Memory of Jesus crucified
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Memory of Jesus crucified

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri (+1595), "apostle of Rome." Read more

Memory of Jesus crucified
Friday, May 26

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri (+1595), "apostle of Rome."

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

Acts 25,13-21

Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea and paid their respects to Festus. Their visit lasted several days, and Festus put Paul's case before the king, saying, 'There is a man here whom Felix left behind in custody, and while I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews laid information against him, demanding his condemnation. But I told them that Romans are not in the habit of surrendering any man, until the accused confronts his accusers and is given an opportunity to defend himself against the charge. So they came here with me, and I wasted no time but took my seat on the tribunal the very next day and had the man brought in. When confronted with him, his accusers did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected; but they had some argument or other with him about their own religion and about a dead man called Jesus whom Paul alleged to be alive. Not feeling qualified to deal with questions of this sort, I asked him if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem to be tried there on this issue. But Paul put in an appeal for his case to be reserved for the judgement of the emperor, so I ordered him to be remanded until I could send him to Caesar.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

King Agrippa II and his sister Bernice have come from Caesarea to Jerusalem to greet Festus, the Roman procurator, a meeting that Luke places here almost as an interlude. Festus summarizes the trial for Agrippa. Acutely the procurator cuts to the heart of the problem: the accused, Paul, affirms that a certain Jesus, whom the Jews believe to be dead, is instead alive. It must be said that this was the centre of the apostle's preaching, a fact which also emerges from all of his letters: the death and resurrection of Jesus are the cornerstones of Paul's Gospel. Believing that Jesus has risen from the dead means that he has conquered evil and its first fruit, which is, precisely, death. That is why he is called "Christ," God's envoy, and "Lord." And every time we say "our Lord Jesus Christ" we mean, precisely, that Jesus of Nazareth, sent by God to this earth, has been made Lord, that is, ruler of evil and death. This proclamation was totally new: with the resurrection of Jesus, human life was no longer closed within the horizons of the earth. It is the greatest gift God could give humanity. In order to communicate this hope, which is the heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul faced difficulties and dangers of every kind and now is facing a lengthy trial. He is among the ranks of the first disciples who gave their lives to testify to the resurrection of the Lord. Over the course of centuries, many others have followed on this road.
And also in times contemporary to us, there are brothers and sisters who stand before us to show us the preciousness and the strength of Christ's love, which pushes us to give our lives for the Lord.

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!