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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 11, 14-23

He was driving out a devil and it was dumb; and it happened that when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed.

But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he drives devils out.'

Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven;

but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, 'Any kingdom which is divided against itself is heading for ruin, and house collapses against house.

So, too, with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom last?-since you claim that it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out.

Now if it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out, through whom do your own sons drive them out? They shall be your judges, then.

But if it is through the finger of God that I drive devils out, then the kingdom of God has indeed caught you unawares.

So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own home, his goods are undisturbed;

but when someone stronger than himself attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.

'Anyone who is not with me is against me; and anyone who does not gather in with me throws away.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The text of the Mass’ first reading, taken from the prophet Jeremiah (7:23-28), belongs to his third oracle against worship performed without a heart faithful to the Lord and to his teachings. The Lord is embittered by his people’s stubbornness in remaining far from Him: "Truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips." Jeremiah, who should speak in God’s name, had to announce Israel’s defeat and its deportation to Babylon. The Lord would then raise Israel up again and return it to its land. This page from Jeremiah foretells the difficulties Jesus himself had to face because of his preaching. Jesus does not cease to fight against the evil that enslaves humanity. One day, Luke writes, Jesus cast out a mute spirit from a man, which made him incapable of communicating with others. The devil (as the term says literally in Greek) is truly the spirit of division, the one that separates people from one another. It is the prince of solitude, which continues - even today - to make humans slaves. Inability to communicate is frequent, and it occurs between persons and between peoples and nations. Hence tensions and conflicts arise. The prince of evil continues to operate in this manner so that enmity spreads. The disciples are invited to be on guard and watchful so as not to be accomplices to this hell that creates conflicts and wars. The accusations against Jesus reach incredible extremes. But evil does not resign itself; it continues its work even when its destructiveness is evident. Only the Lord works the good and spreads love. This is why Jesus is truly the stronger one - he who can guard the house the Gospel speaks about it. And the house is the heart of each one of us who is put to the test by temptations, but also the Christian community, which is constantly besieged by the forces of evil. Only those who trust in the Lord can defeat the power of evil and gather for themselves and for others the fruits of love and hope.

Memory of the Church