Prayer for peace

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Isaiah 65, 17-21

For look, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, and the past will not be remembered and will come no more to mind.

Rather be joyful, be glad for ever at what I am creating, for look, I am creating Jerusalem to be 'Joy' and my people to be 'Gladness'.

I shall be joyful in Jerusalem and I shall rejoice in my people. No more will the sound of weeping be heard there, nor the sound of a shriek;

never again will there be an infant there who lives only a few days, nor an old man who does not run his full course; for the youngest will die at a hundred, and at a hundred the sinner will be accursed.

They will build houses and live in them, they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This passage from Isaiah refers to the return of the people of Israel, after their exile, to Jerusalem as the city is being rebuilt. The Israelites have been back in Jerusalem for a while, but they are struggling to return to the Lord with their hearts, to keep his law and to rediscover the joy of the covenant with the Lord and of participation in his plan of love. At this point, we have the speech of the prophet: he is called to shake the people of Israel from the resignation in which they fell after returning from exile, as if now there was no longer any hope of a new and beautiful future for them. The Word of God resonates again to awaken the lethargy and resignation of Israel. It is the Lord who, once again, shows the vision and mission he wants to entrust to them. The prophet calls them to go beyond their sadness, "For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight" (vv.17-18). Evidently the memory of exile had such a profound impact on the hearts and minds of the people of Israel that they were at the point of closing their hearts to the hope of a new future and even of resigning themselves to living a narrow and self-referential destiny. The Lord intervened and gave his people a new vision, a new dream, with new energy. It is he himself who involves his people in a full way. The resignation that had pushed the people to withdraw arose from the little trust in the Lord, as if rebuilding the city was their work alone. Indeed, the Lord descends once again among his people, and involves them in his grand design, in the dream to make of all the people a family and of Jerusalem a city for everyone. It will be a city where "no more the sound of weeping be heard in it and the cry of distress" (v.19). And again: "No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed"(v.20). Even today Isaiah’s words are an incisive dream in their prophecy. The Lord entrusts this dream to us, asking us to abandon all laziness and resignation.