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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 9, 51-56

Now it happened that as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he resolutely turned his face towards Jerusalem

and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him,

but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem.

Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, 'Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?'

But he turned and rebuked them,

and they went on to another village.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

With this passage, Luke begins the central narrative of his Gospel: Jesus’ journey with his disciples towards Jerusalem which will end with Jesus’ ascension to heaven and his return to the Father. Until now, Jesus had remained in Galilee, but he knew that the Gospel, even at the cost of his life, also needed to be preached also in Jerusalem, in the heart of the people of Israel. The disciples wanted to stop him, but Jesus "decisively" - so writes the evangelist - set off for the holy city. He did not remain in known and comfortable places, which was protection from his enemy. He did not fall into the temptation presented by the tranquillity of the status quo as so often happens to so many of us, when we even take cover with the excuse of our borders, our diocese, our parish, our neighbourhood, and so forth. The Gospel does not stand limitations or provincialism, even if this means difficulty or clashes. From the beginning, Jesus found hostility and rejection, but they did not stop him. Obedience to the Father and the urgency of the Gospel were the absolute priority in his life. Jesus therefore decisively, that is, obeying God willingly and radically, heads out towards Jerusalem. The evangelist notes that he sent ahead of him some disciples to prepare his entry. The first stage was in a village of Samaria. The disciples, coming upon a village, find themselves before a sharp rejection on the part of the Samaritans of that village. They did not want him to go to Jerusalem, so much was the hostility towards the Jewish capital. James and John -justifiably irritated—would have the whole village exterminated. But Jesus responds with love to the coldness of those who did not want to receive him, and he harshly rebukes, Luke tells us, the violent "zeal" of the two disciples. Once again the Gospel vision of life which Jesus proposes to us emerges clearly: there are no enemies to destroy, but only people to be loved. And the disciples are in any case called to continue their mission of preparing human hearts to receive the Lord, knowing that He does not want the death of the sinner but that he repent and live.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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