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The Everyday Prayer

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

Prayer for the unity of the Churches. Particular memory of the Churches of the Anglican Communion

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 2, 23-28

It happened that one Sabbath day he was taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to make a path by plucking ears of corn.

And the Pharisees said to him, 'Look, why are they doing something on the Sabbath day that is forbidden?'

And he replied, 'Have you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry-

how he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the loaves of the offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?'

And he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath;

so the Son of man is master even of the Sabbath.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After the dispute on fasting, which we heard yesterday, the evangelist Mark tells us that about the Sabbath. The Pharisees saw that the disciples of Jesus, while walking in a field of grain on a Sabbath day, gather some heads of grain to eat them, thus transgressing the law of the Sabbath rest. The parallel passage in Matthew specifies the reason: the disciples “were hungry” (Mt 12:1). Immediately, the Pharisees accuse the Master of allowing the disciples to break the law. But Jesus defends his disciples. It brings to mind a similar example that happened to David, who, fleeing from Saul who wanted to kill him, entered the temple and, with his companions, ate the consecrated bread reserved for the priests. Jesus adds, “The sabbath was made for humankind and not humankind for the sabbath.” With this statement, Jesus wants to show that salvation of humanity is what really matters in the law. The man and his salvation are at the very heart of the Scriptures. Indeed, the Lord created the world and sent his own Son for the sake of humanity, to save them from sin and death. Therefore, believers are not so much called to observe rules, but rather to respond to the love of God and to live with love towards others. This Gospel passage shows how much the salvation of humanity is dear to Jesus. He came to earth for this, as the Evangelist John writes: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). That is why the Son of Man is Lord, even of the sabbath: He came to save, not to condemn. And he asks each of us to follow him on this path, that of love.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord