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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Hebrews 5, 11-14

On this subject we have many things to say, and they are difficult to explain because you have grown so slow at understanding.

Indeed, when you should by this time have become masters, you need someone to teach you all over again the elements of the principles of God's sayings; you have gone back to needing milk, and not solid food.

Truly, no one who is still living on milk can digest the doctrine of saving justice, being still a baby.

Solid food is for adults with minds trained by practice to distinguish between good and bad.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The author of the Letter has just affirmed that Jesus is priest according to the order of Melchizedek. Before explaining what this mysterious title means, he reminds readers of the necessity of listening attentively to what he will say, so that they may be able to understand it. It is a reminder, which is opportune also for us, who are often distracted and little inclined to listen with attention and not superficially. It is easy to allow ourselves to be taken hold of by the habit of not stopping, of not listening, of not reflecting, also because the rhythms of daily life steamroll us and, moreover, tighten our concentration on ourselves. This bad habit is also reflected in the life of the Church. We know, indeed, as Paul affirms that if there is no listening, neither is there faith. Obviously, it is not enough to only physically hear the Word of God, but there also is need of an interior listening, that is, of allowing our hearts to be touched by the Lord. This is why the author condemns the lack of readiness to listen to and thus to obey to the promptings of the Spirit of God. As the author reminds us, in this case, that being children does not mean being “little” in the evangelical sense, that is, those who listen promptly to the Word of God without interposing obstacles, but resembling those impertinent children who want to impose their whims on all at any cost. In truth, it is also what happens to adults when they are secure in their own traditions and convictions and want to impose them on others, even on the Lord. They are just capricious children. And if the author presents this letter as “milk” and not as a “solid food” he does so with the pastoral wisdom of one, like a good mother, who wants to raise her child with patience and attention until the child’s heart and mind are able to receive more solid and robust food. We ought not to forget that the maturity in the Gospel is not the pride of self-sufficiency, but listening trustfully to the Lord; and that solid food can be accepted solely if one’s heart and one’s mind are in fact open to be nourished by the Word of God.

Memory of the Church

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