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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Revelation 20,1-4.11-21,2

Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the key of the Abyss in his hand and an enormous chain. He overpowered the dragon, that primeval serpent which is the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. He hurled him into the Abyss and shut the entrance and sealed it over him, to make sure he would not lead the nations astray again until the thousand years had passed. At the end of that time he must be released, but only for a short while. Then I saw thrones, where they took their seats, and on them was conferred the power to give judgement. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God's word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not accept the brand-mark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace. I saw the dead, great and small alike, standing in front of his throne while the books lay open. And another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, as their deeds deserved. The sea gave up all the dead who were in it; Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged as his deeds deserved. Then Death and Hades were hurled into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death; and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was hurled into the burning lake. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride dressed for her husband.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Beast and his army have been conquered, but Satan still needs to be defeated. And John can finally see him, the ancient tempter, thrown into the bottomless pit and bound with chains. It is against Satan that the strength of Christ is directed, not against men and women. There is no more hope for him, but there is for women and men, for every woman and for every man. In fact, the desire of the Word not to lose a single person impels him to come to earth and engage in the final battle against Satan. We have not yet reached the final annihilation. The author speaks of a thousand years, a prospect that has given rise to many difficulties of interpretation throughout history. It is obviously a symbolic number, and the most common interpretation sees it as the time of the Church, from Easter to the ultimate fulfilment of the Kingdom. We could say that the thousand years represent the "already" of victory and the "not yet" of its fullness. During this arc of time – the time of human history - evil has not been annihilated; it is as if it has been bound with chains but can still function. Victory over evil does not come in an instant but is achieved through the daily struggle of the just, sustained by Christ. Those who give witness to their faith during this time receive the "first resurrection", that is, they are with Christ and they reign with him in beatitude. The final battle between Good and Evil occurs at the end of time (at the conclusion of the thousand years), but its outcome was already explained in chapter 19, verses 11 to 21. In one final assault, Satan will try to gather together all of his devotees from all the earth to besiege the just. But a fire from heaven destroys them. So begins the final judgment, carried out by God himself. The whole of humanity passes before Him; every person is judged according to what is written in the heavenly books, where the lies of earthly criteria are overturned. And those who have followed the way of love will hear the works of mercy, "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink," and then all others. Every work of charity, even the least, is enough for someone to be written in the "book of life."

Memory of Jesus crucified

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