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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of St. Clare of Assisi (1193-1253), disciple of St. Francis on the way of poverty and evangelic simplicity. Muslims start the month of Ramadan.

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

Matthew 18,15-20

'If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.

If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge.

But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.

'In truth I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

'In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven.

For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel reminds us that fraternal correction and forgiveness require great attention and sensitivity. There is, in fact, a way of not saying things that is not respect, but indifference. Every believer has the duty to correct his brother or sister when he or she makes a mistake, just as everyone has a right to be forgiven. Unfortunately, we live in a society that knows forgiveness less and less, precisely because it does not know the debt of love. The Word of God questions us deeply. In a world that is becoming ever more interdependent but at the same time ever more competitive, we must learn that in order to be truly free and build a worthy society, we have to become slaves in love for another. The utopia of complete respect for the rights of every man and every woman can only become real if everyone takes on one, binding duty: respecting the right of the other to be loved. This right must be woven into the foundation of any human society that would be free from the many external and internal threats. The perfect image of this coexistence is seen in the unity of the disciples who pray together. "Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." These words are very demanding. If the disciples agree to ask for anything, whatever it might be, their agreement constrains God himself to give it to them. God gives enormous power to men and women who are united in one desire. And if this does not happen, we need to question our way of praying, which has perhaps been spoiled by individualism and indifference. If our prayer does not seem to get a response, it may be because we have not questioned ourselves enough about our neighbour, about those in need, and about those who are waiting for someone to remember them.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets