Sunday Vigil
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Sunday Vigil

Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (+605ca), a bishop and father of the English Church. Read more

Sunday Vigil
Saturday, May 27

Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury (+605ca), a bishop and father of the English Church.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Acts 28,16-20.30-31

On our arrival in Rome Paul was allowed to stay in lodgings of his own with the soldier who guarded him. After three days he called together the leading Jews. When they had assembled, he said to them, 'Brothers, although I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. They examined me and would have set me free, since they found me guilty of nothing involving the death penalty; but the Jews lodged an objection, and I was forced to appeal to Caesar, though not because I had any accusation to make against my own nation. That is why I have urged you to see me and have a discussion with me, for it is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear this chain.' He spent the whole of the two years in his own rented lodging. He welcomed all who came to visit him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching the truth about the Lord Jesus Christ with complete fearlessness and without any hindrance from anyone.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The conclusion of the Acts of the Apostles describes briefly the delivering of the Gospel to Rome. Paul starts his mission in a private house in Rome, while is at the house arrest. Enjoying some benevolence from the Roman authorities, the apostle had the representatives of the Jewish community come to him. Though many did not welcome his preaching they were not hostile to him rather they showed great tolerance and said openly they did not have anything against him. Paul stayed in the house for two years - a house probably nearby the Jewish neighbourhood - and he transformed it in a missionary centre. Though his body was enchained, Paul was running an intense apostolic work: he had people in the house, preached, prayed, and wrote letters to the distant communities. Nothing, not even chains, prevented the apostle to communicate the Gospel. What an example for us who have tools and means and yet we have a hard time, when we do not forget, speaking to the hearts of people! Luke, at this point, interrupts the narration in a brisk way as if to say that the spreading of Christianity in the entire world starts here. He does not even speak of Paul's martyrdom. From other sources we know that around the end of the second year of his stay in Rome the political climate towards Christians changed and Nero unleashed a persecution during which both Peter and Paul were killed. Luke simply underlines that Paul was openly preaching Christian faith. The young man who had kept the coats while Stephen was stoned had let Jesus attract him to the point of walking the paths of the world "proclaiming the kingdom of God and healing all sorts of illnesses and infirmities of the people." Once in Roe, Pau;, a jew and a Roman citizen, that is a citizen of the world, though in chain lived the great freedom of the disciple of Jesus.

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!