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 93, 1-2.5

1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
  the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
  He has established the world; it shall never be moved;

2 your throne is established from of old;
  you are from everlasting.

5 Your decrees are very sure;
  holiness befits your house,
  O Lord, for evermore.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With Psalm 93 begins a series of hymns that continues until Psalm 99 and celebrates “the majesty of God.” The psalmist sings, “The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength. He has established the world; it shall never be moved; your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting” (v. 1-2). Because God is the Lord, the world is steady and shall never be moved. Without God the world would fall back into chaos. This conviction lets us read the world and its history with eyes of faith, that is, with at least a spark of God’s own eyes. This way of looking at things also lets us penetrate into the heart of the human experience. According to the cosmology of the Bible, the world is like a block that floats on the primordial ocean, the symbol of the nothingness and the forces that besiege creation. The chaotic waters vainly struggle and rebel, three times “lifting up” their protest against Yahweh’s sovereign dominion (v. 3-4). However he or she may understand it, the believer knows that the world is in God’s hands. God created the world and continues to sustain it. The Lord, who chose the people of Israel for himself, stands beside them and defends them from the assaults of evil. The psalmist’s faith is clear: “the Lord is king” and stronger than evil. Indeed, the Lord holds the world firmly in his hands. Rivers may overflow their banks, but God is stronger; the waters of the ocean may rage, but God rules them. The psalmist seems to be more concerned with creation itself than with human history. But we know that creation, the world, and human history are closely linked in the Bible. Creation is not just the theatre in which human history unfolds, it is part of that history and is caught up in the same destiny as the human race. It can be said that God’s care for creation is another facet of his care for human beings. This is what we see in the vision of the end of history described in Revelations: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth” (21:1). This is the context in which we can understand the responsibility that believers have towards creation. God placed the human race on the summit of creation so that it might keep watch over it and govern it without twisting the rules set in its heart. Men and women should never forget that God is the “king” of creation and they are just its stewards.