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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Monday of the Angel

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

Matthew 28, 8-15

Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples.

And suddenly, coming to meet them, was Jesus. 'Greetings,' he said. And the women came up to him and, clasping his feet, they did him homage.

Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; there they will see me.'

Now while they were on their way, some of the guards went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened.

These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed a considerable sum of money to the soldiers

with these instructions, 'This is what you must say, "His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep."

And should the governor come to hear of this, we undertake to put things right with him ourselves and to see that you do not get into trouble.'

So they took the money and carried out their instructions, and to this day that is the story among the Jews.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Church does not want us to leave Easter but rather urges us to remain in the day of the resurrection. The women have just received the news of the resurrection from the angel who invites them to go immediately to the disciples. “So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples” (v.8). While they run toward the house where the disciples were, Jesus goes towards them and says to those women almost the same words of the angel: “Do not be afraid, go tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see me.” The Teacher wants the Gospel of the resurrection to be announced to his disciples that he calls “his brothers”, as if to underline the desire of a new familiarity with them. This invitation goes for all of the disciples so that starting from the resurrection they experience a renewed fraternity, as it was in the beginning in Galilee. Easter must represent a new rebirth for all the disciples. Nevertheless, there are those who would like to block Easter and its force for change so that everything will remain the same as always. The evangelist narrates that the religious leaders, fearful of the guards’ account, bribe them with money and convince them to lie, saying that the disciples had taken the body of Jesus while they were asleep. The Gospel presents two opposing accounts: that of two poor women against that of the more credible guards to the eyes of authorities. The world—that is, those who eliminated Jesus and his Gospel—want the tombs sealed; lies and corruption serve it well so that the news of Jesus’ resurrection will not spread. The prince of evil is willing to do anything so that the liberating Gospel of the victory of life over death, of the power of an irresistible love for others may not be revealed. Since that first Easter, anyone who announces this news may be dragged before kings and judges to be condemned. And unfortunately today there are many Christians who suffer because of Easter. This is the significance of the attacks that at times strike Christians while they gather for the Sunday celebration. In our world there is a culture of death that continues to appear in every way and that strikes Christians at their heart, that of Easter. This culture of death encourages the contempt for all life. The culture of death drugs the living, brutalizes them, and snuffs them out, so that they become slaves. The culture of death justifies the market of death: food is hidden from the hungry, drugs are given to those in despair, and weapons are sold to the angry. And people die, people die all over the world, by different ways, we may believe for different reasons. But the design is the same: that of the culture of death that wants men and women from an early age to be ignorant and self-centred slaves. Intimidation and corruption want to silence the Gospel of life. They were not able to silence the Lord Jesus, so they killed him. They also want to silence his disciples. Let us not be afraid! The Gospel of Easter shows us that even two poor women, completely obedient to the Gospel, are enough to overcome the intrigue of the religious leaders and to put into motion in history the dynamism of love of Jesus’ resurrection.

Prayer for the Sick