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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

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


Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 25, 31-46

'When the Son of man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory.

All nations will be assembled before him and he will separate people one from another as the shepherd separates sheep from goats.

He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right hand, "Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take as your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome,

lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me."

Then the upright will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?

When did we find you sick or in prison and go to see you?"

And the King will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me."

Then he will say to those on his left hand, "Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you never gave me food, I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink,

I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, lacking clothes and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me."

Then it will be their turn to ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or lacking clothes, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?"

Then he will answer, "In truth I tell you, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me."

And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the upright to eternal life.'

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This first Monday of Lent opens with the Gospel of the last day, the Gospel of the last judgment. It is a grandiose scene. Jesus is enthroned as a king with "all the angels." Before him, as if on an immense stage, are gathered "all the nations." All of them - Christian and non-Christian, believers and non-believers alike. There is only one thing that divides them - the relationship each one of them had with the Son of Man present in every poor person. The judge, in fact, presents himself as the thirsty, the hungry, the naked, the foreigner, the sick, and the prisoner. "I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink." The dialogue between the king and the representatives of the two groups brings this disconcerting fact into focus: the glorious judge of the end of time, whom all the speakers recognize as "Lord," had the face of the homeless man who begged on the sidewalks of our cities, of the elderly woman abandoned in a nursing home, of the foreigners who knock at our doors, and so on. We could all add to the list just by describing the people we meet every day. The monotonous repetition of the six situations of the poor (which are repeated four times in a just few verses), accompanied by the respective lists of works done or refused, perhaps indicates the frequent repetition of similar situations in our daily lives. This Gospel passage comes to tell us that the decisive meeting (decisive because we will ultimately be judged on it) between a man or woman and God does not come about in the context of heroic or extraordinary actions, but in everyday encounters: in helping those who are in need, in giving food and drink to the hungry and thirsty, and in welcoming and protecting those who are abandoned. Jesus’ identification with the poor - he calls them his brothers - does not depend on their moral or spiritual qualities. Jesus does not just identify with the good and honest poor. It is an objective identification - the poor represent Jesus because they are poor, little, and weak. Jesus himself became poor and weak.


03/14/2011
Memory of the Poor


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri