Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Word of god every day

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Memorial of Our Lady of Sheshan, sanctuary nearby Shanghai in China. Prayer for Chinese Christians. Read more

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Wednesday, May 24

Memorial of Our Lady of Sheshan, sanctuary nearby Shanghai in China. Prayer for Chinese Christians.

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

Acts 20,28-38

'Be on your guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you the guardians, to feed the Church of God which he bought with the blood of his own Son. 'I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. So be on your guard, remembering how night and day for three years I never slackened in counselling each one of you with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace that has power to build you up and to give you your inheritance among all the sanctified. 'I have never asked anyone for money or clothes; you know for yourselves that these hands of mine earned enough to meet my needs and those of my companions. By every means I have shown you that we must exert ourselves in this way to support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, who himself said, "There is more happiness in giving than in receiving." ' When he had finished speaking he knelt down with them all and prayed. By now they were all in tears; they put their arms round Paul's neck and kissed him; what saddened them most was his saying they would never see his face again. Then they escorted him to the ship.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Before being entrusted to us so that we communicate it, the Word keeps us, protect us, and blesse us. Jesus' disciples will be able to bring the Word to others only if they will be first supported by the Word. Without the Gospel, the Church is nothing and we, like Jesus says, "apart from me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5). Paul recalls his personal relationship with the poor: he helped them with the work of his hands. He not only did not seek wealth for himself, but he supported himself with the work of his hands. He reaffirms that it is a primary obligation for Christians to "support the weak." It is the first time that the term "weak" ("astenos", without strength, without vigour) is used in the New Testament to refer to the poor in general. The verb "to support" means to "take care of," to feel personally responsible for the weak. Here Luke reports a splendid "saying" of Jesus, with which Paul summarizes the life of the believer: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." With the Greek term makàrion (blessed) Paul links this saying to the Gospel Beatitudes. The literal translation goes: "Blessed is the one who gives, not the one who receives." We can connect this sentence to the other Gospel one: "Give, and it will be given to you" (Lk 6:38). And the Didache, an ancient text of Christian origins, gathers this teaching with the passage, "Give to all who ask you, and do not ask for it back for the Father wishes that all people should receive from his own gifts. Blessed are those who give according to the command, for they are blameless."

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!