Prayer for peace

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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

Psalm 110, 1-4

1 The Lord says to my lord,
  ‘Sit at my right hand
  until I make your enemies your footstool.’

2 The Lord sends out from Zion
  your mighty sceptre.
  Rule in the midst of your foes.

3 Your people will offer themselves willingly
  on the day you lead your forces
  on the holy mountains.
  From the womb of the morning,
  like dew, your youth will come to you.

4 The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind,
  ‘You are a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.’


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Psalm 110, which the liturgy has us sing today, is the most cited psalm in the New Testament. Jesus applied it to himself when he responded to the high priest who was asking him about his identity: “You have said so. But I tell you, From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mt 26:64). With this answer, Jesus explained the messianic meaning of the psalm. And our faith has us sing the psalmist’s prayer in this spirit. The king is raised to the highest possible dignity: “Sit at my right hand” the Lord God tells him (v.1). God’s own majesty is revealed in that of the king. In the same way, the history of Israel, with its prophets and kings, leads towards the messianic future that culminates in Jesus, who dies and rises and who is seated at the “right hand of God,” as we say in the Creed. This psalm is a meditation on the absolute primacy of God and His dominion over the world. This is a firm point in both the Old and New Testament. The true king is always and only the Lord. Consequently, this psalm is a radical refutation of all deception and of every claim to direct history. The Lord alone directs history and defeats his enemies, and those of his people, making them his footstool (v. 1). Every good and just thing is from the Lord. The apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians of this: “For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For God has put all things in subjection under his feet” (1 Cor 15:25-27). The risen Jesus continues his work of salvation. The Latin Church has us close the liturgical year with the feast of Christ, king of the universe. The Father gave this priestly responsibility to the Son, whom He raised from the dead. This has been God’s plan from the beginning of the story of salvation with Abraham; as the psalmist suggests: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’” (v. 4). The Lord gives the Church, the body of Christ, the responsibility of being prophet, king, and priest. The priestly role – given to the entire community of believers – is to bless the entire world in God’s name, that is, to free it from every form of slavery (enemies become “your footstool”) and completely defeating evil (“he will fill them with corpses, he will shatter heads over the wide earth”). This is the power of love and healing which the Lord grants to his disciples so that, with the Risen One at their right hand, they might hasten the coming of the Kingdom on earth.