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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

Matthew 6, 24-34

'No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

'That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing!

Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are?

Can any of you, however much you worry, add one single cubit to your span of life?

And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin;

yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these.

Now if that is how God clothes the wild flowers growing in the field which are there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you who have so little faith?

So do not worry; do not say, "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What are we to wear?"

It is the gentiles who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all.

Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God's saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well.

So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

“You cannot serve God and riches,” says Jesus to his disciples. This is a warning for all of us. Jesus is riches personified. (The term “mammon” is the Greek form of the Aramaic “mammona” which means riches). And he does not say this randomly. Riches, in fact, behave like an absolute master which leaves no escape. Riches are truly a dictator even if they do not have a face, or obviously, a soul. An implacable dictatorship steals the soul of those who are subject to it, and is the origin of conflicts, disorder, hatreds and wars which still today continue to make life bitter for men and women. Even God, in a certain sense, is a master who does not allow rivals. But the Lord is love and he asks a free response from us, not an exterior submission. The affirmation of Jesus obviously does not want to put God and riches on the same level. Jesus looks at the human soul and knows that if it loves riches then it will become enslaved by them. But he knows too that if the soul binds itself to God it will grow in love, in justice and in the commitment to fight for the freedom and progress of all—no one excluded, starting from the poorest. For this reason it is not possible to serve God and riches at the same time, the Gospel and money. The heart cannot be divided. God calls us to an exclusive love and He lives this call in the relationship with men and women. He is a jealous God, but not just for himself; he is jealous also for us—he does not accept our being devoured by evil. For this reason, he came down to free Israel from slavery, and with an even stronger love, He sent His son to free us from sin and death. So to trust in the Lord means being free from the slavery of things, knowing that he will not leave us lack for anything. Often we busy ourselves with things of this earth—for “what you will eat or drink... for your body, what you will wear.” We get possessed by these things. The difficulties of work, of a just and deserved compensation often transform into anxiety for us and for those who are close to us. The Lord does not invite people to be idle. “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat” writes the apostle Paul. But it is necessary to remain free from every excess of anxiety in full faith that the Lord God knows our lives and desires good for us. And good does not at all mean a quantity of goods. The Lord is a true Father who takes care of His children and provides for their necessities. The Gospel seems to tell us, “You were born for the Lord. Your life is very close to his heart, more than it is close to your heart. You have been made for him and for your brothers and sisters.” And yet, we think and do little about this fundamental truth, which is the sense of life. And if many remain hungry and naked it is because others do not seek the kingdom of God and its justice, but only their own advantage. The true worry for the disciples, says Jesus, must be that of the Kingdom, that is, the communication of the Gospel, the edification of the community and service to the poor. The disciple that seeks this “justice,” which is that of the Kingdom, is sustained and defended by the Lord throughout life.

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