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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 17, 1-6

He said to his disciples, 'Causes of falling are sure to come, but alas for the one through whom they occur!

It would be better for such a person to be thrown into the sea with a millstone round the neck than to be the downfall of a single one of these little ones.

Keep watch on yourselves! 'If your brother does something wrong, rebuke him and, if he is sorry, forgive him.

And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, "I am sorry," you must forgive him.'

The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'

The Lord replied, 'If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus warns the disciples against causing scandal, that is, against being "stumbling blocks." He considers scandal as something so serious that he says it would be better, for anyone who causes it, to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck. Perhaps the first scandal that the disciples need to avoid is the scandal of contradicting the Gospel with their lives. If our behaviour is far from and even contrary to the Gospel, we not only betray the Lord, we become accomplices of the prince of this world in promoting a sad and violent life. Jesus calls his disciples to be on guard against cheapening the Gospel. Moreover, he has already said: "If salt has lost its taste. ... It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out." The disciples are called to listen each day to the Gospel and to put it into practice so as not to betray it and to prevent sin from taking hold of and taking root in their lives. This is why he tells the disciples: "Be on your guard!" And he then adds that forgiveness is also part of following the Gospel. Jesus knows well our fragility and knows that it is easy to fall into sin. Therefore he gives us the strength to forgive. Mercy and forgiveness should abound over sin all the more. Forgiving "seven times" means forgiving always. It is obviously not a matter of being acquiescent towards sin. Jesus in fact demands repentance for faults committed, and changing one’s life. But the merciful attitude should never be lacking; it is a sign of God’s presence among human beings. At this point the disciples understand that mercy does not arise from themselves, they understand that the instinct to remain in hatred or at least indifference is strong. Therefore they ask the Lord: "Increase our faith!" Jesus - perhaps surprising us too -- responds that the tiniest bit suffices for faith, as much as a mustard seed. This little faith, this small trust in God, is able to work miracles. Let us ask the Lord for it, and we shall be able to pluck the bitter herbs from human hearts and cast them to the bottom of the sea.

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