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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the dedication of the Roman basilicas of Saint Peter’s in the Vatican and Saint Paul’s outside the walls.

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

Matthew 14, 22-33

And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away.

After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,

while the boat, by now some furlongs from land, was hard pressed by rough waves, for there was a head-wind.

In the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea,

and when the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. 'It is a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear.

But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, 'Courage! It's me! Don't be afraid.'

It was Peter who answered. 'Lord,' he said, 'if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.'

Jesus said, 'Come.' Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water,

but then noticing the wind, he took fright and began to sink. 'Lord,' he cried, 'save me!'

Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. 'You have so little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'

And as they got into the boat the wind dropped.

The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, 'Truly, you are the Son of God.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Since the beginning of the second millennium, the feast of the dedication of the basilicas of St. Peter and of St. Paul has been celebrated in Rome. This is to underline the link between the two apostles who are called the “columns” of the Church of Rome. In them we can see two dimensions of the Church, the institutional one of Peter and the charismatic one of Paul. Both are part of the mystery of the Church and should live in each Christian community. The reading of the Acts of the Apostles tells of Paul’s arrival in Rome where for two years, despite his imprisonment, he proclaimed the Gospel “with all boldness and without hindrance.” On the other hand, the Gospel presents to us Peter’s faith. The evangelist Matthew says that, after the multiplication of the bread and of the fish, Jesus invites the disciples to go on the boat and go ahead to the other shore, while he would dismiss the crowd. In the end, after everyone left, both the crowds and the disciples, Jesus goes up the mountain by himself to pray. It is a scene that we find often in the Gospels; clearly it impressed the disciples and the first community a great deal. While the boat is crossing the lake a storm breaks out. The evangelist seems to suggest that without Jesus it is easy for winds and storms to arise. In any event, night, every night is always full of fear. But then dawn comes and while the sun is rising, Jesus draws near the disciples walking on the waters. Fear upsets the ideas and eyes of the disciples; they think he is a ghost. Jesus speaks directly to them, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” And immediately he responds to the Peter’s question and says to him, “Come!” Maybe Peter recognizes the voice of their first encounter on the same lake and right away once again he leaves the boat and the nets and goes toward Jesus. Peter too walks on the waters. A trustful and immediate response to the Lord’s call always allows miracles to occur. But doubts rise and Peter starts drowning. Fear that is still deeply rooted in his heart takes the upper hand, and Peter is about to be swallowed up by the waves. At this point, Peter truly despairs and cries out, “Lord, save me!” Again he prays to the Lord and Jesus takes the poor Peter by hand. What matters is not leaving the Lord and always following his voice. The two apostles, Peter and Paul, continue to repurpose to us, with one voice, the exhortation to always follow the voice of the Lord.

Prayer for peace

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 November
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 November
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 November
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 November
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 November
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 November
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 November
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 November
Liturgy of the Sunday