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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13, 10-17

Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why do you talk to them in parables?'

In answer, he said, 'Because to you is granted to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not granted.

Anyone who has will be given more and will have more than enough; but anyone who has not will be deprived even of what he has.

The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.

So in their case what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah is being fulfilled: Listen and listen, but never understand! Look and look, but never perceive!

This people's heart has grown coarse, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me.

'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!

In truth I tell you, many prophets and upright people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus often spoke in parables to the people. The disciples didn’t understand why he addressed the crowds this way. Had he not come to speak clearly, to announce the truth in a patent manner? Why now did he use such indirect language? The disciples’ question brings to the surface the distrust -often present in those who follow Jesus—of the one who thinks he knows more. It is a temptation which so many times goes through our mind when we oppose to the Gospel wisdom our natural way of thinking. Jesus makes clear that he speaks in parables to the people not to hide the mystery of the kingdom of heaven but to have it be better understood. They -the disciples—have the privilege of being with him every day and thus have the possibility of getting explanations and immediate corrections. It is not so for the people who hear every so often. The "mystery" is communicated and explained with care and gradually. With pastoral wisdom Jesus suggests prudence and intelligence. The "truth" is not to be yelled out without considering whether it is understood or not. It is a question of love both for the truth and for the people. There should in fact be established a rapport between what should be communicated and the persons whom one is addressing. Jesus -who truly is a lover of the truth and of people—communicates the mystery of love for the Father making use of parables, of instructive images easily understandable in order to bring the truth of the kingdom near to the mind and heart of those who hear, who can thus retain it easily. Jesus quotes Isaiah because he wants them to realize their situation is analogous. Through the language of parables Jesus wants to help his hearers overcome the walls of prejudice which hinder heart and mind from grasping the novelty of the Gospel. To the disciples is given a more direct understanding due to the immediacy and daily character of the meetings with the Lord. And unfortunately, so often, we, the last-minute disciples, forget the richness of the gift which is given to us, and we let hardness of heart prevail over the acknowledgement of love. But Jesus continues to tell us: "But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear" (v. 16). It is a beatitude which we should awaken in ourselves so that we may enjoy the richness which is placed before us. To have visions while the world seeks them with difficulty is a reason to be grateful to the Lord and to his Church.

Memory of the Church

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