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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 17, 20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, he gave them this answer, 'The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation

and there will be no one to say, "Look, it is here! Look, it is there!" For look, the kingdom of God is among you.'

He said to the disciples, 'A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of man and will not see it.

They will say to you, "Look, it is there!" or, "Look, it is here!" Make no move; do not set off in pursuit;

for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of man when his Day comes.

But first he is destined to suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God will come. This is a central theme of Jesus’ preaching. The disciples also ask him a similar question. All in Israel awaited a liberator Messiah. Indeed, at the time of Jesus, this expectation was even stronger, as the disciples, by their insistence, witnessed in the Gospel. All awaited a kingdom similar to that of the powerful of the land. No one realized that with the arrival in human history of that young prophet, the kingdom was already among them. Jesus inaugurated the kingdom of God on earth, but not by “attracting attention” nor by any impressive or spectacular way. In fact, no one can say, “look here,” or, “look there,” because by nature, the kingdom is spiritual and interior, not abstract or ephemeral. It begins with the conversion of hearts that see Jesus as the liberator from sin and death that belong to the kingdom of the devil, the prince of evil. Jesus is “the new time” of salvation. The kingdom of heaven, where love and mercy reign, begins exactly with the arrival on earth of the Son of God: his acts of healing and his preaching contend with evil that always loses more ground until the final defeat that comes through his death and resurrection. For this reason, Jesus can say the kingdom of God “is among you,” that is, among those who listen to his word and put it into practice. Participation in the kingdom, in this dream of a world free from the power of the devil and of evil, implies suffering and pain, beginning with Jesus himself. This is what Jesus means by the words: “The kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mt 11:12). In short, there is a constant struggle between good and evil. Jesus has radically overcome evil, but anyway it continues to backlash. In those days – Jesus directly addresses the disciples and no longer the Pharisees – when the test will be hard, the disciples will want to see “even one day of the Son of Man,” that is, to have some consolation. And there will be none. But this is no reason to leave the Teacher to follow false idols that appear on the scene. They must not look for the Messiah “there” or “here.” Jesus alone is Lord, and he alone must be followed. The Gospel stands firm; it is like “lightning” that “flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other.” The proclamation of he Gospel pierces the darkness of the world and reveals the face of Jesus. Blessed are we if we allow ourselves to be dazzled by this word of salvation and not by empty talk.

Memory of the Church