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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico

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

Matthew 11, 11-15

'In truth I tell you, of all the children born to women, there has never been anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.

Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm.

Because it was towards John that all the prophecies of the prophets and of the Law were leading;

and he, if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return.

Anyone who has ears should listen!


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this time of Advent, the Church often presents John the Baptist as the one who prepares the way of the Lord. Jesus did not speak of anyone else as much as he did of John the Baptist. In the preceding verses, Jesus introduces him as the prophet who knows how to wait for the Lord and makes of him an example to believers (2-10). Through an austere life, John had first and foremost prepared himself for the encounter with God: he did not entrench himself behind an easy pride or a given self-sufficiency, as it is easy for us to do. One might say that, in a sense, John did “violence” to himself by allowing a religious man who knows how to wait for the One sent from God grow in his heart. He has become a spiritual man with a strong inner life. To get to that point, he had to entertain a fight against himself made of discipline, commitment, perseverance in prayer, distance from riches, obedience to the Lord, and a heart bound to God. This sort of “violence” against one’s self is a process of building up one’s own interior life. After shaping himself with this inner discipline, John was able to recognize Jesus just as soon as he sees him approaching him at the Jordan River. He had sought through his preaching to break open a way in the hearts of the men and women of his generation so that they could recognize and welcome the Messiah in their midst. This is why Jesus proclaimed that there was “no one greater born of women,” that is, a sort of a unique brother sent to us so that we prepare our hearts to welcome Jesus as the Saviour. In saying that the smallest in the kingdom is greater than John the Baptist, Jesus sought to exhort the disciples to discover the greatness of the vocation that they had received and on which many times we trample with laziness and narrow-mindedness. The Lord put such an extraordinary faith in his disciples that he said to them, “The one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these” (Jn 14:12). We cannot but take this question into thoughtful consideration: what do we do with the trust that the Lord has in each one of us? This question needs more and closer consideration in this time of preparation for Jesus’ birth.

Memory of the Church

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