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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 11, 28-30

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest.

Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

These few verses are full of the same compassion as mentioned at the beginning of Jesus’ public mission. As a synthesis of his whole saving activity, he calls all those who are weary and burdened to follow him: the tax-collector, the small group of men and women that chose him as their Master, the harassed and helpless crowds that could finally find a shepherd, all those who had no one to look after them, those oppressed by the violence of the rich, those wounded by the violence of war, starvation, injustice. The words of Jesus, full of tenderness and sensitivity, “Come to me and I will give you rest,” resound for all these people. We must be Jesus’ voice; his Church must repeat aloud, to the crowds of our world, Jesus’ invitation to come under his cloak. Does it happen? Better, do I try, with humility and delicacy, to repeat the same words to those I meet every day? Do we repeat the same invitation we have received from Jesus, to other people lying in wait? People, on the contrary, usually put aside and ignore those who labour and are burdened. They fear to get involved, they think only of their own difficulties, claiming to be the real victims. Furthermore, through this invitation, Jesus ratifies the right to rest in labour, to receive attention, support, help. With our love, we must relieve those who are oppressed by pain, by unfair and unbearable conditions of life. The one who really relieves is Jesus himself: when we rest on his chest and are nourished by his Word. Only Jesus can say, “Take my yoke upon you.” He does not mean the yoke of the law, the strict yoke imposed by the Pharisees. The yoke he talks about is the Gospel, demanding and tender at the same time, as is Jesus. The true yoke is to be linked to him. When we are scattered, we are not free: eventually, we can be captured by the heaviest yoke, that is, our “I.” We are free only when we are bound to Jesus who frees us from the narrow boundaries of our “I.” So, Jesus adds, “Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.” These are the two features that Jesus shows to everyone. This is the path of beatitude, that is happiness, to give and to receive. The gentle and the humble make life easier for their neighbours. On the contrary, the arrogant, the hot-tempered, the proud, and the aggressive live badly and hurt others. Learn from me: that is, be my disciples. We need this word; above all, the numerous crowds need it as they wait for Jesus’ invitation: “Come to me, and I will give you rest.”

Memory of the Church