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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 1, 40-45

A man suffering from a virulent skin-disease came to him and pleaded on his knees saying, 'If you are willing, you can cleanse me.'

Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.'

And at once the skin-disease left him and he was cleansed.

And at once Jesus sternly sent him away and said to him,

'Mind you tell no one anything, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your cleansing prescribed by Moses as evidence to them.'

The man went away, but then started freely proclaiming and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but stayed outside in deserted places. Even so, people from all around kept coming to him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

To whom else could this leper go but Jesus? While people were all keeping him aside being afraid of contagion, Jesus welcomed him. It is an emblematic scene that represents how Jesus relates to the weak. The very numerous crowd of all those who still today have no hope for healing or who are kept aside by others for fear of contagion are present in that leper. At times, they are not only individuals, but actually entire peoples who are excluded from development. The leper asked for healing from Jesus, the only one who did not keep him away. Finally, he found the one who did not keep away from the weak and the poor; on the contrary, Jesus welcomed them and went towards them, even to the point of privileging them. Furthermore, Jesus touched that leper who was considered untouchable by the law. And he healed him, giving him back the dignity of the body and that of being able to live with all others without being discriminated. Shouldn’t the many lepers of today find in us, disciples of Jesus, the same trust they put in the young prophet from Nazareth? The evangelist Mark notes that when Jesus saw the leper, he was "moved with pity." This is the origin of the miracle: to be moved with pity for the poor, for the weak, for the sick. That leper intuited that the young prophet had a good heart and was strong: he was the only one, thus, who could save him. Jesus listened to the prayer of the leper and said to him: "I do choose. Be made clean!" And the leprosy left him. The man, now full of joy, could not help spreading the news, and communicated his overwhelming joy. This Gospel scene is announced to us so that we may listen to the cry of the poor as Jesus did, and so that with his help, we may work miracles as well as he did.

Memory of the Church

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