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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the prophet Elijah who was taken into heaven and left his mantle to Elisha.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13, 1-9

That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside,

but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore,

and he told them many things in parables. He said, 'Listen, a sower went out to sow.

As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.

Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth;

but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away.

Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.

Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Anyone who has ears should listen!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel presents Jesus along the sea of Galilee, who has to go into a boat due to the very numerous crowd gathered around him. He tells an important parable and, rare in the Gospels, he himself explains it. The deep sense of the parable is clear: one should live by listening to the Gospel and not by one’s own presumptuousness. It is enough to peruse any biblical dictionary to be aware of how central hearing the Word of God is in Jewish and Christian spirituality. This parable gets to the very marrow of revelation. The Lord himself is the sower who casts widely about the seed into the soil of human hearts. He is not a measuring calculator. He seems rather to nourish faith in all types of terrain, no matter what they are like, rocky or full of vegetation, moderately disposed or without any obstacles. All types of soil are important for the sower. There is no soil -no heart, no people, no nation, no group—which this unique sower considers as not worthy of attention. No portion is discarded. The field is the world, even that part of the world which is each one of us. It is not difficult to recognize in the variety of terrains the complexity of the human situations, including those of each of us. Jesus does not wish to divide men and women into categories: good, less good, bad. All, good and bad, mediocre or the best, we all need to receive the seed of the Gospel. And it also happens that in each one of us good moments succeed and alternate with less favourable moments in which to receive the seed, moments of hardening or dissipation. For all one thing is certain: there is need for the sower to work the field, to turn over the clumps, to remove stones, uproot bitter herbs and throw abundant seed. The soil, rocky or good (it almost doesn’t matter), should receive the seed, namely the Word of God. That is always a gift. It is an indispensable gift in order to change, to imitate the heart of the sower. That word, that seed, comes from outside -nay, it must come from outside —but it enters so deeply into the ground that it becomes one thing with it. Our hands, accustomed perhaps to touch things which we hold to be of great value, think little of this small seed. How many times have we considered our traditions and convictions to be much more important than the weak and fragile Gospel word! And yet, just as in the small seed is found the whole force which will give rise to the future plant, so in the Gospel word lies the energy which creates our future and that of the world. What is important is to not oppose it.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday