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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 5,1-10

I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that was written on back and front and was sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?' But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it. I wept bitterly because nobody could be found to open the scroll and read it, but one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep. Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed, and so he will open the scroll and its seven seals.' Then I saw, in the middle of the throne with its four living creatures and the circle of the elders, a Lamb standing that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits that God has sent out over the whole world. The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne, and when he took it, the four living creatures prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense which are the prayers of the saints. They sang a new hymn: You are worthy to take the scroll and to break its seals, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought people for God of every race, language, people and nation and made them a line of kings and priests for God, to rule the world.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the great heavenly room, the One seated on the throne holds in his right hand a book in the form of a scroll. It is God himself who holds the book (biblion in Greek), that is, the Word spoken to humanity. The scroll has writing on it on the inside, which is normal, and on the back, which is extraordinary. This indicates that the Word of God, the one Word, does not have just one meaning. Beyond its literal meaning, it has a deeper, spiritual meaning. This latter meaning is hidden to normal eyes and can only be read in the light of the Spirit, that is, in an atmosphere of prayer and listening. Without prayer, Holy Scripture remains "sealed with seven seals." That is, without the Spirit that opens the "scroll" to our mind’s eye, the scroll remains like a sealed word whose richness is incomprehensible to us. When we listen in the Holy Spirit to the Word, we hear it reveal the deeper meaning as it guides us to link that Word with our life. In short, that Word becomes light for our "today". This is why when John realizes that it is impossible to read the Word – there is no one to open the scroll – he is overcome by desperation and weeps bitterly. This is the lament of those who lose sight of the light and cannot find a source of inspiration for their lives. One is reminded of Mary weeping inconsolably in front of the empty tomb because she had lost her Lord, the only One who understood and freed her. When compared to the coldness we often exhibit towards the Word of God and to how forgetful we are of the living Jesus, Mary, who weeps even though she has only lost Jesus’ dead body, and John, who weeps because of the absence of the Word of God, show us what attitude every disciple should have towards the Lord. If we let ourselves be moved even a little when we hear these words, Jesus himself, the "Root of David," will come once again to open the "scroll and its seven seals" in order to teach us as he taught the disciples. Jesus promised the apostles that his spirit would lead them "into all the truth." It is the spirit that opens.

Memory of the Church

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