Riccardi Andrea: on the web

Riccardi Andrea: on social networks

change language
you are in: home - prayer - the everyday prayer contacting usnewsletterlink

Donation Topbar


The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 9, 14-15

Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?'

Jesus replied, 'Surely the bridegroom's attendants cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

While moving our first steps on the Lenten path, the Word of God reminds us that the true way is that of the heart, the path of changing of our soul. It is not just the implementation of some exterior practices. In the passage of the prophet Isaiah (58:1-9) that is the first reading of Mass, religious formalism made of practices and rites but with no heart or mercy is strongly denounced. The Lord says: “This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.” The fasting wished by the Lord is fasting from selfishness and converting our hearts to Him loving the poor. Love for the poor frees us from selfishness and leads us to live in light and to be light for others. The Gospel of Matthew, as we have read, speaks on fasting and explains its deep sense. John’s disciples, who lived a more austere life compared to Jesus’ followers, wonder about the reason of their joy. The very presence of Jesus among the people created a hopeful and festive atmosphere, in short, a special sense of joy. The disciples were really happy being with him and sharing his life. Following Jesus is not a sad path based on deprivation and penances. It is exactly the opposite. John’s disciples realized it and were scandalized. But Jesus explained that life with him is like the wedding party for the bridegroom. And indeed the One who freed the weak and the poor from all slavery and sadness had come. Still, Jesus warns that the advent of the Kingdom also involves the struggle against evil and, as happens in every battle, there will be difficult times. There will be naysayers who will attempt to accuse and bring down the disciples who proclaim the Gospel. But we still need to get dressed to party and drink the wine of mercy; this will make us strong even in difficult times.

Memory of Jesus crucified