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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of St. John Chrysostom (“golden mouth”), bishop and doctor of the Church (349-407). The most common liturgy of the Byzantine Church takes its name from him

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 6, 43-49

'There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit.

Every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles.

Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart.

'Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord" and not do what I say?

'Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them -- I will show you what such a person is like.

Such a person is like the man who, when he built a house, dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built.

But someone who listens and does nothing is like the man who built a house on soil, with no foundations; as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus concludes his speech to the disciples and the crowds. He transitions to the image of the good tree that bears good fruits. The intent of the image is to describe how the life of a disciple and the Christian community should be. The conclusion is immediate and obvious, and we could say that the image speaks for itself: if a tree is bad, then it will bear bad fruit, and so it is for us and for Christian communities. Jesus’ invitation to pay attention to the fruits we can show, both personally and as a community, is obvious. The quality of the fruits will reveal whether or not our lives are tied to the Gospel. The Letter of James, in a way commenting on this Gospel passage, says: “Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? Can a fig tree, my brothers and sisters, yield olives, or a grapevine figs? No more can salt water yield fresh” (3:11-12). With these words, Jesus reveals the essential link between the Gospel and the heart of the disciple. It is in the heart that we wage the hard battle between good and evil, between faith and pride, and therefore between being “good” and bad”. We must not forget that none of us is exempt from sin, weakness, or even inner poverty. However, Jesus’ word requires a conversion of the heart. Our behaviours and the very character of our life depend on the heart. Jesus says, “The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil.” And in another passage he says, “For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come” (Mk 7:21). Obviously, thus, from a good heart come good intentions and good actions. Every disciple’s commitment should be concentrating on changing one’s heart by first eradicating evil instincts, narrow mindedness, self-absorption, and, above all, pride, which leads to a false sense of self-sufficiency. And then, the disciples need to build up their own interiority by listening faithfully to the Gospel on “the knees of the Holy Mother Church,” as Saint Augustine used to like to say. Building one’s life and of the Christian community starts with attentive listening to the Word of God and letting its words settle into our hearts so that they can produce good fruits. Jesus intentionally closes his very important sermon to the crowds and to his disciples by telling the parable of the house built on rock. The words of the Gospel, accepted and put into practice every day, are like the foundation for a house that grows day by day. The Gospel must nourish our lives, thoughts, decisions and actions every day. It is not enough to listen to it just once. It is essential that we nourish ourselves with the Word of God put it into practice with humility and with daily perseverance. This is what is meant by “digging deeply and laying the foundation on the rock.” It is not enough to listen superficially and extemporaneously. We need to “pour” the words of the Gospel, like casting metal, into the depths of our hearts and days. But when we let our thoughts prevail over those of Jesus,’ we construct our days and our very life on ground with no foundation. We cannot lay any other foundation than that of the Gospel. And, because the Gospel is not a dead foundation, but a living stone, it that builds up our lives and firms them up against the impetuous river of evil that continues to flow against 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