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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. John Chrysostom ("golden mouth"), bishop and doctor of the Church (349-407). The most common liturgy of the Byzantine Church takes its name from him.

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 7, 11-17

It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people.

Now when he was near the gate of the town there was a dead man being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople was with her.

When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her and said to her, 'Don't cry.'

Then he went up and touched the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, 'Young man, I tell you: get up.'

And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother.

Everyone was filled with awe and glorified God saying, 'A great prophet has risen up among us; God has visited his people.'

And this view of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

A young man is dead, the only son of a widowed mother. This mother’s life is shattered. Every thread of hope appears to be definitely broken. All that seems possible to do for this mother is to help her to bury her son and console her in her grief. Nevertheless it is written that that which is impossible for humans is possible for God. Seeing the funeral procession, which exited from the gate of the little city of Naim to go to the cemetery, Jesus is moved by compassion for the widow who saw her life in shatters. He draws near to the crowded procession -many people had come— and seeks out the widow and goes to her side to console her. He immediately tells her not to cry. He then goes toward the stretcher on which is lain the dead youth, perhaps covered by a veil. It was forbidden to touch a corpse. But Jesus breaks this prescription of the Leviticus law. The evangelist notes that Jesus "was overtaken by great compassion" at the sight of the grieving mother. It is the same feeling that had impelled him to come down from heaven, to walk through the streets and squares of his time amidst the tired and exhausted throngs as if they were sheep without a shepherd. The procession upon seeing this scene stops. Jesus then turns to the dead young man and says, "Young man, I say to you: rise!" Jesus speaks to him as if he were alive. And the youth seems to hear Jesus’ voice so much that he gets up and begins to speak. Had not the centurion said, "Speak only the word and let my servant be healed"? The Gospel word is always efficacious if it is received by the heart. It revives our lives, restores energy to those who have lost it, creates new hearts for those with hearts of stone, and offers brothers and sisters to those who are alone. Today many young people live like the dead, without hope for the future. They are waiting for someone to stop by their sides and say to them directly: "Young man, I say to you: rise!" The Gospel helps us to work and hope for them. They need someone who will be close with them, who will stop their slow slipping into death, who will touch them as Jesus did and share with them words that are true, strong, authoritative, and hopeful. Though they may appear not to listen to them, this is not the case. If our words come from a heart full of compassion like Jesus’, they will be able to listen to them. John Paul II gave us an example in this sense. He knew how to touch the hearts of the youth and to encourage them to a new life. Each Christian community, each disciple is called to feel Jesus’ compassion for the youth. Even in our life, it is from a heart filled with compassion that will spring the words that will be able to give back hope to the youth.

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