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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Saint Francis Xavier, a sixteenth-century Jesuit missionary in India and Japan.

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

Matthew 9, 27-31

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, 'Take pity on us, son of David.'

And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up to him and he said to them, 'Do you believe I can do this?' They said, 'Lord, we do.'

Then he touched their eyes saying, 'According to your faith, let it be done to you.'

And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, 'Take care that no one learns about this.'

But when they had gone away, they talked about him all over the countryside.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After he leaves the house of the leader of the synagogue, Jesus is followed by two blind men, who speak a simple prayer to him: "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" It is an invocation that we often find in the Gospels, and the Church has us repeat it at the beginning of every Mass: "Lord, have mercy!" In front of the greatness of the Lord, this is the first and most important prayer that we can make: we are poor beggars for love. After he enters his house, Jesus welcomes the two blind men and speaks with them. Healing is not a magic trick or the result of esoteric rites and practices. It always occurs in the context of a personal relationship with Jesus. We need to meet his gaze and heart and bind ourselves to him with faith. Jesus asks the two blind men: "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" It is a request for faith and trust. No healing is possible without this personal and direct relationship. When the two blind men answered his question affirmatively, Jesus touched their eyes and said: "According to your faith let it be done to you." And the two men’s eyes were opened. Jesus almost seems to obey the two blind men’s request, as if to emphasize that there can be no miracle without their faith and their involvement. There is certain proportionality between faith and healing. In the Letter of James it is written: "You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly" (4:2). Of course the Lord already knows what we need (Mt 6:8), but a prayer spoken with faith bends the Lord’s heart to our request. This is a precious teaching that we have to make our own. Above all, faith means trusting in the Lord completely, without any reservations, because the Lord is coming to save us from all slavery and to free us from all blindness. Let us entrust our lives to the Lord so that we might have light and so walk along his ways. Jesus warns the two blind men not to speak to anyone about what had happened to them. Perhaps he wanted to make them understand that he had not come for his own glory, but to save those who needed help. How different from us and our habits! We glorify ourselves and show off for much less. This Gospel passage invites us to imitate the Lord, who welcomes the cry of the poor and frees them from their slavery.

Memory of Jesus crucified