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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 7, 7-12

'Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

Everyone who asks receives; everyone who searches finds; everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

Is there anyone among you who would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread?

Or would hand him a snake when he asked for a fish?

If you, then, evil as you are, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

'So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Jesus, after giving us the “Our Father,” again insists on prayer effectiveness. He does it in a very clear way: “Ask and it will be given to you”. Jesus knows that it is easy to be deviated by doubt and uncertainty. And he urges us not to mistrust the Lord and His love. We are His children and He is like a father attentive to our prayer. We are all called to rediscover the power of prayer in our “making and acting” societies where the part of Martha triumphs, but much less the one of Mary, which is the better part and it will not ever be taken from us. In order to make us understand this teaching, Jesus gives an easy and self-evident example: can a father be death to his children’s invocation? But, looking at the incredulous looks of the disciples, Jesus insists again so that all uncertainty may be dissipated: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find.” This certainty – it should be noticed – is not based on our prayer quality (obviously necessary); rather it is based on God’s mercy and goodness with no limits. Jesus continues to present God as a loving father who, obviously, cannot but give good things to his children. Jesus warns: if earthly fathers do not give stones when children ask for a loaf of bread, how much more your Heavenly Father – truly good! – will take care and will protect His children. The Gospel passage closes with a provision – called the “Golden Rule” – and which is present also in other religious traditions: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” These words, lived by Jesus, acquire the novelty of a love with no limits. He gave us his love as a gift without expecting any return from us. It is the golden rule of everyday life. It is enough thinking about how much we demand attention, love, consideration, and more from others. If every day we committed to give others what we want for ourselves, we would make our lives nicer and less dominated by the selfishness that makes us always ready to demand and late in giving to others. If we think about what the Lord gives us beyond our merits, then we will learn the great value of gratuitousness in love, which is unique to Christian life.

Memory of the Church