Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
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Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Memorial of Saint Ambrose (+ 397), bishop of Milan. Pastor of his people, defender of the poor and the weak against any oppression; he remained strong defending the Church in the face of the emperor's arrogance. Read more

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Wednesday, December 7

Memorial of Saint Ambrose (+ 397), bishop of Milan. Pastor of his people, defender of the poor and the weak against any oppression; he remained strong defending the Church in the face of the emperor's arrogance.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Isaiah 40,25-31

'To whom can you compare me, or who is my equal?' says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look: he who created these things leads out their army in order, summoning each of them by name. So mighty is his power, so great his strength, that not one fails to answer. How can you say, Jacob, how can you repeat, Israel, 'My way is hidden from Yahweh, my rights are ignored by my God'? Did you not know? Had you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, he created the remotest parts of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, his understanding is beyond fathoming. He gives strength to the weary, he strengthens the powerless. Youths grow tired and weary, the young stumble and fall, but those who hope in Yahweh will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Often in life we lose sight of the truth about ourselves and history: pride and foolishness blind us and keep us from seeing the condition of weakness in which we all live and the help the Lord offers us. We trust we can find salvation in ourselves or in "idols" like richness, carrier, and personal well-being. The prophet invites Israel to look around and to look at the nations of the earth, even those that seem strong and unshakable, and realize they are weak. On the contrary if we raise our eyes towards the Lord, we will recognize his creating power: it I she who made heaven and earth. Our strength is in the Lord. This spiritual gaze - a fruit of prayer and listening to the Word of God - purifies the eyes of our heart and makes us able to grasp the path of liberation that the Lord wants to do with us. With a biting series of questions, the prophet wants to awaken our sense of God and His loftiness. The Lord alone is great, and he alone governs the world and history. Those who trust in the Lord receive help and comfort, support and strength. Young and old, we are all urged to trust only in the Lord: "But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Let us not despair amidst the toil of life, but rather let us trust in the Lord, and we will regain the strength to walk quickly in his presence.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9, 3:7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!