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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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

Remembrance of Athenagoras (†1972), patriarch of Constantinople and father of ecumenical dialogue.


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

Psalm 106, 1-5

1 Praise the Lord!
  O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
  for his steadfast love endures for ever.

2 Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord,
  or declare all his praise?

3 Happy are those who observe justice,
  who do righteousness at all times.

4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people;
  help me when you deliver them;

5 that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
  that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
  that I may glory in your heritage.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We have read the first verses of Psalm 106 which concludes the fifth book of the Psalter. The psalmist rereads the history of Israel from the specific perspective of the numerous betrayals by the people of Israel against the Lord. In the preceding psalm, 105, the psalmist had recounted the history of Israel, singing the great works of God, the interventions with which the Lord delivered his people from slavery and accompanied them along the way to the Promised Land. The entire psalm is essentially a great confession of the sins of the Lord’s people. However the psalmist opens this hymn by inviting the people to celebrate the mercy of God: “Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” (v. 1) Biblical faith says that it is impossible to speak about one’s sins without mentioning God’s mercy. The believer acknowledges his sin as he compares his wretchedness with God’s goodness. The confession of sin is connected to the awareness of the Lord’s forgiveness. Believers know – it is the heart of Biblical and Christian faith – that the Lord is merciful and wants not the death but the salvation of sinners. Psalm 103 sings: “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him” (vv. 10-11). Those who are afraid of confessing their sin, those who fear to open their heart to the Lord, those who close in on themselves, show that they do not believe in the Lord and his limitless mercy. After this invitation to full trust, the psalmist asks himself, “Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord?”(v.2). Believers who, facing the persistence of sin, are amazed to see the steadfast love of God in spite of the faithlessness of his people. Indeed, the psalmist answers that only those who act with righteousness can speak about the Lord’s wonders: “Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times” (v. 3). Nevertheless even we sinners can ask with trust, “Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people… Both we and our ancestors have sinned; we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly” (v. 4.6). It is true, one can become accustomed to sin, idolatry, forgetfulness, and thinking only of oneself. This is why the psalmist asks God to remember, a prayer found often in the Bible, especially when people experience failure and weakness. In truth the problem is not that God does not remember us, but that we do not remember Him and His love. We are the ones who forget His words and focus so much on ourselves that we put aside the Lord and live without the memory of His limitless love that never abandons us. It is good, however, that our prayer to the Lord rise on our lips every day so that he remembers us, his people and all peoples of the earth. The psalmist adds to the request of remembering: “Show favour to your people” (v.4). Prayer for remembrance becomes an invocation that the Lord visit his people and deliver his salvation. The invocation springs from the experience of salvation that the people of Israel and all Christians have had God came down to gather His people and deliver them from evil. Salvation lies in sharing communion with God and the joy of being among brothers and sisters. This is why the psalmist in closing the beginning of this psalm sings: “That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory in your heritage” (v.5).


07/07/2017
Memory of Jesus crucified


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