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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 7, 19-23

sent them to the Lord to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect someone else?'

When the men reached Jesus they said, 'John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, "Are you the one who is to come or are we to expect someone else?" '

At that very time he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and of evil spirits, and gave the gift of sight to many who were blind.

Then he gave the messengers their answer, 'Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the good news is proclaimed to the poor;

and blessed is anyone who does not find me a cause of falling.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel word continues in these days to shake up our laziness and our superficiality: we cannot hesitate; we need to prepare ourselves to welcome in us the mystery of Christmas. The atmosphere that surrounds us is not exactly favourable to reflection in the deep sense of Christmas. To the contrary, the so called “Christmas spirit” risks distancing us from the depth of the mystery of God that chooses the poverty and weakness of the human condition to save us. The Gospel, such a contrast to the slavery of our banal distractions, presents John the Baptist who is still in prison. This man of God, even from prison—the evangelist Luke does not say he is in prison but it is reasonable to assume it—continues to wait for the liberating Messiah. Better, perhaps it is exactly that condition which sharpens in him the desire for something that can free him in depth from the slavery of the world. He does not resign himself to his chains—and not only those of the prison—he does not stop waiting and hoping, he does not allow the soft and superficial atmosphere of the world to put him to him to sleep. He sends his followers to Jesus to ask him: “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” John believes in God’s promises and in a certain way he wants to hurry them. Jesus does not delay in responding and he recalls a passage of the prophet Isaiah where what will happen when the Messiah arrives is described: “‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.’ Upon hearing what his disciples tell him John understands that the prophesy of Isaiah has come true with Jesus and maybe he can repeat in his heart the same prayer of Simeon while he took the baby: “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” We who hear this Gospel passage are reminded of the signs that indicate God’s presence in human affairs: serving the sick and the weak, giving sight to the blind and strength to those who cannot walk and to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. How should we wait for Christmas? How to proclaim it to the world? How can we show ourselves and others that the Lord has come to visit us? The only way rests in that which was shown by Jesus to John’s disciples: the concrete witness of the Gospel of love toward the weak and poor. The time of Christmas is a good occasion for us to live this passage of the Gospel. And to understand that Christmas begins every time that “the poor have good news brought to them” (22).

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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