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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 18, 35-43

Now it happened that as he drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of the road begging.

When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about,

and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by.

So he called out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.'

The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, 'Son of David, have pity on me.'

Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him,

'What do you want me to do for you?' 'Sir,' he replied, 'let me see again.'

Jesus said to him, 'Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.'

And instantly his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw it gave praise to God.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus is about to arrive at the end of his journey. He is close to Jericho by now, the last city before Jerusalem. On the way there is a blind man begging for alms. Hearing the great commotion, he asks what is happening. They tell him that Jesus the Nazarene is passing by. The blind man needs someone to speak to him of Jesus because by himself he cannot see. We all need someone to communicate Jesus to us and speak to us of him, because we are focused on our world and ourselves, and are like blind men and women. That blind man, hearing the announcement of how close Jesus is, understands that he is different from the others who have passed by. He has heard many pass nearby, perhaps even leaving an offering and then continuing on their way! That day he understands that Jesus can heal him. Because of this he immediately begins to pray. It is a simple prayer, but genuine, because it comes from the need to regain his sight. "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Unfortunately, as often happens even today, the crowd seeks to quiet him, perhaps so as not to bother the Teacher. But that blind man, who has intuited the goodness of that young prophet, cries out, or rather, prays, more strongly with the same words. We should not make up sophisticated or persuasive words when we turn to God as if He listens to us because of oratory skills. Jesus listens to that prayer because he feels it arises from a needy heart which has placed its trust in him. This is why he stops and has the man brought to him. Now they are face to face, one in front of the other. Jesus questions the blind man. The dialogue which ensues illustrates the centrality of the personal relationship which should be established between us and the Master. It is in this direct trust that the healing takes place. Jesus, as if to acknowledge his initiative, says to the blind man: "Receive your sight! Your faith has saved you!" That blind man begins to see and the first thing he sees - what a grace! is Jesus. It is an encounter which touches the blind man’s heart. He sees with the eyes of the heart too: he begins to follow Jesus. This blind man is truly the image of the perfect believer, of the one who recognizes his own blindness, prays with faith to the Lord, and lets himself be healed: he is an example for us all.

Memory of the Poor