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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 10, 1-7

He summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to drive them out and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness.

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon who is known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;

Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who was also his betrayer.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: 'Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town;

go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The call of the Twelve and their evangelic mission springs from Jesus’ compassion for the tired and worn-out crowds. Jesus chooses twelve people from among the disciples, as many as the tribes of Israel, as if to say that no one should be deprived of the proclamation of the Gospel. The people called are different from one another. Origin, belonging, culture, and race are not what count in the Christian community, but total trust in Jesus’ call. The evangelist reports the names of the twelve Apostles. Among them there are Greeks and Jews, men coming from the North and from the South, simple fishermen and men eager to see the end of the heavy Roman domination, followers of the Baptist (James and John) and tax-collectors (Matthew). It is a heterogeneous group where their country of origin and ideological belongings are in the background. What counts is following Jesus and obeying his Word; indeed these two dimensions constitute the new identity. They are recognized by others as those who are with the Nazarene and not as the tax-collector, the Zealot and the fisherman. Each one, as happens with Simon, receives a new name, meaning a new mission and a new power. They are no longer as they were before the encounter with Jesus, identified by their work. From that moment on they are witnesses of the Gospel, of a universal dream which is not theirs but God’s, and they are given the power to change hearts, to defeat evil, to welcome the weak, to love the despairing, and to hasten the Kingdom of love. It is a real power, a true strength of change, that that does not come from money, bags, tunics, or anything on earth; it is the power of love without limits that comes from above and which Jesus is the first to witness. This first Gospel mission is emblematic for every Christian generation: there is no other way for Jesus’ disciples. Our generation too is called to set out on the new millennium living this Gospel page to the letter. In Matthew’s Gospel, the command is only addressed to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel." This limitation corresponds to a Jewish-Christian tradition of the first years of the Church; historically, the mission of Jesus and of the apostles began with Israel. We can affirm that this instruction in Matthew’s Gospel, understood historically, has been fortunately surpassed by the Church’s mission, which is global and without borders, which certainly corresponds exactly to the will that all be saved, which is apparent in the life of Jesus and of the first Christian communities.


07/06/2011
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets


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

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