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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

Luke 6, 12-19

Now it happened in those days that he went onto the mountain to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.

When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them 'apostles':

Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,

Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot,

Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples, with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon

who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured,

and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In the Gospels we know of the call of five of the twelve apostles, but we don’t know anything about the vocation of the other seven. We could say that this Gospel scene fills a gap. Jesus chooses his closest co-operators who are to help him proclaim the Gospel to the world. The initiative, however, comes from the Father. Jesus, in fact, does not do anything without the Father. That is why, before making such a decision, he spends the entire night in prayer. For Jesus, and much more so for every Christian community, prayer is at the beginning of every choice and every action. We could say that prayer is the first work that Jesus accomplishes; prayer is the work that stands as the foundation of all other activities. It should be so in the life of each Christian community. When morning came, Jesus called those whom he wished to his side, one by one, by name. The community of Jesus’ disciples, each Christian community, is not anonymous; it is not a mere assembly made up of people without names and without love. We all know even through personal experience the sadness of loneliness, the anguish of not being called by name, as if we are each to be abandoned to our own fates. The community of Jesus is made up not of anonymous persons, but of brothers and sisters who know each other and call one another by name. This means that friendship and fraternity are the essence of communion. But this does not come simply from us; it is not the fruit of mutual liking. It flows out of Jesus’ call, out of obedience to his Word. We are given a new name, different from the one we have always had; it is given by Jesus himself. That is, Jesus gives us a new heart, a new task, a new history. Simon is called Peter, which means rock and foundation. The Gospel calls every disciple to a new vocation to build a new world. Each disciple, therefore, receives a new name and a new life more industrious and more dedicated to the service of love and the construction of a more just world. Jesus, after just having constituted the group of the Twelve, comes down from the mountain and immediately finds himself before a large crowd of people that had come from everywhere. For Jesus this was a rather customary scene and now, with his new disciples, he could better attend to the numerous demands and expectations of the people. This Gospel image should be applied to every Christian community. Each of us should see the multitudes of this world, the people of our own neighbourhoods, our own cities and of those farther away. All these should be present before our eyes. All, in fact, are tired, ill, needy, and often forgotten. And they should run towards us, as they ran to Jesus. From Jesus and his Gospel came a great power, a great energy which helped them to change their lives. Something similar also happens to us when we communicate the Gospel and live it with deeds of love and mercy. The crowds, seeing the Gospel visible in the Christian communities, will run to them and rejoice.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 23 October
Memory of the Poor
Tuesday, 24 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 25 October
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 26 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 27 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 28 October
Memory of the Apostles
Sunday, 29 October
Liturgy of the Sunday