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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Saint Nicholas (+ 350). He was a bishop in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) and is venerated throughout East.

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

Luke 5,17-26

Now it happened that he was teaching one day, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was there so that he should heal. And now some men appeared, bringing on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. But as they could find no way of getting the man through the crowd, they went up onto the top of the house and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith he said, 'My friend, your sins are forgiven you.' The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. 'Who is this man, talking blasphemy? Who but God alone can forgive sins?' But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, 'What are these thoughts you have in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven you," or to say, "Get up and walk"? But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,' -- he said to the paralysed man-'I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.' And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God. They were all astounded and praised God and were filled with awe, saying, 'We have seen strange things today.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"Seeing their faith," Jesus cured the paralytic, Luke the evangelist notes. The miracle happened because of the faith of the paralysed man’s friends, a faith made of love, tenacity, perseverance, and even cunning. They want to bring their sick friend to Jesus and, when they see the crowd thronged at the door, they even open a hole in the roof so they can place their friend before Jesus. How much we should learn from this attitude! Friendship among us is often empty and superficial. It takes little for us to forget one another. We are so concentrated on ourselves that we put others on the back burner. The friends of that paralytic did not do thus. Doesn’t this page exhort us to take good care of whoever is sick, poor or defenceless? It is a matter of making a kind of covenant between the disciples and the poor, between the disciples and the sick. This unique covenant allows these miracles to take place. The miracle, in fact, begins when that sick man was put at the centre of the scene, a centre which is not only physical, but of the heart. Jesus, on his part, seeing that faith, seeing how great the love of these friends is, heals the sick man fully, even more than they expected. In fact turning to that sick man, Jesus says: "Your sins are forgiven." None of the people present had asked for this. None among the present sought this. If anything they all wanted that man to be healed; thus when Jesus forgives his sins, all react like the Pharisees. But the prophet from Nazareth Jesus goes beyond the body and sees the heart of the paralysed man. Jesus sees his need to be forgiven, welcomed, and loved. And he makes him healthy in body and heart. It is full healing, the one that Isaiah already had seen in a vision and foretold to the people of Israel (35:1-10). We too are called to take part in God’s remarkable plan to bring peace and love to the world. We could transform Jesus’ reply to the "tempter" in the desert: "It is not on bread alone that the poor live, but also on love." And we believers need to keep doing the same thing that that group of friends did. It is beautiful to say that Christians are the friends of the poor, the sick, and the weak. This is where the transformation of the world begins, the world of love that Jesus came to establish on the earth.

Prayer for the Sick

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