Memory of the Mother of the Lord
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Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Europe and the Americas. Read more

Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Tuesday, January 24

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Christian communities in Europe and the Americas.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 10,1-10

So, since the Law contains no more than a reflection of the good things which were still to come, and no true image of them, it is quite incapable of bringing the worshippers to perfection, by means of the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year. Otherwise, surely the offering of them would have stopped, because the worshippers, when they had been purified once, would have no awareness of sins. But in fact the sins are recalled year after year in the sacrifices. Bulls' blood and goats' blood are incapable of taking away sins, and that is why he said, on coming into the world: You wanted no sacrifice or cereal offering, but you gave me a body. You took no pleasure in burnt offering or sacrifice for sin; then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming,' in the scroll of the book it is written of me, to do your will, God. He says first You did not want what the Law lays down as the things to be offered, that is: the sacrifices, the cereal offerings, the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for sin, and you took no pleasure in them; and then he says: Here I am! I am coming to do your will. He is abolishing the first sort to establish the second. And this will was for us to be made holy by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ made once and for all.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The author of the Letter brings us back to the centrality of the Christian mystery: there is no need to multiply our offerings because only Christ's sacrifice saves. The love that led him to give his own life to the point of dying on the cross is the reason for our salvation. The psalmist already suggested this when he predicted the incarnation of Christ: "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me" (Ps 40). This quote recalls the Eucharistic "body" of Christ. Even the apostle Paul presents the Lord's Supper as an announcement of the "death of the Lord" (1 Cor 11:26) and its saving strength. The ancient sacrifices did not save from sin because they did not transform the human heart, whereas taking part in the "body" of Christ in the Eucharist transforms the believer into the very body of Jesus, who, now risen, is seated at the right hand of God. From his throne of glory in heaven, Jesus is waiting for his "enemies" to be made his "footstool" (Ps 110:1). With his resurrection, Jesus has now defeated forever the prince of evil and death itself and is waiting for the full manifestation of his victory. And, wherever the Christian community gathers for the Eucharist, it celebrates this victory. We know that we are still waiting for the "perfection" to which we have been called, but the road has now been definitively opened: it is communion with Christ and among brothers and sisters.

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!