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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

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 7,31-37

Returning from the territory of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon towards the Lake of Galilee, right through the Decapolis territory.

And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him.

He took him aside to be by themselves, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man's ears and touched his tongue with spittle.

Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, 'Ephphatha,' that is, 'Be opened.'

And his ears were opened, and at once the impediment of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly.

And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they proclaimed it.

Their admiration was unbounded, and they said, 'Everything he does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues to communicate the Gospel in pagan territory. And here too occur scenes analogous to those seen in Galilee. The Gospel, in effect, can (rather, must) be announced everywhere. We could say that it is awaited by all peoples, by all cultures, by all persons. The whole world awaits the Gospel, a word of salvation, a merciful gesture. Jesus’ passing continues to create even in pagan territory that new climate of feasting and hope experienced above all by the sick and the poor, as happened in Galilee. Some pagans, who had heard of the young prophet’s fame as healer, bring to Jesus a deaf-mute. Jesus takes him aside, far from the crowd. The Gospel continues to emphasize that healing of whatever kind, of the body or the heart, always takes place in a direct relationship with Jesus, not in the confusion of the world and much less in an esoteric relationship. There is a need for a personal relationship, direct, with Jesus: one must see him eye to eye, hear his word, even just one (the centurion asks Jesus: "Say but one word and my servant shall be healed"). Even in this case Jesus, after having touched him with his hands, as if to stress the concreteness of the relationship and after having addressed to heaven his prayer, says only one word to that deaf-mute: "Be opened!" and he is cured of his "closedness:" he begins to hear and speak. The crowd’s astonishment is immediate and begins to spread. Jesus would wish them to be quiet. But how is it possible to be mute before the Gospel that saves? True, so often we are mute because we neither see nor hear. Being turned in on oneself impedes the gaze of faith. But if we open our ears to the Gospel and our eyes to the marvels that come from it, we too will cry out like that crowd: "He has done all things well; he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!"

Memory of Jesus crucified

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday