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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 9, 32-38

They had only just left when suddenly a man was brought to him, a dumb demoniac.

And when the devil was driven out, the dumb man spoke and the people were amazed and said, 'Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.'

But the Pharisees said, 'It is through the prince of devils that he drives out devils.'

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and all kinds of illness.

And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Here is another miracle, like the many we read about in the Gospels. Miracles require a brief introduction before they can be understood properly. They not only manifest divine power; they are a sign that life can change, that is possible to be healed, and that it is possible to have a different heart. This is why it is said in the Gospels that Jesus preached and healed. It is the same assignment given to the disciples of that time and at all times, including the present. The Church is sent by Jesus to preach the Gospel and to heal men and women who suffer from all kinds of illness. We need to turn back and question ourselves about the assignment that the Jesus has given us today concerning the "power" (the effective force) to "touch the heart" by preaching the Gospel and to perform miracles of healing. We all know too well how numerous the "wicked and perverse spirits" that control the hearts and minds of many are today. The Gospel presents us with "a demoniac who was mute," a sick man who was no longer able to speak. Jesus gives him back his voice. He truly is the compassionate one, the only one who knows how to be moved by the weak people of this world, and the one who puts other people’s problems ahead of his own. Today, our cities are full of men and women who are mute because they do not know how to speak; they don’t have anyone to whom they can ask questions, reveal their anguish, and express their rights. It is enough to think of the many elderly people who live more and more alone as they advance through the years. We are also mute and deaf when we don’t have anyone to ask us questions, any one to give us back our voices, as Jesus did for that man. Yes, we need to listen to the Gospel to learn how to speak again. Too often, we become mute because we are full of empty words. Everyone who has let his or her heart be touched by the Gospel has learned how to speak again, how to pray, how to exhort, how to forgive, and even how to correct. And we can express our amazement along with the crowd that surrounded Jesus: "Never has anything like this been seen!" There is certainly no lack of opponents, such as the Pharisees of today who try to discredit the Gospel, its believers, and their works of mercy. But Jesus continues his mission, and we are invited to travel through the streets and squares of our cities together with him. With his compassion in our hearts, we will be able to perform "miracles" of mercy. Jesus’ compassion opens our eyes and allows us to see, especially the poor and the weak, and to bend down beside them. Unfortunately, there are few - too few - who compassionately approach the crowds of this world, which are "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." And Jesus continues to say: "The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few!" We need to pray and ask the Father to send labourers of mercy. We will discover that the Lord is inviting us to become labourers for all those who are prey to violence, loneliness, sadness, war, and poverty.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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