change language
you are in: home - prayer - the everyday prayer newslettercontact uslink

Support the Community


The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

Psalm 24, 1-6

1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
  the world, and those who live in it;

2 for he has founded it on the seas,
  and established it on the rivers.

3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
  And who shall stand in his holy place?

4 Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,
  who do not lift up their souls to what is false,
  and do not swear deceitfully.

5 They will receive blessing from the Lord,
  and vindication from the God of their salvation.

6 Such is the company of those who seek him,
  who seek the face of the God of Jacob.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Normally, this Psalm is associated with the liturgy celebrated during the entrance into the Temple at the end of a pilgrimage. Hence the question posed to the pilgrim who had finally arrived: “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?” These questions are relevant both to the entire life-journey of a believer and to the liturgical celebrations he or she is invited to attend. We can apply them to the disciple of Jesus on the weekly journey that leads to the Eucharistic celebration on the Day of the Lord. And so, who can ascend the holy mountain? Who can be welcomed at the Eucharistic table? The answer is simple and concrete: “Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully” (v. 4). The psalmist is talking about innocent hands—that is, good hands that are unstained by violence and exploitation. He speaks of a pure heart—that is, of a heart full of the Word of the Lord, cleansed of and liberated from every kind of slavery, and moulded by love’s generosity. He also speaks of a mouth that serves truth and that does not lie—that is, of a mouth that knows how to comfort and praise and that does not judge or condemn. With these attributes the believer can ascend the mountain to God and receive God’s blessing. It is the blessing of dwelling in the house of the Lord. The face of God will be revealed to all who seek God with innocent hands and pure hearts. Paul writes that we can see God’s face today, “like in a mirror,” in the community of believers, and we will see it tomorrow “face to face” in the heavenly Jerusalem. The words of the Psalm invite us to welcome the Lord in our midst here and now, as if in a solemn liturgy. The psalmist says, “Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in,” for God is “The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (v. 7-8). This Psalm echoes the encounter on Mount Horeb, when God revealed His name to Moses: “I am the Lord, who is with you and with my people forever.”

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 14 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 15 January
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 16 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 17 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 18 January
Memory of the Church
Friday, 19 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 20 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday