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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, a sixteenth-century Jesuit missionary in India and Japan

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

Luke 10, 21-24

Just at this time, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it has pleased you to do.

Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.'

Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them by themselves, 'Blessed are the eyes that see what you see,

for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel of Luke began chapter 10 with the sending of the 72 disciples, two-by-two, who would go ahead of Jesus and prepare the towns he was to visit for his arrival. In the evening, after they completed this first mission, they gathered around the Master, filled with joy. They told stories of the prodigious acts that they were able to do. Moreover, filled with both satisfaction and wonder, they exclaimed to Jesus, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” (17). It was the wonderful joy of people who have experienced the power of the Gospel. They probably believed little in the “power” with which Jesus entrusted them, as often happens to us every time we hear the Gospel: it is easy to doubt the transformative power present in the Word of God. Yet that day, perhaps out of their enthusiasm for their first time, they passionately communicated all that Jesus told them. And they immediately bore fruit. At hearing their stories, Jesus rejoiced deeply. The evangelist highlights that “in that same hour,” even while he heard them speaking, as if to draw them closer to him, Jesus “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit.” It was not superficial enthusiasm. What Jesus felt in that moment was much deeper: it was the joy of seeing that the action of the disciples was his same action - the disciples worked in the same Spirit. This is why he affirms, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning.” Jesus was with them, accompanied them, and saw what they did in his name. In light of this, Jesus is moved to a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants.” It is a joy that Jesus feels when he sees the fulfilment of the mission entrusted to him by the Father and the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven through the works of these disciples. Jesus knows that they are not powerful people; rather, they are little and weak. But Jesus says to the Father that this is the way the Kingdom of heaven will be fulfilled among men and women. In a direct way, he unites the disciples to the same relationship that he himself has with the Father. In the familiarity with Jesus, the disciples are able to enjoy the same closeness with the Father in heaven. It is the gift of unity that sustains the very life of the disciples.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord