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The Everyday Prayer

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

European day of Memorial of the Shoah

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

Mark 3, 22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul is in him,' and, 'It is through the prince of devils that he drives devils out.'

So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables,

'How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last.

And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last.

Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot last either -- it is the end of him.

But no one can make his way into a strong man's house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man. Only then can he plunder his house.

'In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered;

but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.'

This was because they were saying, 'There is an unclean spirit in him.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel passage is preceded by two verses that show the negative judgment that Jesus’ family had of him. Facing the criticism that his work aroused, they tried to excuse him by saying, “He has gone out of his mind” (20-21). In fact, these family members, revealed the strange alliance that often is created between the “family” and the scribes to stop the preaching of Jesus. For the family members, Jesus is crazy: he has gone out of his mind, he exaggerates; for the scribes, he is possessed by the devil. This last accusation, of course, is far more serious than the first because it puts Jesus on the side of the enemy of God. He would act in fact under the inspiration of the evil forces. But what neither the family nor the scribes understand, is why so many people flock to Jesus And everyone is happy, glad, full of hope every time they listen to him. But this is precisely what annoys the scribes, the Pharisees, and finally, the same family. Good always creates even envy; it breaks unlawful balances, poses questions, unrests, asks for a comparison. Accordingly, the Pharisees of the situation and even family members cannot stand that Jesus, the Gospel, break the balance established by one’s egocentrism; they do not accept that life is outside their control. So they try every way to discredit Jesus in front of people. They would like that no one came to him. How many times even today do people try to discredit the Church, or individual believers, with absolute lies and accusations! Jesus, however, rebuts the scribes, after ridiculing them with the example of the house divided against itself. He invites us not to place our trust solely in our own strength and be totally self-confident because we risk to underestimate the power of evil and to succumb to it. Only Jesus is able to bind the strong man (evil) and, therefore, not to be mocked by it. The poor, the sick, and the sinners realized this and thus sought him out, trusting in his compassion and his power. It is a great lesson for us who are so often tempted by self-sufficiency and unable to invoke the help of God

Memory of the Poor