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The Everyday Prayer

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

The prayer for peace is held in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.

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

Acts 5,1-11

There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property; but with his wife's connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles. Peter said, 'Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land? While you still owned the land, wasn't it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn't the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.' When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present. The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place. Peter challenged her, 'Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?' 'Yes,' she said, 'that was the price.' Peter then said, 'Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband; they will carry you out, too.' Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in they found she was dead, and they carried her out and buried her by the side of her husband. And a great fear came upon the whole church and on all who heard it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The story of Ananias and Sapphira is very hard. The author recounts that they sold a piece of property and only brought a part of the proceeds to the community, keeping the rest for themselves. The problem was not the action they took, but the fact that they lied to Peter, saying that they had given the entire amount to the community. Both Ananias and Sapphira die immediately, first one and then the other. It is a fate that might seem exaggerated with respect to the sin they committed. In truth, with their lies, Ananias and Sapphira were separating themselves from the shared feelings of the community, killing in themselves the spiritual life they had received as a gift. It is not the simple sin of not carrying out a duty, but the sin of separating oneself from the spirit of the community, which always leads to self-destruction. The deaths of Ananias and Sapphira should not be understood as a punishment sent by God, but as the consequence of their insincerity and the fact that they let their own interests prevail over those of the community. Every time we let ourselves and our selfishness prevail over the common good, we commit a violence that turns back against us before it harms others. The author of Acts notes that when the people saw these events, they were seized by fear. It is not suggesting that a climate of fear began in the community at that point. Indeed, is well known that the fruit of communion is peace, joy, and love, as Luke repeatedly affirms. If anything, it is lies like those spoken by Ananias and Sapphira that pollute and destroy the community by letting the spirit of “division” prevail, which comes from the evil one. Acts underlines that we all must be careful to protect the communion that the Lord has given to us. Fellowship must be protected very carefully, because it is easy to wound it with selfish acts.

Prayer for peace

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