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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 14, 1-6

Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.

Now there in front of him was a man with dropsy,

and Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees with the words, 'Is it against the law to cure someone on the Sabbath, or not?'

But they remained silent, so he took the man and cured him and sent him away.

Then he said to them, 'Which of you here, if his son falls into a well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a Sabbath day without any hesitation?'

And to this they could find no answer.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today’s Gospel begins with the discourse of Jesus to diners at a banquet held at the home of one of the leaders of the Pharisees where he had been invited. The invitation, to tell the truth, rather than honouring Jesus, was intended to spy on him and catch him in error. Quite different was the attitude of the crowds, however, who flocked to Jesus to listen to him and be freed from the countless slavery that made their lives bitter. Jesus, however, does not reject the invitation even though he is well aware of the intentions of the Pharisee. It was the Sabbath day, and while he is at the table, a man with dropsy enters and instead of begging as often happened in these festive occasions, he heads straight to the young master. As soon as Jesus sees him, he asks those present whether it is lawful or not heal on the Sabbath day. The question is obviously rhetorical; however he does not receive any response from the diners: “But they were silent,” the evangelist notes to emphasize their embarrassment. Without interposing time waiting for the answer, Jesus heals the sick man; “Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away.” It is full of meaning that Jesus took him. We are not facing a healer of wonderful things, rather we are in front of a man who wants to lend a hand, who wants to raise those who are sick and restore dignity to those who are excluded. And there is hurry in healing. We could say that it appears in the same fast sequence of the story: He took him, healed him and sent him away. The poor cannot wait for the disputes and debates about them or about their condition. The love and compassion for them do not tolerate any waiting and should not know any delay. How much distance between this way of acting of Jesus and that of people, even today, in taking care of the weak! And often there is not only the delay, but the absence of the aid. At last, however, Jesus, the compassionate, the merciful came in human history. It is the third miracle, after that of the man with the withered hand and the bent woman, that Jesus performed on the Sabbath. For him, the Sabbath is truly a day of celebration, the day in which the goodness, mercy and love of God for people, especially for the most vulnerable, manifest fully. For us Christians, Sunday should be experienced in this way, the day of resurrection, the day on which creation is freed from evil and renewed in love.

Memory of Jesus crucified