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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 17,15-21

Paul's escort took him as far as Athens, and went back with instructions for Silas and Timothy to rejoin Paul as soon as they could. Paul waited for them in Athens and there his whole soul was revolted at the sight of a city given over to idolatry. In the synagogue he debated with the Jews and the godfearing, and in the market place he debated every day with anyone whom he met. Even a few Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some said, 'What can this parrot mean?' And, because he was preaching about Jesus and Resurrection, others said, 'He seems to be a propagandist for some outlandish gods.' They got him to accompany them to the Areopagus, where they said to him, 'Can we know what this new doctrine is that you are teaching? Some of the things you say seemed startling to us and we would like to find out what they mean.' The one amusement the Athenians and the foreigners living there seem to have is to discuss and listen to the latest ideas.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Persecution, for a specific plan of God, pushed the disciples to set off for other places where they also preached the good news of the kingdom. The Lord turned the harshness of some people who opposed him into an advantage for the Gospel. Paul, then, reached Athens as a fugitive. Although the city was not as prosperous as it was during Plato’s time, it was still an important capital city. In Luke’s narration, after Jerusalem, and before Rome, Paul was called to preach the Gospel in the cultural capital of the time. Once he reached the city, Paul did not face the Athenians immediately; he rather mixed in with the traffic of the agora and of the market, in order to understand the sensibilities of the Athenians. Paul knew the challenge was very delicate and he wanted to understand the life of the Athenians from their point of view, from the inside that is their culture, costumes, sensitivity and life. The big question was simply: would Jerusalem conquer Athens? Would the Gospel touch the heart of the Areopagus? It is the same question we continue to ask ourselves before the many Areopaguses of this world, before the many cultures of our planet and that cross the hearts and minds of people. The audacity of Paul, who courageously goes before the learned Athenians, shows us that no Areopagus is foreign to the preaching of the Gospel; no culture is foreign to the Gospel. Rather, the many Areopaguses of today are waiting for disciples who may proclaim with wisdom and strength the salvation that comes from Jesus. Every Christian has to take up this challenge, which we cannot elude because only the Gospel can render more human the world in which we live.

Memory of Jesus crucified

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