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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 6, 6-11

Now on another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was present, and his right hand was withered.

The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure somebody on the Sabbath, hoping to find something to charge him with.

But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, 'Get up and stand out in the middle!' And he came forward and stood there.

Then Jesus said to them, 'I put it to you: is it permitted on the Sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?'

Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He did so, and his hand was restored.

But they were furious and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke’s Gospel continues with the dispute over the Sabbath. Jesus is still in the synagogue and, as usual, begins to teach. Among those present there is also a man with a paralysed hand. The evangelist says nothing about the man’s attitude, whether he had come to be healed. Certainly having the right hand paralysed did not make it easy to work. In him, in any case, we can see all who today are excluded from labour, whether because they are sick or because they have lost their work or there is none to be had. And today, unfortunately, their number has grown and they are often forgotten in their very sad state. The Pharisees were also in the synagogue, and they too become aware of the presence of this man. The evangelist suggests that in fact the Pharisees were waiting for Jesus to perform a miracle, not so they could rejoice in the man’s healing, but rather so they could accuse Jesus. It is a distortion of the heart which is born out of the desire to defend oneself and one’s own role. These are feelings we all know well. If we then apply this page to today’s labour market we find that often profit and earnings take the first place, rather than the dignity of the labourer. Accidents at work are extremely numerous everywhere, and at times fatal, precisely because what is of most concern is not the labourer’s dignity, but profits. Jesus, calling the paralysed man to place himself at the centre, reminds us of the centrality of the human being, above all when he is weak, poor, ill. These are the ones we should put at the centre of our attention, as happened with that man on that Saturday. There was need of Jesus who, with a clear order, as if to indicate the decision to be used in such cases, said to the man: "Get up and place yourself in the middle." And, with the authority of the love which comes from God, Jesus clarifies that the "Sabbath" is imposed by the Law for humanity’s good. This is why, after having looked deep into the heart of those present, he turned to the man with the paralysed hand and told him: "Stretch out your hand!" The man obeys and is healed. It seems that we can hear the echo of God’s words during the days of creation when the world would take shape as he spoke. On that Sabbath Jesus was continuing the work of creation by restoring the man’s energy to work. To give work today to the unemployed means to heal many from sadness and desperation. To defend the dignity of those who work and not make them into pawns for gain is to heal an inhuman condition. Every time men and women are able to work with dignity we can repeat the very works of Genesis: "And God saw that it was good." Only those who are blind in their hearts like the Pharisee of that time and of today, are saddened by what occurred that Sabbath.

Prayer for the Sick

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