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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 7, 1-5

'Do not judge, and you will not be judged;

because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the standard you use will be the standard used for you.

Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the great log in your own?

And how dare you say to your brother, "Let me take that splinter out of your eye," when, look, there is a great log in your own?

Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother's eye.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus calls the disciples to not judge, in order not to be judged. The term judge here is intended as to condemn. The affirmation is very serious and demanding: God in fact, pronounces His judgement on us in the same way that we form it on others. Whoever wants a generous and merciful judgement should be generous and merciful toward their brothers and sisters. On the contrary whoever judges in a cold or mean way will receive the same treatment. Even in the Our Father Jesus makes us say: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” In effect, Jesus comes down in the depth of the human soul to uproot an attitude which is strong and difficult to dismantle. And we all know it well: we are always indulgent with ourselves and very hard with others. This type of sin is one of selfishness and pride that, as the book of Genesis describes, lurks night and day at the door of our hearts. All of us, in fact, are always ready to consider the splinter present in the eyes of others, while we are more indulgent in tolerating the beam which is in our eye; often we do not even see it or we obscure it. It is a way of living and conceiving of relationships with others which poisons daily life and renders it more violent and bitter for everyone. The attitude of condemnation flows from a heart that does not see, which is closed in defending its own small and sad little garden. And to do this it must condemn others. Jesus warns the disciples to not have a judgement of condemnation for others. But this does not mean being disinterested. Further on, Jesus will speak of brotherly correction. But we can already say that the Gospel asks every disciple to pay attention to the other with love and brotherly concern. In this sense, love for the other requires attention and judgement done with mercy and firmness. Jesus excludes that judgement which stigmatizes others, condemning them without hope or mercy; indeed such judgment is only condemnation. Instead the disciple should have an attitude of help and correction, if necessary, for others. Fraternal correction, in fact, is born from a gaze of love and not of disinterest; it is nourished by the trust that Lord gives to each of us for our interior journeys and spiritual growth.

Memory of the Poor