Memory of the Poor
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Memory of the Poor

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Africa. Read more

Memory of the Poor
Monday, January 23

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Africa.

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

Hebrews 9,15.24-28

This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise. It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was merely a model of the real one; he entered heaven itself, so that he now appears in the presence of God on our behalf. And he does not have to offer himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own, or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. As it is, he has made his appearance once and for all, at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself. Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgement, so Christ too, having offered himself only once to bear the sin of many, will manifest himself a second time, sin being no more, to those who are waiting for him, to bring them salvation.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The term "covenant" (testament) expresses a firm commitment - this is the meaning of the use of legal terminology - on the part of God to his people. And Jesus' death, which occurred once and for all, shows the everlasting validity of the covenant. The cross is not nullified by Easter; indeed, the entire cult theology of the Letter tends to portray Christ's sacrifice as an eternally lasting event that continually works salvation. Jesus' death was necessary for our salvation. The author reads in the sprinkling with blood of the book itself and all the people, made by Moses on Sinai, the figure of death on the cross. We might infer that the "word of the Gospel" should also be sprinkled with blood. This is to say that it is not possible to separate the Gospel from the cross: Jesus' death is not a necessary reparation to forgive sins but the logical conclusion of a love that leads to giving one's life for the salvation of others. Through his sacrifice, Jesus has already made us enter the heavenly sanctuary. When the Letter therefore speaks of "heavenly'" realities, it does not mean realities far away from us, but the Church, the community of believers understood as a house of prayer, fraternal communion and love for the poor. The uniqueness of Christ's sacrifice also applies to the Church because it is the place where Christ dwells and is manifested. The Church becomes the first fruits of salvation, in the sense that in her is already realized in a certain way that unity of believers belonging to all the peoples of the earth which, in a global world such as the one we are living in, already makes one "see" the sense of universal brotherhood that prefigures the kingdom of heaven that Jesus came to inaugurate already from earth. This grand vision of humanity's destination is the horizon within which every disciple of Jesus must conceive of himself. The life of every believer is enclosed in this vision: in him we live, in him we die, and with him we rise to new life.

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!