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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

John 10,1-10

'In all truth I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a bandit.

He who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock;

the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out.

When he has brought out all those that are his, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice.

They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not recognise the voice of strangers.'

Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus spoke to them again: In all truth I tell you, I am the gate of the sheepfold.

All who have come before me are thieves and bandits, but the sheep took no notice of them.

I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: such a one will go in and out and will find pasture.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this Gospel passage, Jesus refers to himself as the "good pastor" who gathers the scattered sheep and guides them along God’s path.  The image may seem ancient, but the dispersion of men and women in the world in which we live is extremely current.  Individualism, nestled in the heart of every person, today seems even stronger than yesterday: society has become all the more competitive, aggressive, and cruel.  The push toward disaggregation seems much stronger than the one toward solidarity: individuals, as well as peoples, pursue their interests over and against those of others.  Distances seem to grow wider and conflicts more numerous.  The dream for equality is even considered dangerous.  And even the value of not having to depend on anyone or to be influenced or conditioned by anyone else is exalted.  In this climate, "thieves" and "bandits" - the ones who steal life from others for their personal gain - increase and multiply.  The dictatorship of the market spares no one.  And the weakest are the most penalized and violated.  There is a need for a "good pastor" who knows his sheep and saves them, one by one, leading them to safe pastures and taking care that all can sufficiently nourish themselves.  Too many people, however, are the "thieves" and "bandits" who continue to steal life.  And unfortunately, all run the risk of becoming their accomplices.  Each time we enclose ourselves in our egocentrism, not only are we prey to them, but we also become accomplices to their stealing.  Saint Ambrose noted with good reason: "How many masters end up having those who refuse the one Lord!"  Jesus, the good pastor, gathers us from our dispersion and guides us toward a common destiny; and, if needed, he goes to personally take whoever is lost and lead them back to the fold.  In order to do this, he does not fear passing through death, if necessary; he is certain that the Father gives life back to whoever spends it generously for others.  This is the miracle of Easter.  The risen Jesus is the gate that opens so that we may enter into eternal life.  Jesus does not rob us of our life; on the contrary, he gives it to us abundantly, multiplied for eternity.

Memory of the Poor

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