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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the Presentation of the Mother of the Lord at the Temple. This feast, born in Jerusalem and celebrated in both the East and the West, remembers both the ancient temple and how Mary offered her life to the Lord.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 3, 31-35

Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him.

A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, 'Look, your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.'

He replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?'

And looking at those sitting in a circle round him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers.

Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The feast of the Presentation of Mary at the temple is linked to the dedication of the New Church of Saint Mary built near the temple in Jerusalem in the year 453. Mary, the “Theotokos” (Mother of God), is the true temple in which the one sacrifice pleasing to God is offered. With this memory we welcome the tradition of the apocryphal gospel of James that tells of Mary’s consecration to God as an adolescent. It is a pious tradition that reminds us of the importance of bringing to God the many adolescents of today who are not only removed from the beautiful things of life but even from life itself. We need to make every effort to protect young people so that, removed from a society that has them grow up at the school of selfishness and vanity, they can instead grow up at the school of the Gospel. The evangelist Mark reports a Gospel scene that can remind us of the urgency of placing ourselves at Jesus’ school. It is a passage that might seem harsh towards the Mother of Jesus, but in truth it is the path that Mary has always followed. It is written that Jesus is at home and many people are crowding around him to listen to him. His relatives, including his mother, arrive and call for him. The relatives stay “outside,” the evangelist writes, indicating more than a spatial distance. Only those who are “inside” and listen to his word, Jesus says, are his true family. The Christian community is always born from the Word of God and it lives on listening to it. We all need to be careful not to give in to the temptation of considering ourselves Jesus’ “relatives”, that is, of thinking we don’t need to gather around him to listen to him, so much has our access to him has become “natural” and taken for granted. Basically, it is not enough to belong to the Christian group to be salved. Every day we need to go “inside” the community to listen to the Gospel as the Church communicates it. One is not a disciple once and for all! We need to listen to the Gospel every day and welcome it into our hearts.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord