Riccardi Andrea: on the web

Riccardi Andrea: on social networks

change language
you are in: home - prayer - the everyday prayer contacting usnewsletterlink

Donation Topbar


The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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 19, 41-44

As he drew near and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it

and said, 'If you too had only recognised on this day the way to peace! But in fact it is hidden from your eyes!

Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will encircle you and hem you in on every side;

they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you, because you did not recognise the moment of your visitation.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Having reached the end of his journey Jesus is before Jerusalem. Seeing the city he has longed for, he bursts into tears; the Greek term éclausen expresses the strength of Jesus’ cry. Before his eyes appears the holy city, the desired destination of every Israelite, the symbol of people’s unity, a city which is much more than a simple capital. And Jerusalem is betraying the calling inscribed in its name: “City of peace.” Injustice and violence run through its streets, the poor are abandoned and the weak are oppressed; above all, the city is about to reject the “prince of peace” who has come to visit her. The inhabitants of Jerusalem will not want him inside the walls. “He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him,” writes John in the prologue of his Gospel. How could Jesus not cry? Let’s reflect well here. Jesus is not crying for himself, he is not crying because he is not welcomed, he is not crying because they do not recognize his qualities. That is what we do. Jesus, however, cries over his city—as he cries over countless cities today—because they reject peace and justice, because the hardness of hearts of the inhabitants makes life bitter for everyone; because the weak are rejected and abandoned; because violence and conflict prevail over solidarity and harmony. Yes, the cry of Jesus is for the whole people of a city abandoned and prey to violence. And it is a cry that continues today, when in cities everywhere we see an increased level of violence and injustice which penalizes the weak most of all. At the beginning of this century, for the first time in history, the urban population of the world rose above that of the rural. Unfortunately, however, inhumanity has also risen among men and women in cities, which even in the way they are structured, seem to divide the rich from the poor, the healthy from the weak. This Gospel passage must help believers to feel more responsible for living together in our cities, to have more care for it, to have the life of the weak more at heart and to commit themselves to promote spaces that are more human, more beautiful and hospitable—for all. As believers, we should stay next to Jesus as he weeps over our cities because he knows well what their end will be if they do not welcome the Gospel of love: there will not be one stone upon another. Jesus’ love for our cities is grand, and though knowing that death awaits him, he decides in any case to enter the city—almost forcing the walls—to offer his own life for the salvation of men and women. Jesus does not escape, as the disciples have often urged him to; instead, he enters the city to save it even if this will cost him his life. He really has a love without limits for each of us, but also for all of society. And he also knows—his resurrection attests to this—that love is stronger than any violence, and stronger than the ultimate violence, that is, death.

Memory of the Church