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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Nicholas († 350). He was a bishop in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) and is venerated throughout the East

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 9, 27-31

As Jesus went on his way two blind men followed him shouting, 'Take pity on us, son of David.'

And when Jesus reached the house the blind men came up to him and he said to them, 'Do you believe I can do this?' They said, 'Lord, we do.'

Then he touched their eyes saying, 'According to your faith, let it be done to you.'

And their sight returned. Then Jesus sternly warned them, 'Take care that no one learns about this.'

But when they had gone away, they talked about him all over the countryside.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Having left the house of the Leader of the Synagogue, Jesus is followed by two blind men who turn to him with a simple prayer: “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” We hear this kind of invocation often in the Gospel. And the Church—like a benevolent and protecting mother—has us repeat the very same thing at the beginning of every Mass: “Lord, have mercy!” Standing before the glory of the Lord, this is the first and most important prayer we can say to Him: we are poor beggars in need of love and salvation in an often greedy and cruel world. After having entered into the house, Jesus welcomes the two blind men and begins to speak with them. The healing—the deep sense of which we see in this passage, as well as in all other similar miracles—is not “magic,” nor is it the fruit of esoteric rites. Rather, it always comes from a personal interaction with Christ: we need to meet his eyes and his heart; we need to be linked with him by trust. This is why Jesus asks the two blind men, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” This is the question of faith, of trust in him. Without this personal, direct rapport, there cannot be healing. When the two blind men respond that they do, Jesus touches their eyes and says, “According to your faith, let it be done to you.” At this point, the eyes of the two men are opened. The description of the dialogue between Jesus and the two men might suggest that Jesus acquiesces to the men’s pleas - that is, the miracle would not be possible without their faith, without their involvement. We see a sort of proportionality between faith and healing. It is the same sort of conviction that brought the author of the letter of James to say, “You do not have, because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly” (Jas 4:2-3). Surely the Lord knows what we need before we ask him (Mt. 6:8). Yet when we pray with faith, we draw the Lord’s heart to our prayer. This is a very precious lesson that we ought to follow. Faith is actually and first of all abandoning ourselves to the Lord, who comes to save us from all slavery and to free us from all blindness. Let us entrust our lives to the Lord in order to have light and walk on his paths. Jesus warns the two healed men not to tell anyone about what happened to them. Perhaps he wanted to have them understand that he did not come to be glorified, but to save those who need his help. What a far cry from our typical habits and us! We glorify ourselves for a lot less and seek the recognition of others.

Memory of Jesus crucified

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