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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memorial of St. Anthony of the caves of Kiev (†1073). Father of Russian monasticism, with St. Theodosius he is considered the founder of the monastery of the caves

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13, 1-9

That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside,

but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore,

and he told them many things in parables. He said, 'Listen, a sower went out to sow.

As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.

Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth;

but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away.

Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Anyone who has ears should listen!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel portrays Jesus along the Sea of Galilee, forced to get into a boat, because of the large crowds gathered around him. He tells an important parable and explains it himself, as rarely happens in the Gospels. The meaning of the parable is clear: we need to live from listening to the Gospel, not from our presumption. The sower goes out to sow, and sows the seed widely. Apparently he does not choose the ground: in fact, a lot of seeds get wasted. Only those which fall on rich soil produce fruit. Jesus compares himself to the sower, even if he does not say exactly that. Unlike us, he is generous in sowing. That sower does not carefully calculate; moreover, he trusts the ground that looks more like a path of rocks than a rich and ploughed field. The sower sows everywhere, in the hope that the seed would produce fruit. All ground, indeed, is important to the sower. No piece of land is unworthy; no part of it is rejected. The ground is the world, even that portion of world that each of us represents. In the variety of soils, we can easily recognize the complexity of some situations in the world, and even in our life. Jesus does not want to sort people into two categories, those who represent the rich ground and those who represent the bad. Each of us contains all the different kinds of soil described in the Gospel. One day we might be more rocky, one day less. Another day we welcome the Gospel, but we then fall away when some temptation comes; yet, another day we hear and bear fruit. One thing is certain: it is necessary that the sower reach the ground, digs out the clumps, removes the rocks, uproots the bitter grass and sows the seeds widely. The ground, either rocky or rich, has to receive the seed, that is the Word of God, a gift indeed. Despite being sown from above, the seed penetrates the ground so deeply that it blends with it. Our hands underestimate the value of this small seed, since they are used to touch things that we consider more valuable. How often we have considered our traditions and convictions more worthy than the weak and fragile word of the Gospel! However, as the little seed contains a powerful energy to grow into a plant, so the power of building our and our world’s future is in the Gospel. What matters is not to hinder it.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets