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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, 47-53

'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that is cast in the sea and brings in a haul of all kinds of fish.

When it is full, the fishermen bring it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in baskets and throw away those that are no use.

This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright,

to throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

'Have you understood all these?' They said, 'Yes.'

And he said to them, 'Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of Heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom new things as well as old.'

When Jesus had finished these parables he left the district;


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues to speak in parables, announcing that the time when God’s love will reign and the violence of evil will be defeated is at hand. This time will come through God’s initiative, but the participation of men and women is essential to its coming. In his parable Jesus employs the image of a fishing net. A fishing net was usually very large and men dropped it into the water in a semicircle and dragged it to shore. Jesus says that this net catches a large quantity of fish. He wants to underline that the Kingdom of God is large and encompasses all people without distinction. Jesus says: "When it was full, they drew it ashore." The net must be full before drawing it ashore—an image that communicates the generosity and greatness of Jesus’ love. As in the parable of the sower, the seed is generously sown without picking the terrain. This generosity so exceeds our narrow and egocentric measures, which are often lazy and stingy. The Lord’s Kingdom wants to gather everyone. The Lord’s largess of heart invites us at the beginning of this new millenium not to be stingy in casting the net wide, in communicating the Gospel all the way to the ends of the earth. Jesus continues, saying that, once the net is full of fish, then it is drawn ashore. And now begins the separation, the judgment: the good fish from the bad ones. This image calls to mind the parable of the weeds in the field, stressing the final moment when the good and bad are separated. The same will happen to the sheep and goats, as Matthew tells in the final judgement, when we will be judged on love. At the end, Jesus asks if the disciples understood. He wants his words not to pass without sinking deep into their hearts. He knows that these words are their salvation. He says that if they understand the meaning of the Kingdom of Heaven they will become scribes of the new law, acquiring the wisdom that comes from the Gospel, but knowing also to value the "old treasure", which comes from simple human wisdom.

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