identify the charismatic dimension of the Church that is still present today, with various modes, different from each other. "The mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints" (Col 1:26f.), is that Christ recapitulates all; he reconciles Jews and Gentiles, takes away hatred and brings together individuals and peoples in the one Church. We are all called to unite ourselves to Christ and become one "new person", i.e. a single family of all peoples. And the Church is the instrument by which Christ wants to bring reconciliation among the peoples of the world. Her internal unity is the leaven of unity among peoples. It is the intention for which Jesus himself prayed: "That they may all be one, …so that the world may believe that you have sent me" (Jn 17:21). The Church has the mission to enlighten people so that they can be free of any oppressive power, whether cultural, political or religious, in order to unite the whole family of nations. The community of believers becomes a mediator of the new relationship that God has established through Jesus with all humanity. It is a daunting and difficult task. Hence, Paul invites us not to be discouraged. The tribulations of this task are the sign of a new birth, of the generation of a new humanity.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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