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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 4, 24-30

And he went on, 'In truth I tell you, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

'There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah's day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land,

but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a town in Sidonia.

And in the prophet Elisha's time there were many suffering from virulent skin-diseases in Israel, but none of these was cured -- only Naaman the Syrian.'

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged.

They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him off the cliff,

but he passed straight through the crowd and walked away.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Gospel we have heard begins with what Jesus said to his fellow Nazarenes: "No prophet is accepted in the prophet’s home town." And he said it because he experiences it first-hand. Why don’t they accept his word in Nazareth? The answer is simple: the Nazarenes’ hearts are full of pride and they are full of themselves. They could not accept that a fellow countryman could speak with authority to their hearts. There was no room for anyone beyond themselves. Only one who is needy and humble is ready to receive Jesus’ word. If one is satiated with oneself or one’s own convictions, one neither asks nor listens. One remains where one is, with oneself. The examples of Elijah who, among all the widows, only went to the widow of Zarephath, and of Elisha, who only healed Naaman the Syrian, show how God acts. The Lord sends his prophets to all, but generally only the poor and weak and, in any case, those who let their hearts be touched hear their words. In effect, after Jesus explained the Scriptures in reference to his own actions that came from on High, the Nazarenes rebelled and tried to throw him down the cliff. It is what happens each time we close the door of our heart to the Gospel words, each time we consider them foreign to us or perhaps too demanding and thus inapplicable. Each time the dramatic scene in Nazareth is therefore repeated: we thrown the invitation to change our hearts and welcome Jesus as our lives’ true friend and only Saviour down the cliff of our pride.

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