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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 25,1-12

Three days after his arrival in the province, Festus went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. The chief priests and leaders of the Jews informed him of the case against Paul, urgently asking him to support them against him, and to have him transferred to Jerusalem. They were preparing an ambush to murder him on the way. But Festus replied that Paul was in custody in Caesarea, and that he would be going back there shortly himself. He said, 'Let your authorities come down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, they can bring a charge against him.' After staying with them for eight or ten days at the most, he went down to Caesarea and the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and had Paul brought in. As soon as Paul appeared, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem surrounded him, making many serious accusations which they were unable to substantiate. Paul's defence was this, 'I have committed no offence whatever against either Jewish law, or the Temple, or Caesar.' Festus was anxious to gain favour with the Jews, so he said to Paul, 'Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and be tried on these charges before me there?' But Paul replied, 'I am standing before the tribunal of Caesar and this is where I should be tried. I have done the Jews no wrong, as you very well know. If I am guilty of committing any capital crime, I do not ask to be spared the death penalty. But if there is no substance in the accusations these persons bring against me, no one has a right to surrender me to them. I appeal to Caesar.' Then Festus conferred with his advisers and replied, 'You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Acts of the Apostles dedicates three of its last five chapters to Paul’s trial. In truth, two long years of waiting were necessary to celebrate it. During that time, a new governor came to office; Festus, a shrewd official, succeeded Felix and came to learn about Paul’s situation very soon. So when the leaders of the Jews asked him to adjourn the trial, he immediately accepted. However, suspecting a plot against the defendant, Festus did not grant the “favour” to send the trial back to Jerusalem. Paul was in custody in Caesarea, and that was where the trial would be examined. Despite the prosecutor’s obstinacy, the debate did not bring any new elements to light. Festus realized that the question was more religious than juridical. Hoping to gain favour with the Jews, he asked Paul if he wanted to go to Jerusalem before the religious institution. At this point, Paul, seeing that Festus was leaning towards the Jews, made his famous appeal to Caesar. Festus, after consulting his counsel, accepted it, “You have appealed to the emperor; to the emperor you will go.” Obviously, the governor was not aware of the fact that with his decision he was “obeying” God’s plan of opening the way to Rome for the apostle; Paul would reach the heart of the empire, where he would bear his testimony as a martyr.

Prayer for peace

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 17 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 18 December
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 19 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 20 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 21 December
Memory of the Church
Friday, 22 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 23 December
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 24 December
Liturgy of the Sunday