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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 5, 43-48

'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy.

But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you;

so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike.

For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much?

And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional?

Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Jesus continues to speak on God’s “justice”, which is different from people’s justice. He recalls the old law of ‘an eye for an eye’ which tried to rule revenge as not to be unlimited and relentless. Hence that law had a role in a society where someone could be killed for whatever reason. But Jesus overturns everything, and not only should we give up revenge, but we should also love our enemies and pray for our persecutors. In a world where even loving relatives and friends is hard, Jesus’ commandment seems to be impossible. But this should be Christian life; for others will recognize us from how we love one another, certainly not from a selfish and self-protecting life that ignores others and sometimes is against them. Jesus tells us, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Often Christians behave exactly as pagans do, as those who do not believe – they love those who reward them, greet those who greet them, care for those who give back to them. In this way Christian life impoverishes and Christians are no more salt of the earth and light of the world. Jesus’ commandment – and it is a commandment that should be added to the Ten Commandments, it is not a simple exhortation – is totally opposed to the usual praxis. It is indeed introduced by “But I say to you.” It is founded in the very love of God the Father, who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” On the contrary, we are used to dividing the world into good and bad people, righteous and unrighteous, behaving with them in different ways. God’s love is universal; He gives everyone the possibility of being his children. We shall be God’s children if we obey the commandment Jesus gave us, for only life in love makes us God’s children. Even though Jesus’ words are difficult, they are full of wisdom. He says to love enemies; if it is hard for us, we should at least pray for them. Yes, at times overcoming enmity is difficult, especially when it lasts for a long time. At least let us pray for those whom we consider enemies. Prayer will make the miracle of reconciliation and of love.

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