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

Proverbs 3,27-34

Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to it, if it is in your power to perform it. Do not say to your neighbour, 'Go away! Come another time! I will give it you tomorrow,' if you can do it now. Do not plot harm against your neighbour who is living unsuspecting beside you. Do not pick a groundless quarrel with anyone who has done you no harm. Do not envy the man of violence, never model your conduct on his; for the wilful wrong-doer is abhorrent to Yahweh, who confides only in the honest. Yahweh's curse lies on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright. He mocks those who mock, but accords his favour to the humble.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In biblical sensibility, those in need have a right in themselves. Already in Deuteronomy it is stated: those who deny a loan to the needy commit a sin (Deut 15:9). This is a dimension that is unfortunately unknown in a culture that makes self-love the law of life. But the consequences are an unlimited growth of inequalities and conflicts. In the words we have heard, the Gospel page on love of neighbour, on the bond between us, is foreshadowed. Next comes a series of invitations related to life together: do not plan evil against those who live near you and trust, do not quarrel, do not envy the violent person because of his or her success. Indeed the sacred author comforts, those who follow God's counsel have nothing to fear, because God hates evil and the wicked will not prosper. The invitation is to live with goodness and generosity, without letting ourselves be overwhelmed by envy and jealousy. The friendship of the Lord is for the righteous and "to the humble he shows favour." The themes of violence and arrogance often return in Proverbs and are contrasted with goodness and humility. The daily temptation is to respond to violence with violence, as our society conditions us to do, imagining that victory is found in imposing ourselves on others. The Gospel warns us: "All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." Wisdom teaches humility and the ability to relate to others with kindness and generosity, because only in giving can we find joy and peace of heart.