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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 1, 14-20

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying,

'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.'

As he was walking along by the Lake of Galilee he saw Simon and Simon's brother Andrew casting a net in the lake -- for they were fishermen.

And Jesus said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you into fishers of people.'

And at once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending the nets.

At once he called them and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Monday opens the first of the thirty-four weeks called "ordinary time," that is the liturgical time that does not have special memories of the Lord. From today through the ninth week, the liturgy will propose that we meditate on the Gospel according to Mark; the Gospel of Matthew will follow till the twenty-first Sunday and that of Luke until the thirty-fourth. The Gospel of Mark was the first to be written and, contrary to the other two synoptic Gospels, starts directly with Jesus’ public life. Yesterday in the liturgy, we remembered Jesus’ Baptism. Today, the beginning of Jesus’ preaching is offered for our meditation. Mark notes that Jesus went to Galilee after John the Baptist’s arrest. The prophetical word that was proclaiming a new time had been chained. Right at this moment, Jesus decided to start walking the paths of his land to proclaim to all the "good news." His word is not an abstract one that is proclaimed and then vanishes in people’s forgetfulness. The Gospel is Jesus himself. He is the good news to believe and to communicate to men and women so that they entrust their lives to him. Jesus shows, with his words and gestures, that the kingdom of love has come among people. With him starts a new history of love and friendship. This was the "good news" that people were able to hear. Those who listen to it change their lives. The story of Christian preaching moves its first steps here. Jesus walked on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and he saw Simon and Andrew, two fishermen brothers. He said to them: "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." The two men, though they were busy mending their nets, welcomed Jesus’ invitation and followed him. It is the story of the disciples of every time. For indeed, the Lord passes through each generation - ours too - and calls men and women to follow him. He does not stop. Continuing to walk in the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Jesus met two other brothers, James and John, and he called them, as well. After listening to him, they left their nets and followed him. It is the beginning of the new fraternity that Jesus started and that continues even today on the same path of listening and obedience.

Memory of the Poor