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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of the dedication of the basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere where the Community of Sant’Egidio prays every day.

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

Revelation 3,1-6.14-22

'Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, "Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know about your behaviour: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead. Wake up; put some resolve into what little vigour you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in your behaviour that my God could possibly call perfect; remember how you first heard the message. Hold on to that. Repent! If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, and you will have no idea at what hour I shall come upon you. There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes unstained, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white. Anyone who proves victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot that name out of the book of life, but acknowledge it in the presence of my Father and his angels. Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches." 'Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, "Here is the message of the Amen, the trustworthy, the true witness, the Principle of God's creation: I know about your activities: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other, but since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth. You say to yourself: I am rich, I have made a fortune and have everything I want, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too. I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you truly rich, and white robes to clothe you and hide your shameful nakedness, and ointment to put on your eyes to enable you to see. I reprove and train those whom I love: so repent in real earnest. Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person's side. Anyone who proves victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I have myself overcome and have taken my seat with my Father on his throne. Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this reading, two letters are joined: one to the Church of Sardis and another to the Church of Laodicea. Christ, presented as the One who has "the fullness of the Spirit", pronounces the harshest of judgments over the Church of Sardis: it is a Church only in name. It deceives itself into thinking it is alive, but instead it is about to die for it is indifferent and cold. If there is no love and no mercy in any Christian community, it is dead. It is not organization or works that save but only faith, that leads to total abandonment of our lives to the Lord. The apostle reminds the community to welcome the Word so that it may be the foundation of daily life. Every community is called to wake up from its torpor and to start vigorously listening to the Gospel and communicating it to the world. The few people whom the apostle is addressing about giving life back to the community can be understood as individual people, but are also that part in each one of us that knows it can trust in the Lord. We all have to "dress in white," that is, to let ourselves be guided by the Gospel. We need it and so does the world. Humanity seems to have been abandoned to its sad fate, with no more dreams or visions, left prey to the disintegrating designs of the Prince of evil. We could be experiencing something similar to the time of Samuel. It is written that "the word of the Lord was rare in those days." Nonetheless, "the lamp of God had not yet gone out" (1 Sam 3:1-3). We are asked to stay awake and see the light of this lamp. In a certain sense the last of the seven letters, the one addressed to the Church of Laodicea, summarizes all the others. Laodicea was a very rich city; it was full of markets and commercial centres. Situated on the trade road with oriental countries, the city lived in riches and had a very relaxed and selfish attitude. The Christian community, which had let itself be infected by this atmosphere, receives a violent attack by Jesus "faithful and true witness" and the "origin of God’s creation." Today we also find ourselves in a deeply secularized society; some speak of a "world that God left." And in fact, in a civilization of well-being, God—more than being fought against—is often ignored. There is also, it is true, a rebirth of religions. But this has not prevented daily life from ignoring God or the Gospel. If there is a common denominator among peoples it is the unstoppable growth of selfishness and consequent violence which now pervade every field in society. Christian communities, are turned in on themselves and succumbed to the selfish climate of the world, risk being overpowered by a worldly climate, and left without dreams or hopes. This adaptation to the world deprives them of that paradox and alternative vision which are part of the Gospel and which communities must demonstrate. One cannot stay in the world and be like the world. If the Christian community does not disturb, unsettle, or does not question the word, it not only fails to oppose evil, but it becomes banal and ineffective. In short, it is neither cold nor hot. The Gospel demands a growth in love, compassion and solidarity. Even today, Jesus himself continues to make himself a beggar for love, and to each of us he says: "Here I am at the door and I am knocking." The poor, the weak, individuals and entire countries, all are knocking on our doors. Blessed those communities, blessed those Christians that open their doors and welcome them. In so doing, they welcome Jesus, and in breaking bread with them, they break bread with Jesus himself. But the truth of the reality is the opposite: it is not we who are welcoming Jesus, but he who is welcoming us in the poor and the weak, and it is he who places us on his very own throne—the throne of love. It is often repeated in the Gospel that in this way the Kingdom of God begins its journey on earth.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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