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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

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 12, 14-21

At this the Pharisees went out and began to plot against him, discussing how to destroy him.

Jesus knew this and withdrew from the district. Many followed him and he cured them all

but warned them not to make him known.

This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

Look! My servant whom I have chosen, my beloved, in whom my soul delights, I will send my Spirit upon him, and he will present judgement to the nations;

he will not brawl or cry out, his voice is not heard in the streets,

he will not break the crushed reed, or snuff the faltering wick,

until he has made judgement victorious; in him the nations will put their hope.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just healed a man with a withered hand in the synagogue – on the Sabbath. The Pharisees have no doubts anymore and gather to plot and put him to death. They must silence him at all costs. Jesus realizes this and withdraws to a secluded place. His aim is not to be quiet; in fact, he cures all the sick people brought to him. Rather, he does not want to show off. He has not come among men and women to be praised and admired, as the disciples are sometimes tempted to behave, following the example of the Pharisees. Jesus came to serve all, to save us from the slavery of the devil and of sin. So, through a long quotation from Isaiah he presents himself as a servant, a good, humble, meek servant; not as a strong or powerful man, powerful people are today. The true identity of Jesus, and consequently of all Christians, is considered ruinous and unseemly, hence all men and women try to avoid it. , However, the greatest becomes a servant, because this is the only way to find meaning in and a future for human life. Only if we learn to give, to think of ourselves as being for others, to not be afraid of love, can we find our true “I.” Jesus indeed does not save the world from evil through political action or economic ventures. His commitment is much deeper: evil must be eradicated in depth, from its roots embedded in the heart of men and women. This is why he said that “He will not wrangle or cry aloud,” and “He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick.” The path to change the world is to relieve, with care and mercy, those who lie on the ground; to cure with promptness the wounds of the suffering, to enliven those who are abandoned, to bend down to anyone to fulfil the justice of God. Only if we are servants can we love others: this is the way of humility. This is not wasting our lives. On the contrary, the path of service makes us useful, better, stronger in facing our weakness. It reveals the beauty which is always hidden in our neighbours. Thus, the way of the servant is the way of God, the way of the lowering of a love so belittling that it can wash the feet of others, and die for the salvation of others. This is the path that Jesus revealed to the disciples then and also now. This path leads to our heart, in order to change it, to cure it, to heal it. The change of the world starts from changing our hearts. From this perspective, the Church and Christians are called to work.

Sunday Vigil