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The Everyday Prayer


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

Today the Byzantine Church venerates Saint Sabbas (†532), “the Archimandrite of all the hermits of Palestine”


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

Matthew 7, 21.24-27

'It is not anyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.

'Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock.

Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock.

But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand.

Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel passage brings us to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ first major speech in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus warns his listeners that words are not enough, that external forms do not suffice - even perfect ones - in order to be truly his disciples and receive salvation: “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (21). What saves us and what counts is not just the words that we say; we must “be” disciples, that is, put into practice the Gospel that we hear. This is why Jesus concludes the entire sermon with the parable of the house. He says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock,” while “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand.” He continues with the parable: the rains pour down; the floods come; the wind blows down on both houses. Jesus is clearly talking about the tempests of life: the temptations that assault us; the difficulties that come our way; the problems that press on us; and so on. Indeed, the house built on rock - that is, on a life marked by faithfulness to the Gospel and to love - stands firm, whereas the other house, built on sand, crumbles. But what is sand, if not those countless number of vices and egocentric instincts that often make our lives empty, banal, inconsistent, mean, and violent? Only if we know how to welcome with faith the word of the Gospel, which is steady and very different from our wavering and instable emotions, can we build our lives and those of our brothers and sisters on a solid and stable foundation. Every day, the Lord invites us to nourish ourselves on the Gospel. In this way, our lives are not built on ourselves or on our emotions, which are as inconsistent and changing as the sand, but on the word of God, the true rock and foundation of life, both personally and communally.


12/05/2013
Memory of the Church


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

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