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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 9, 1-6

He called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases,

and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

He said to them, 'Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and do not have a spare tunic.

Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave let your departure be from there.

As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as evidence against them.'

So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The evangelist Luke summarizes, in this passage, the first part of the missionary discourse of Jesus to the Twelve - in a few days we will hear the other part turned instead to the seventy. The Gospel passage begins with the call of Jesus, “called the Twelve.” At the origin of the mission of the Church and of every disciple there is always Jesus’ initiative. It is he who calls men and women to follow him and then send them on a mission. No one can lay claim to such a task. The disciple is such because is called. There is a “before” in the life of the believer that is God’s. Only after the call of the Lord the believer can choose to follow him. Following him does not happen in a vacuum; it is not realized in the choice of one’s own realization or in the implementation of one’s own project. Jesus’ call to follow him is connected to the design of love that he came to inaugurate on earth. In fact, immediately after the call there follows the envoy to the world with “the power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.” The Twelve are not sent to teach a new doctrine, but to establish a new kingdom, to achieve the liberation of men and women from the slavery of sin and death. Jesus gives them power over “all” demons. Yes, all forms of slavery must be driven out. The proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom begins with the facts, that is, with clear events of liberation, with obvious signs of a new time, a time of mercy, love, justice and peace. Christian faith is not an ideology opposed to others; it is not a thought for particular people, perhaps for some heroes of asceticism. Faith is transforming: it changes the hearts of those who choose to respond precisely to Jesus’ call. A new story springs from new hearts. Christian faith does not close up people in a stingy individualism. On the contrary it pushes humanity to transform history in order to make the kingdom of love that Jesus came to inaugurate closer. The Twelve - Luke notes – “departed and went through villages.” We could say that in those days the journey of the Church to expand the space of the Kingdom in this world of ours started. Every believer is called to join in the long wake of Jesus’ disciples to fight the same battle and to communicate the same Gospel. This mission requires us to strip of ourselves and of our being self-centred and to become servants of the one mission of Jesus that crosses centuries. Already in this page we can breathe an anxiety that impels the disciples to go from house to house, from village to village, from town to town, so that no one may be deprived of the Gospel and of the liberation of evil.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets