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The Everyday Prayer

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

Muslims start the month of Ramadan.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 14, 22-36

And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away.

After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind.

In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea,

and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.

But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'

It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.'

Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,

but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!'

Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'

And as they got into the boat the wind dropped.

The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'

Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.

When the local people recognised him they spread the news through the whole neighbourhood and took all that were sick to him,

begging him just to let them touch the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched it were saved.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus invites the disciples to get into a boat and to set off to the other shore, while he will send the crowds away. Afterwards, once everyone (the crowds and the disciples) have left, Jesus, by himself, goes up the mountain to pray. We find this episode often in the Gospels (evidently Jesus’ prayer life had impressed the disciples and the first Christian communities). While Jesus prays, the boat crosses over to the other side. All of a sudden a storm arises. The Evangelist seems to suggest that, without Jesus, it is always difficult to confront life’s storms. And, in any event, the night—every nigh— is always frightful. But dawn comes and Jesus comes to the disciples, walking on the water. The disciples, exhausted by the stormy night, see Jesus and think that he is a ghost. But Jesus says to them: "Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter doubts and he asks Jesus to command him to come out onto the water to go to him. And Jesus answers his prayer and says: "Come." Peter recognizes his voice and his invitation from when he heard it the first time along the shores of that very same lake and, once again, he immediately leaves his boat and nets and goes toward Jesus. He even walks on water. A faithful and immediate response to the Lord’s call always performs miracles. But the winds blows about him and Peter is scared, just as we always have fear in the face of strong and violent adversity. At that moment Peter begins to drown. Desperate, an urgent invocation rises to his lips: "Lord, save me!" And Jesus immediately grabs his hand. Peter is saved. Certainly, he is reminded of his little faith: "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" As disciples, it happens that we, too, do unthinkable things, but then resignation to evil sets in and we fall. And yet, the Lord continues to take us by the hand and bring us into the boat, so that we may continue our journey across the sea of life. He asks us never to separate ourselves from the Lord and to follow his voice always.

Prayer for the Sick