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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of Saints Cyrillus and Methodius, fathers of the Slavic Church and patrons of Europe.

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 10, 1-9

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself would be visiting.

And he said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to do his harvesting.

Start off now, but look, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

Take no purse with you, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.

Whatever house you enter, let your first words be, "Peace to this house!"

And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you.

Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.

Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is put before you.

Cure those in it who are sick, and say, "The kingdom of God is very near to you."


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today the Church remembers the Saints Cyril, a monk, and Methodius, a bishop, two brothers from Thessalonica. Sent by the Byzantine Church on mission to the Slavs, they translated the Bible and created a liturgy in the Slavonic language, convinced that the Word of God was the foundation of all sturdy ecclesial structures. Caught up in the ecumenical difficulties between the East and the West, they sought dialogue with Rome, where Cyril died, while Methodius was consecrated bishop and sent back to the Slavs as an apostolic legate. On account of their work, John Paul II named both men patrons of Europe, along with Saint Benedict. These two brothers remind us of the urgency of the Church’s mission and particularly highlight the passage we have just heard from the Gospel of Luke. It is Jesus’ second missionary sermon. While the first was addressed to the twelve (9:1-6), as if to gather together all of Israel, now the object of his exhortation is the mission of the seventy-two disciples whose number (cf. Gen 10) symbolizes all the people of the earth. Luke places this speech at the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. The universal dimension of preaching is not something extra; it is an integral part of the mission Jesus entrusts to his disciples. In fact, he himself notes that "the harvest is plentiful," truly abundant, and the labourers are few. There is a disproportion between the great work of evangelisation and the small number of disciples. The Lord knows this well. So he tells the disciples to pray not just for the Father to send labourers but for their labour to be successful. It is not light or easy work. It will have to overcome obstacles, barriers, hatred, and dangers: "See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves." They are not called to stay in the same old places or continue with the same old habits, even religious ones. The disciples are by their nature missionaries, that is, communicators of the Gospel, sent to prepare the hearts of men and women to welcome Jesus. As happened at Jesus’ time, Cyril and Methodius were also sent two by two. There is a beautiful saying of Gregory the Great on this subject: Jesus sent them two by two so that their first preaching would be their love for each other. Love, in fact, is the strength of the disciples, those of yesterday and those of today. The Lord’s love conquers the "wolves" of this world, as Francis of Assisi did with the "wolf" of Gubbio. The strength of Jesus’ disciples does not come from their equipment: they should bring nothing with them other than the Gospel and the Lord’s love. With this baggage, which is both weak and strong, they will be able to travel along the roads of this world, testifying to "the one who sent them." They need to announce the kingdom of God in every city and indeed in every house and demonstrate it by healing evil: "Cure the sick... and say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you."

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