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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 11, 5-13

He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, "My friend, lend me three loaves,

because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;"

and the man answers from inside the house, "Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you."

I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship's sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

'So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake?

Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?

If you then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the Gospel we heard yesterday Jesus gave us the "Our Father" prayer, a precious treasure which has become a daily companion of our prayer. Jesus however is familiar with the doubts that the disciples have concerning the effectiveness of prayer. And he wanted to clear these doubts up immediately, so important is prayer for believers. Thus, he tells two parables. The first, that of the inopportune friend, is almost a commentary on the fourth petition of the "Our Father," that is, "give us this day our daily bread." With it Jesus seems to push his disciples themselves to be importunate with the Father in prayer. We need to persevere in asking, because as Jesus says to the disciples: "Ask, and it will be given you." And that is what happens in the parable. Insistent prayer -Jesus says—seems to compel God to "get up" and grant our request. And God, Jesus continues with the second parable, will not only respond, but he will always give good things to his children. God always listens to those who turn to him in faith. Prayer, the prayer of a son who trusts totally in the Father, truly has an incredible strength - it is even able to "bend" God towards us. This is why in the whole tradition of the Church insistence on prayer is one of the indefeasible mainstays. Unfortunately-even due to the alienating pace of life today—we are hard pressed to pray and often we do not persevere at all in prayer, especially common prayer. And not a few times our trust is truly limited. May our hearts be touched by this passage from the Gospel and we will discover the strength and the effectiveness of prayer for our lives and for the lives of those for whom we will pray. Prayer saves one’s life.

Memory of the Church