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The Everyday Prayer


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

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Europe and in the Americas.


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 40, 2-3.7-8.10-11

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
  he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,
  out of the miry bog,
  and set my feet upon a rock,
  making my steps secure.

6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
  but you have given me an open ear.
  Burnt-offering and sin-offering
  you have not required.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am;
  in the scroll of the book it is written of me.

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
  in the great congregation;
  see, I have not restrained my lips,
  as you know, O Lord.

10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
  I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
  I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
  from the great congregation.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The liturgy, which a few days ago had us pray with the last words of psalm 40, today puts the first lines of the psalm on our lips. The believer thanks the Lord because he came to help him while he was in mortal danger. He prayed to the Lord insistently, and he came to save him. When the psalmist repeats, “I waited patiently for the Lord,” he wants to underline the fact that his hope in the Lord was well placed. The Lord never disappoints those who hope in him. In fact, the psalmist continues, “ He inclined to me and heard my cry” (v. 2). The Lord is a good father who is attentive to the cries of his children, listens to them, and immediately inclines to rescue them. God’s quick mercy gives rise to a “new song” in the believer’s heart. As if to underline the primacy of God’s mercy, the psalmist gives the initiative to God: “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God” (v. 3). The believer has placed his trust in God alone, like those who “who do not turn to the proud…those who go astray after false gods” (v. 5). All idolatry is banned. God alone is the Lord of his life. This is the faith of the biblical believer: it is not a question of rites or rules, but of heart, trust, and faith in God. This is why the psalmist can say, “Sacrifice and offering you do not desire…Burnt-offering and sin-offering you have not required” (v. 7). The believer understands that faith does not come from sacrificial rites, but from listening to God. That is why the psalmist sings, “You have given me an open ear”: he listened to the Word of the Lord and then quickly answered: “Then I said, ‘Here I am’” (v. 7). In these short sentences we can see the interior dimension of biblical faith, an interior but not private faith that shapes the heart and illuminates attitudes. The believer feels the need to testify in the assembly to the love he has received from the Lord: “I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; see, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord” (v. 10). Yes, the public testimony of the Lord’s love is an essential part of biblical faith. In fact, the Lord does not save people individually, one from another. The Lord saves by gathering everyone together as a people, freeing us from the chains of loneliness and death. The people saved by God – we can unite Israel and the Church – is called to testify to the world, each in its own way, that love transforms hearts and gathers the scattered. That is why the believer sings, “I have not hidden your saving help within my heart” (v. 11). Part of faith is being visible witnesses of God’s love for all people, with no exceptions: “I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation” (v. 11). The Lord entrusts to the entire assembly the mission of showing the world the transforming power of his love.


01/24/2017
Memory of the Mother of the Lord


Calendar of the week
JAN
21
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
JAN
22
Monday, 22 January
Memory of the Poor
JAN
23
Tuesday, 23 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
JAN
24
Wednesday, 24 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
JAN
25
Thursday, 25 January
Memory of the Apostles
JAN
26
Friday, 26 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
JAN
27
Saturday, 27 January
Sunday Vigil
JAN
28
Sunday, 28 January
Liturgy of the Sunday