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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 7, 6.12-14

'Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.

'So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.

'Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it;

but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This text brings together three of Jesus’ sayings without really connecting them. One is on holy things, one is on the golden rule, and the other on the narrow door. In this time, dogs and pigs were impure animals. It is not clear whether Jesus is talking about a certain category of people who are decisively hostile to the proclamation of the Kingdom. Doubtlessly, however, we understand that hostility, bald-faced inhospitality, and ostentatious and decisive refusal lead the disciples to address their proposal to others whose hearts are more open. Jesus does not hide the difficulty that can become opposition. The passage continues with a rule - called the "golden rule" - which is also present in other religious traditions: "In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you." When lived out by Jesus, these words take on the novelty of a love without limits: he has given to us his love without asking for anything in exchange from us. If we want other people to give their lives for us, then we should start by making our lives be lives of dedication and service to others, just as Jesus taught during the washing of the feet (Jn 13). The Gospel we heard concludes with the saying about the narrow door, that is, the very person of Jesus. In order to enter through the door of Jesus we have to make an effort - we have to lower ourselves, bend down, and make ourselves small and humble. The wide door, the world, at first sight seems more comfortable and wide, but this is just the impression of a dazed moment. Whoever tries to enter into the life of the world and remain there will encounter even greater weariness and, despite all her/his efforts, will remain the prisoner of a world that is becoming more and more harsh and pitiless.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord