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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Ireneus, bishop of Lyon and martyr (130-202); he went to France from Anatolia to preach the Gospel.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 8, 23-27

Then he got into the boat followed by his disciples.

Suddenly a storm broke over the lake, so violent that the boat was being swamped by the waves. But he was asleep.

So they went to him and woke him saying, 'Save us, Lord, we are lost!'

And he said to them, 'Why are you so frightened, you who have so little faith?' And then he stood up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

They were astounded and said, 'Whatever kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus is in the boat with his disciples travelling to the other shore of the lake, and after a little while, he falls asleep. All of the sudden - as often happens on that lake when the wind blows from the northeast - a storm blows in. The boat is tossed about by the waves while Jesus continues to sleep. He disciples are seized by fear and are even more surprised by the fact that Jesus continues to sleep. It seem like he doesn’t care about them at all. They wake him up and shout: "Lord, save us! We are lost!" It is a cry of desperation but also of faith; its essence is not far from the simple prayer with which we begin the Eucharistic liturgy every Sunday: "Lord, have mercy!" It is the same prayer that Peter addresses to Jesus when he is seized by fear and the threat of sinking. Jesus reaches out his hand and pulls him to safety. Sometimes, prayer is really a cry of desperation, as if to wake up the Lord, who seems to us to be sleeping. How many people are caught in the storm and don’t have anything else to hold onto except a cry for help? This simple cry is close to our condition; it is very human and it accurately describes our little faith. Jesus wakes up and rebukes the disciples for having little faith. They should have known that while they were with the Lord, they did not have to fear any evil. We sing in psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me" (4). When compared with Jesus’ tranquillity, which is based on his full trust in the Father who does not abandon him, we and the disciples, truly have little faith. Nonetheless, we would do well to imitate the disciples’ cry when the storm assails us. Because even in this case, Jesus stands straight up in the boat and, facing the winds and the stormy seas, rebukes them, and "there was a dead calm." One word from Jesus, and the sea withdraws. Those who were witnesses to this scene - the evangelist seems to suggest this not only included the disciples, but also those who might have been watching from the shore - were amazed. The disciple (and conversion) is born from the amazement of seeing that Jesus’ word calms every storm in life, even when it seems there is no way to avoid sinking.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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