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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Ambrose († 397), bishop of Milan. Pastor of his people, he remained strong in the face of the emperor’s arrogance

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 9, 35-10,1.5-8

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness.

And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest.'

He summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to drive them out and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: 'Do not make your way to gentile territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town;

go instead to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.

Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those suffering from virulent skin-diseases, drive out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this Gospel passage, we see Jesus going about all cities and villages “proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” With this phrase, the evangelist synthesizes Jesus’ mission and offers to the Christian communities a clear vision of their mission, following their Master. Matthew adds Jesus’ response to the people: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” It is out of compassion for this tired and helpless crowd that Jesus calls the Disciples and entrusts to them their evangelic mission. God’s compassion for the crowds of this world needs to be made manifest through the Church and every disciple, even today. This Gospel passage continues to question the Christian communities on how they are compassionate to the crowds of this world, to the poor, the elderly, the sick, the prisoners, the gypsies, the immigrants and refugees. Their number is countless. For this reason, Jesus calls his disciples—even us today— to invoke the Father to send forth labourers of mercy: “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few!” Therefore, Jesus himself chooses twelve out of his disciples, one for every tribe of Israel, so that none of them is deprived of the Gospel. Indeed, the disciples are a heterogeneous group of individuals. In the Christian community, what counts is not where we come from, our culture, our race, or our belonging, but only our willingness to follow Jesus’ call. Indeed, the Twelve Apostles are recognized from the others as people who stay with Jesus. From that moment on, they become witnesses of the Gospel and participants in God’s dream: making true the universal fraternity among all peoples. Thus, they receive the power to change hearts, to defeat evil, to gather together with the weak, to love those who despair, and to bring forth the Kingdom of love. This real power does not come from money, from bags, tunics, or earthly things, but from the limitless love that God has poured into their hearts. As Jesus sends them into the world, he tells them, “You received without payment; give without payment.” This is an extraordinary commandment opposed to the mercantile mentality in which people are wrapped up, even today. Christians are called to rediscover and witness to the gratuity of gift that is the essential part of Gospel love. This first mission Matthew describes in his Gospel is emblematic for every Christian generation: there is no other way for Jesus’ disciples. We, too, are called to live literally the passion for the weak that this Gospel page communicates to us.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday