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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

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 6, 30-34

The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.

And he said to them, 'Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while'; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat.

So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.

But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.

So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him what they had done and taught. It is a beautiful picture depicting the familiarity of the apostles with Jesus and the joy of being able to tell him what had happened. In chapter 10, Luke emphasizes the joy of those seventy-two Jesus had sent in mission when they tell Jesus as their word had defeated evil. Mission gives joy. When we accept to go out of ourselves to the peripheries of the world, as Pope Francis would say, to communicate the word and mercy of Jesus, we experience a great joy and inner peace. But this joy must be consolidated. The power of the word of Jesus that changes, heals and saves us from evil, needs moments spent with Jesus. Otherwise it remains a passing enthusiasm. How often we get excited for something that went well and then we get discouraged once again. Sometimes we lack the basics, the fundamentals. We lack the sap that gives life to the action of Christians. So we end up being dominated by the moment, by our feelings, by success or failure. We get excited and then again we get depressed or discouraged. This is why for Jesus it is not sufficient that things went well so he says to his disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” That rest is the rest of listening and prayer. “Come away” is Jesus’ daily call to be with him. When Jesus “calls” the Twelve, the group of the apostles, he says that first of all they had to “be with him”: “And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles,* to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15and to have authority to cast out”(Mk 3:14-15). Being with Jesus is the first task of anyone who is called to be a disciple. Every initiative that has no foundation in listening and prayer, although beautiful, will not bring with it the strength that comes from being with Jesus. This is why we must ask ourselves how much of our days we spend with the Lord in prayer, meditation on the Word of God, before the Eucharist. The Church offers us many ways to “be with Jesus.” And we should not say we do not have time, because we always have time for ourselves. Only those who are with him have the bread needed to feed the multitude of the needy of our world, otherwise they will remain powerless and without answers.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 22 January
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 23 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 24 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 25 January
Memory of the Apostles
Friday, 26 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 27 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 28 January
Liturgy of the Sunday