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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. They welcomed the Lord at home.

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

Luke 10, 38-42

In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking.

Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.'

But the Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha,' he said, 'you worry and fret about so many things,

and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church remembers Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus. With this memorial, we understand the force of the Gospel, which leads to a change of heart and of life. Martha, in fact, after having welcomed Jesus in her house, lets herself be "consumed by her service," which she deems the most important thing. This "service," this conviction of hers, makes her so busy that she does not even become aware of the Master’s presence. Such concentration on her convictions not only keeps her far from hearing Jesus, but also pushes her to reproach him because he is oblivious of what she is doing. In short, she wanted the guest to pay attention to her and not vice-versa, thus showing what was at the centre of her concerns: not Jesus, but herself. Truly she was getting too agitated, even if her intention was to provide a good welcome. In truth, she was losing that which was essential. Each time we concentrate on ourselves and on our affairs, we flee from hearing the Lord (how many times does our activity mean we don’t have the time to listen or to read the Word of God!) and there is no longer any understanding of our own doing or even living. In brief, priorities are lost: everything is important and so nothing is. Mary, on the other hand, has understood that which counts most in life: she has placed herself before the Teacher and, attentively, listens to his words. It is from hearing the Gospel that our life, our thinking, and our work must flow. Martha later learns the lesson Jesus taught her, and continuing to receive him in her house, opens her heart to him. When Jesus drew near to visit the tomb of Lazarus, now dead, it was she who was the first to become aware that the Master was there and to run to meet him. She had learned to run to the Teacher who loved her, her sister, and Lazarus, as no other did. Today, he asks us too to not let ourselves be wrapped up in our cares, but to go outside our house and run towards that Master who can save us from death.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets