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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.
Memorial of the deportation of the Jews of Rome in 1943 during the Second World War.

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 16,11-26

Sailing from Troas we made a straight run for Samothrace; the next day for Neapolis, and from there for Philippi, a Roman colony and the principal city of that district of Macedonia. After a few days in this city we went outside the gates beside a river as it was the Sabbath and this was a customary place for prayer. We sat down and preached to the women who had come to the meeting. One of these women was called Lydia, a woman from the town of Thyatira who was in the purple-dye trade, and who revered God. She listened to us, and the Lord opened her heart to accept what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptised she kept urging us, 'If you judge me a true believer in the Lord,' she said, 'come and stay with us.' And she would take no refusal. It happened one day that as we were going to prayer, we were met by a slave-girl who was a soothsayer and made a lot of money for her masters by foretelling the future. This girl started following Paul and the rest of us and shouting, 'Here are the servants of the Most High God; they have come to tell you how to be saved!' She did this day after day until Paul was exasperated and turned round and said to the spirit, 'I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to leave that woman.' The spirit went out of her then and there. When her masters saw that there was no hope of making any more money out of her, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities. Taking them before the magistrates they said, 'These people are causing a disturbance in our city. They are Jews and are advocating practices which it is unlawful for us as Romans to accept or follow.' The crowd joined in and showed its hostility to them, so the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be flogged. They were given many lashes and then thrown into prison, and the gaoler was told to keep a close watch on them. So, following such instructions, he threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. In the middle of the night Paul and Silas were praying and singing God's praises, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and the chains fell from all the prisoners.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle Paul, called by the “Spirit of Jesus,” arrives in Europe for the first time around the year 50 AD. We could say that Europe was waiting for the Gospel, as evidenced by Macedonia’s cry for help. There were already followers of Jesus in Rome, probably of Jewish origin, as the Acts of the Apostles reminds us on the day of Pentecost. But in Luke’s narration, Philippi is the first stop on the Word of God’s route towards Rome by Paul. The text, at this point, follows with the pronoun “we” suggesting that Luke joined Paul and Silas’s mission. To welcome the apostle in Philippi is a group of women, led by Lydia, a god-fearing woman who had a fabric business. After listening to Paul, she converted and asked to be baptized. The preaching of the Gospel was effective and brought deep changes to people. It should be noted that the Gospel’s preaching worked by starting in people’s hearts. It happened also with a woman slave who was able to provide quite some money to her owners with her magic practices. Once freed from the unclean spirits by Paul, she changed her life. It was evident that the Gospel was provoking deep change but not through political, economic and social influence. The Gospel worked through the conversion of people’s hearts and they started behaving in a different way. Thus the preaching of the Gospel did not stay closed in people’s homes, but rather had immediate societal effects. These changes provoked the reaction of those who made their living by exploiting others. They incited the entire city to riot against Paul and Silas and they were arrested. The preaching of the Gospel always finds someone who wants to chain it. But Jesus’ disciples knew by now that the Gospel is stronger than chains. While Paul and Silas were in prayer an earthquake came suddenly that threw open the prison gates and broke the chains that bound their wrists and ankles. These are the signs of the liberation from every slavery that always happens when one trusts in the Lord.

Prayer for peace

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday