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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 7, 31-37

Returning from the territory of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon towards the Lake of Galilee, right through the Decapolis territory.

And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him.

He took him aside to be by themselves, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man's ears and touched his tongue with spittle.

Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, 'Ephphatha,' that is, 'Be opened.'

And his ears were opened, and at once the impediment of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly.

And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they proclaimed it.

Their admiration was unbounded, and they said, 'Everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues to communicate the Gospel in pagan territory. And scenes similar to those that were seen in Galilee take place here, too. It is true: the Gospel can (and indeed must) be announced everywhere. We could say that all people, all cultures, and all men and women are waiting for it. The entire world is waiting for the Gospel, a word of salvation, an act of mercy. Even in pagan territory, as Jesus passes by, he creates a new atmosphere of festivity and hope that is felt especially by the sick and the poor, as was the case in Galilee. Some pagans who had learned of the young prophet’s reputation as a healer bring a deaf-mute man to Jesus. Jesus takes him aside, far from the crowd. The Gospel continues to underline that healing of whatever type, whether of body or heart, occurs in direct relationship with Jesus, not amidst the confusion of the world and even less through some kind of esoteric relationship. There needs to be a personal and direct relationship with Jesus: we need to look him in the eyes, to hear his words, even just one word. The centurion said to Jesus: "Only speak the word, and my servant will be healed." After having touched the deaf-mute man with his hands - as if to underline the concreteness of the relationship - and spoken a prayer to heaven, Jesus only says one word: "Be opened!" Immediately he is healed from being closed, and he begins to hear and speak. The crowd’s amazement is immediate and begins to spread. Jesus would rather they be silent. But how can people be mute when faced with the Gospel that saves? Certainly, we are often mute because we do not see and do not talk. Being turned in on ourselves blinds the eyes of faith. But if we open our ears to the Gospel and our eyes to the wonders that come from it, we, too, will cry out like the crowd: "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

Memory of Jesus crucified