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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena (†1380); she worked for peace, for the unity of Christians, and for the poor.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6,16-21

That evening the disciples went down to the shore of the sea and got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the sea. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them. The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough. They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming towards the boat. They were afraid, but he said, 'It's me. Don't be afraid.' They were ready to take him into the boat, and immediately it reached the shore at the place they were making for.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

During life’s tempests, it is easy to be afraid and doubtful. Suffering upsets us. Natural disasters leave us speechless. It feels like this when the abyss of evil that seems to seize power over men and women frightens us, causing us to doubt and lose faith in our future. And we could ask ourselves: what kind of humanity is this? This question seems fair to ask in the face of the billowing waves that seem to submerge humanity at the beginning of this millennium, battering at its foundations. Entire peoples, and at times, even ourselves, are immersed in this darkness. We could say that it is the heavy weight of that stone placed over the Lord’s tomb that disconcerted the women who came to anoint Jesus’ dead body. But he is not far from us, even during the dark moments. Jesus walks on the tumultuous waters of life and makes a path through the waves and doubts that assault us and make our life sad and difficult. In truth, we are the ones to forget him or, worse, flee from him, as happens to the apostles that evening. The evangelist writes: “They saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming near the boat, and they were terrified.” Instead of allowing ourselves to be consoled and reassured by the Gospel and by our friends, we often prefer to remain with our fear, a feeling so natural and spontaneous that we recognize as more “ours’ than God’s closeness. But, Jesus’ love for us is much more solid than our fear, even if we prefer to keep clutching the boat of our illusory security, believing proudly that by ourselves we will be able to weather life’s hurricanes. Jesus draws near to the disciples and says to them: “It is I; do not be afraid.” These are the good words that Jesus continues to repeat, even today to his disciples each time that the Gospel is announced. And if we welcome it, as the disciples had done with Jesus, it will always lead us to calm waters. The disciples’ security does not rely on their own strength or experience, but on entrusting themselves to the Lord. It is the Lord who comes to our aid, who gets into our boat and leads us to a safe port.

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