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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

Matthew 8, 18-22

When Jesus saw the crowd all about him he gave orders to leave for the other side.

One of the scribes then came up and said to him, 'Master, I will follow you wherever you go.'

Jesus said, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.'

Another man, one of the disciples, said to him, 'Lord, let me go and bury my father first.'

But Jesus said, 'Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We often read in the Gospel that people run to Jesus bringing the poor, the sick, and the possessed so that he will heal them. How many evenings in Capernaum became the dawn of a new life for so many sick people! But Jesus did not stay on one shore; he also wanted to go to the other side of the lake, as if to underline the fact that no one should be left without the Gospel, without a word of salvation. As he is preparing to leave, a scribe approaches him, respectfully addresses him with the title of "teacher," and reveals his readiness to follow him. Perhaps he is thinking that it will be enough to spend some time around him, learn a few things, and so belong to a group, with all the advantages that brings in terms of safety and security. In short, he would not have been alone, and he would belong to a respectable group. Jesus immediately responds that following him means living like him, that is, having neither a house nor a place to rest his head, because all of life should be spent for others. He did not come to earth to seek safety and security for himself or for his little circle. The urgency of communicating the Gospel devours him. The root of the Christian vocation can be found within this missionary horizon. Even when the disciple has a place to live, as is the case for most of us, he or she is still called to develop and cultivate passion and interest for the world and for the needs of the Church spread over all Earth. Jesus’ response to the disciple who asks to go and bury his father before following him is equally radical. It is paradoxical. Jesus is not pitiless or heartless. It is not a question of harsh behaviour; it is a question of the absolute primacy of following the Lord.

Memory of the Poor

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday