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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 8, 16-18

'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, it is put on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be made known and brought to light.

So take care how you listen; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he thinks he has.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Word of God is never a seed which is reserved for a few, or worse, which remains hidden in the heart of the one who receives it. By its nature it must grow until the cycle is complete, until it becomes a great tree. Jesus explains this mystery of the word of God with the example of the lamp. Just as the light of a lamp does not exist for itself, but rather to illuminate what is around it, so the Word of God should enlighten every man and every woman. And the believers are called to show everyone its light. They thus do not live for themselves but in order to manifest to all the light of the Gospel. Jesus says: "No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lamp stand, so that those who enter may see the light." The Gospel is given to us so that we, in turn, give it to the men and women of our cities. Every community and every believer can thus be compared to the lamp stand spoken of by Jesus. The lamp is to be put in a high place, so that it might let the light of the Gospel shine for everyone. It is obviously not a matter of showing off oneself or one’s own natural wisdom, nor to show one’s gifts and capacity to astonish. The believer is asked to manifest the Word of the Lord, just that, not his own. This is why -Jesus points out—the disciple is called above all to receive the Word of God in his own heart: "Pay attention then how you listen." Those who do not listen in fact cannot transmit anything except themselves. But he or she will be like a light turned off and without life. Those who let themselves be trained in their heart by the Word of God will have a heart full of divine wisdom and will bear for themselves and for all good fruits. This is the meaning of Jesus’ words: "the one who has will be given," that is, whoever received the Gospel in his heart will receive abundant wisdom. It is the meaning of that phrase of Gregory the Great which says: "Scripture grows with the one who reads it." It will not be so, on the other hand, for the one whose heart is closed to the Word: he or she will remain darkness because he is full only of himself and of his own sadness. "From those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away:" those who do not pay attention to the Gospel word will see their heart become more and more closed. The Word of God, if received with faith in one’s heart, transforms us, making us into men and women capable of offering light to those who live in the darkness of their own existence.

Memory of the Poor