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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 1,12-14

So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, they went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostles no longer see Jesus by their side. And yet he is present. Indeed, it is his presence that makes them gather together and it is his name that identifies them. They are for all purposes Jewish: the go to the temple, the keep the Sabbath, they sing the psalms, and yet they are not the same as before. They observe all the Jewish traditions, but their heart is now the Gospel. This is the first image of the Christian community that appears in the Acts of the Apostles. And, as in a photo, they can all be clearly recognized. The Christian community is not an anonymous group, an assembly of people who do not know each other, a group in which one person does not know what the others are doing, and where everyone goes off on his or her own. The first community is made up of brothers and sisters who call each other by name. Fraternity is essential for every community that claims to be a disciple of Jesus. Luke gives the names of each member. Jesus had called them one by one by name and had built a personal relationship with each one, based on understanding and trust. The Christian Community is a real family. The disciples have a Father, the Father in heaven, and a mother, the mother of Jesus, who stands among them. In this unique family they all stay together and help each other. They are truly different from how people normally live in our cities, which is often arid and dry, with no relationships, more like a desert than a garden. Jesus had taught the disciples to love each other, to respect each other, and to help each other and take care of those who were in need. Their strength flowed from their communal prayer, which they could not live without. Prayer brought them together, unifying them with a strong, we could even say, unbreakable bond. That is why, the author writes, “All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer.” Prayer that is done together has a special strength, as Jesus himself had said, “Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” Prayer is the believers’ first and most important work.

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