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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

Luke 8, 16-18

'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, it is put on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be made known and brought to light.

So take care how you listen; anyone who has, will be given more; anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he thinks he has.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Word of God is never a seed that remains reserved to a few or worse still remains hidden in the hearts of those who welcome it. By its nature it must grow until the cycle is completed, until it becomes a large tree. Jesus explains this mystery of the Word of God with the example of the lamp. As the light of the lamp does not have the task of illuminating itself but everything which surrounds it, so must the Word of God illuminate every man and every woman. No one must remain in the dark; everyone has the right to the light. Believers are called to show the light of God to men and women of every generation. This is the reason that Christians cannot live for themselves but rather to show to all men and women of all parts of the world, of every historical era, the light of the Gospel. Jesus says: “No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lamp stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” The Gospel was given to us so that we in turn would show it to the men and women of our cities. Every community, every believer, can therefore be compared to that lamp stand of which Jesus speaks, a lamp which must be placed up high so that it allows the light of the Gospel to shine. Obviously, it is not about being seen or one’s own natural wisdom, nor is it about showing our own talents and skills to amaze the people we meet. We must always remember that what counts is to please God, not men and women, as the apostle Paul reminds the Thessalonians (1Thess 2:4). The believer is asked to manifest the Word of the Lord, not his or her word. Jesus points out that for this the disciple is called above all to welcome the Word of God in his or her heart: “Then pay attention to how you listen.” Whoever does not listen in fact cannot transmit anything of God, but only what is his or hers. But that person will be like a light that has been turned off and has no life. Whoever allows his or her heart to be taught by the Word of God will have a heart that is full of divine wisdom; that person will bear good fruit both for himself and for all. And this is the meaning of Jesus’ words: “To who has, much will be given,” or, who welcomes the Gospel in the heart will receive abundant wisdom. Gregory the Great says: “The Scriptures grow with whoever reads them,” uniting in this way the interior growth of the disciple with the attentive use of Scripture. It will not be like that for whoever has a heart that is closed to the Word: they will remain in darkness because they are full only of themselves and their own sadness. “To who does not have, much will be taken even that which he believed he had.” Yes, those who do not pay attention to the Gospel Word, will feel their heart evermore closed and will live without any more light. The Word of God, instead, if welcomed with faith in one’s heart, transforms us and makes us men and women able to offer a light to whoever lives in darkness.

Memory of the Poor