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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Saint Charles Borromeo (+1584), the bishop of Milan.

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 16, 1-8

He also said to his disciples, 'There was a rich man and he had a steward who was denounced to him for being wasteful with his property.

He called for the man and said, "What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer."

Then the steward said to himself, "Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed.

Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes."

'Then he called his master's debtors one by one. To the first he said, "How much do you owe my master?"

"One hundred measures of oil," he said. The steward said, "Here, take your bond; sit down and quickly write fifty."

To another he said, "And you, sir, how much do you owe?" "One hundred measures of wheat," he said. The steward said, "Here, take your bond and write eighty."

'The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever continuously reads the Gospel frequently comes across parables. This is one of the common ways Jesus communicates his teaching. As a good and attentive teacher, he wants his disciples to understand his words not as abstract lessons, but as words for their real lives. That is why he prefers the language of parable, which is simultaneously concrete and full of symbolism. Once again Jesus starts his parable with a situation taken from life. A manager has been accused of mismanagement and is called before his master to show him the accounts before being dismissed. Jesus, at this point, describes the steward’s ability to use any strategy to provide for his future. In fact, this man calls his boss’ debtors one by one and significantly reduces the amount of each one’s debt. Obviously all the debtors will be grateful to the manager once he is dismissed by his boss. When Jesus finishes his story, he praises the unfaithful steward and concludes: "The children of this age are more shrewd ... than are the children of light." Obviously, Jesus does not exhort his hearers to cheat their bosses as the steward does. The intention of the parable is to stress the shrewdness and foresight of the steward in regards to the future which awaits him. Jesus asks his disciples to try by all means, with the same cleverness as the steward, to gain the kingdom of God. Unfortunately, the disciples often let themselves be seized by resignation before life’s events and do not use the same energy which moves the unfaithful steward in order to create a more just world. Jesus observes that those who reason according to the world’s mentality do everything to ensure a future without problems. Often, the "children of light," on the other hand, do not pay the same attention or have the same passion to ensure for themselves the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel passage urges us to be creative in loving and not to let ourselves become resigned when faced with difficulty, much less allow ourselves to become comfortable with our laziness. An intense task awaits us in order to increase love and peace among all.

Memory of Jesus crucified