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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 5,1-11

Now it happened that he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God,

when he caught sight of two boats at the water's edge. The fishermen had got out of them and were washing their nets.

He got into one of the boats -- it was Simon's -- and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch.'

Simon replied, 'Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.'

And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear,

so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled both boats to sinking point.

When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, 'Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man.'

For he and all his companions were completely awestruck at the catch they had made;

so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon's partners. But Jesus said to Simon, 'Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will be catching.'

Then, bringing their boats back to land they left everything and followed him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus, up to now, has spoken to the crowds; to those men and women, dispersed, tired and worn out, who seemed like sheep without a shepherd. They are not only the crowds of yesterday; in them we also see those of today. How many persons, how many peoples are also today without true guides and, in many cases, without anyone who will be concerned for them! Jesus, in the face of this notable number of persons who ask for help, does not try to do everything by himself, even though he well knows that he is the source of all "power" that is good - he does not feel he is some kind of lone hero. In order to respond to the needs of all, he gathers around himself a small community of disciples to be with him and help him in his merciful task. It is not by chance that he gets into Simon’s boat to speak to the people who had remained on the shore. There is in this image a splendid icon of what the Church is. Having finished speaking, he asks Peter to put out to sea and cast the net. Peter and the others with him, having fished all night, had caught nothing. Besides, Jesus was not with them. And, without him, they could do nothing. Peter, even though he was tired, heard Jesus’ command and; even though he did not understand, obeyed. And a miraculous catch took place. It was so abundant that they had to call the others to help. Seeing this, the four fishermen were seized by incredible amazement, left everything, and, after Jesus’ invitation, started following him, becoming, like him, fishers of the people. From that day began the story of this unique community which is the Church. The Gospel continues to call new workers so that the net of mercy is extended and no one is left out.

Memory of the Church