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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 8, 23-27

Then he got into the boat followed by his disciples.

Suddenly a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But he was asleep.

So they went to him and woke him saying, 'Save us, Lord, we are lost!'

And he said to them, 'Why are you so frightened, you who have so little faith?' And then he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

They were astounded and said, 'Whatever kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus is in the boat with his disciples, going to the other side of the lake. During the passage, he falls asleep. Suddenly, as often happens in that lake when the winds blow from north-east, a storm comes up. How many storms come and “make the world fall on us,” such as episodes of violence or terminal sicknesses or accidents which extinguish the lives of our beloved. Like the disciples, we experience our frailty, our lack of certainty and true protections. Although the boat is swamped by the waves, Jesus incredibly continues sleeping. The disciples are afraid and are more than bewildered by their Master asleep. It seems as though he is not interested in them. They wake him up and cry, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” It is a cry of desperation and trust at the same time, just as our prayer often is. Certainly, in their opinion, Jesus is indifferent. How often our weak faith made us believe that the Lord does not defend us, does not help us, does not protect us. We actually forget that Jesus is in our same boat. How many are caught by the storm and have nothing else to hang on to but a cry for help? Such a simple cry is very human and describes well our little faith. Jesus wakes up and rebukes his disciples for being people of little faith. They should have known that with the Lord there is no need to be afraid. So sings Psalm 23: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil for you are with me.” Jesus is not indifferent, but serene, as one who abandons himself to the protection of the Father. Faced with the serenity of Jesus, the Apostles, and we too, are really people of little faith. Nevertheless when the storm hits us we rightfully imitate the cry of those disciples. Jesus helps us to look within ourselves, our true strength, because he makes us discover how, through faith, nothing is impossible to those who believe. Anyway in this case too, Jesus stands up in the boat, faces the winds and water in the storm, and rebukes them. And “there was a dead calm.” One word by Jesus is enough, and evil retreats. The Evangelist suggests that those who witnessed the event- not only the disciples, but also those who might have seen it from the shore – are amazed. A disciple is born, or a conversion happens, when one is amazed at seeing the Word of Jesus calm every storm in life, even when it seems as though there is nothing else left but to sink.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord