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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 4, 35-41

With the coming of evening that same day, he said to them, 'Let us cross over to the other side.'

And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him.

Then it began to blow a great gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.

But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.

They woke him and said to him, 'Master, do you not care? We are lost!' And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, 'Quiet now! Be calm!' And the wind dropped, and there followed a great calm.

Then he said to them, 'Why are you so frightened? Have you still no faith?'

They were overcome with awe and said to one another, 'Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel of Mark continues to present Jesus walking through the streets of the world. There is in him the urgency to communicate the Gospel to everyone. For this reason he does not stop in places that may be more secure and reliable. He says to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” The other side in the Gospel of Mark is the pagan world, those who are far from faith in the God of Israel. The disciples would not have gone there alone, as we find it hard to go towards those whom we believe are distant or not suitable to receive the Gospel of Jesus. We all know the temptation to stop along the boundaries that are known to us, to the usual horizons - as religious as they may be. Jesus opens our hearts and our minds from the start. The disciples obey Jesus’ exhortation and go with the boat out to sea, taking the Teacher with them. During the crossing, as often happens in the lake of Galilee, a storm rages. It is easy to read in this notation of the evangelist the many storms of life, the real ones that relate to the many tragedies of existence, not our little agitations that selfishly feel like real storms. The evangelist suggests that we not concentrate on our own storms but to focus our attention on the real ones. And then in the cry of the Apostles we hear the echo of the cry of the peoples torn by war and injustice, or of that of the many men and many women whose lives are overwhelmed by the waves of evil. This cry often also collects the feeling of powerlessness and the resignation of someone who, overwhelmed by the storms of life, ends up believing that the Lord is far away, asleep and not keeping watch over them. It is a cry that Christian communities must face, a cry they must make their own and turn into prayer to the Lord so that, like that time, he can get up, rebuke the winds and the sea saying, “Peace! Be still!” And thus men and women who have been hit hard by evil may reach the other side, that of peace. And we, who are so taken by our own storms, we too with Jesus can reach the shore where many others are waiting for him, with his love and his saving word. It is the great mission entrusted to the Church, to reach everyone so that all may meet Jesus and listen to his word.

Sunday Vigil