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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 2, 1-12

When he returned to Capernaum, some time later word went round that he was in the house;

and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them

when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men,

but as they could not get the man to him through the crowd, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay.

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'My child, your sins are forgiven.'

Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves,

'How can this man talk like that? He is being blasphemous. Who but God can forgive sins?'

And at once, Jesus, inwardly aware that this is what they were thinking, said to them, 'Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts?

Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven" or to say, "Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk"?

But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority to forgive sins on earth' --

he said to the paralytic-'I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.'

And the man got up, and at once picked up his stretcher and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astonished and praised God saying, 'We have never seen anything like this.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After a few days, in which he went around the surrounding region to preach the Gospel, Jesus returns to Capernaum and goes to Peter’s house that has become the usual dwelling for that small community. As usual, many people come to knock at his door. The atmosphere of joy and feast that was created wherever Jesus went continues. The heart of the people who were coming to Jesus filled more and more with hope, and the faces revealed the desire of being well, of having a more serene life, a less distressed future. At that point, many believed that the time when it would be possible to be happy had come. There was hope even for a paralytic that some friends brought to Jesus. At the door, they could not get in because of the great crowd. Not resigned at all, they climb up to the roof of the house with the sick man, and they let him down in front of Jesus. Truly, the passionate love of these friends is surprising. They did not give in to the difficulties they met, as it often happens to us who withdraw in front of the first difficulties. Love for that friend pushes them to invent a way to bring him in front of that young prophet. We could say that this expediency showed the force of love for that sick friend and their trust in Jesus. Their insistence is rewarded. As soon as he sees the sick man, Jesus heals him - in the heart, forgiving his sins, and then lifting him up from the mat, healing him also in body. Yes, the paralytic, as all the poor, needed to be healed, not only in the body, but also in the heart. We could paraphrase a saying in the Gospel: not only of bread do the poor, live, but also of love and forgiveness. Every time this happens - and it happens when the disciples give their lives to help those who suffer - the wonder in front of the power of the Lord’s love repeats again.

Memory of Jesus crucified