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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Wenceslaus, venerated as a martyr in Bohemia. Memory of William Quijano, a young man from El Salvador who was killed by the violence of the maras.

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 9, 57-62

As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.'

Jesus answered, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.'

Another to whom he said, 'Follow me,' replied, 'Let me go and bury my father first.'

But he answered, 'Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.'

Another said, 'I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good -- bye to my people at home.'

Jesus said to him, 'Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just begun his journey towards Jerusalem and the problem of following immediately arises. So many ran to him, especially men and women needing help, of healing, of comfort, but how could they continue to follow him? There were some among them who were healed or who remained fascinated by his words who decided to remain with him and follow him wherever he went. But it was not an obvious choice nor was it easy. And in any case Jesus’ call was required: "Follow me." The examples that this Gospel page reports show the seriousness and the demands that this following involves. It is remarkable that the three answers given by Jesus all have something to do with family life. Jesus says to the first person that the disciple cannot stay at home in tranquillity, but must follow him - the Son of Man - who, opposite the foxes that have holes, and birds of the air that have nests, has not even a place to rest his head. It is a severe warning for the one who, on the other hand, wants a life with a guarantee and above all tranquil. To the second, Jesus reinforces the primacy of announcing the Gospel even over the most delicate of family matters, such as the burial of a father. And the third who comes closer is told by Jesus that he cannot have any regrets for the life he left. The life that is received in following Jesus does not tolerate second thoughts or looking back. The Gospel requires conquering one’s own egocentrism and abandoning one’s own traditions to choose Jesus as the only Lord of one’s life. No doubt it is a radical, even paradoxical choice. But it is so because Jesus’ love for us is total, radical, paradoxical, unique. It is the love we need in order to be freed from slavery to sin and from love only for ourselves.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets