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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 21, 5-11

When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, he said,

'All these things you are staring at now -- the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another; everything will be destroyed.'

And they put to him this question, 'Master,' they said, 'when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that it is about to take place?'

But he said, 'Take care not to be deceived, because many will come using my name and saying, "I am the one" and "The time is near at hand." Refuse to join them.

And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be terrified, for this is something that must happen first, but the end will not come at once.'

Then he said to them, 'Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines in various places; there will be terrifying events and great signs from heaven.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We are in the last week of the liturgical year. Thus the Holy Liturgy introduces the text of Jesus’ discourse on the end times, called the eschatological discourse. In reality, Luke, together with Matthew and Mark, want to communicate what they learned by being close to Jesus, namely, that the “last days” have already begun with the very coming of the prophet of Nazareth. In this sense we do not have to postpone the moment of conversion to the Gospel until the end times, or better, to wait until the right moment which may never arrive. The moment to believe in the Gospel has already come; it is this moment. We should not lose it by hiding behind our troubles or by deferring it. The decision to follow Jesus should not be postponed. Either we make it now, or we risk losing it forever. Jesus says then that the future and salvation are not guaranteed by the magnificent construction of the temple, nor in our human constructions, even if they are religious, but only in complete faith in Him and in the choice to follow him. Faith, in fact, is not simply an adherence to abstract truths. Faith is falling in love with Jesus, allowing oneself to be overtaken by his love and to be involved in his project of love for the world. This faith, full of love and existential involvement, is the true solid rock on which the present and future of our life should be built. It is necessary then to watch out for false prophets, for those outside us, such as the fashion and habits of this world, but also of those hidden in the hearts of each of us, such as habits, pride, love of self. Such false prophets should be rejected. The only teacher of our lives, the only Lord that saves us is Jesus, and the Gospel is the only prophet that illuminates our days. It is exactly the strength of the Gospel that stops us from resigning ourselves to evil, from accepting the present situation without hope in a more humane future. How many times do we hear that the world has always been like this and we cannot do anything! Such resignation becomes dramatic if we consider the tragedies that continue to afflict our planet. Still today there are peoples who battle each other; violence which afflicts entire populations and which continues to claim victims, or even other horrible events that cause fear. But in front of this world that cannot make peace, the Lord asks us to be workers of peace and witnesses of hope in a future salvation. Faith is choosing to walk with Jesus in the certainty that the strength of the resurrection will bend the prince of this world, and the force of evil will be conquered by the power of the Lord’s love.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord