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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Oscar Arnulfo Romero, archbishop of San Salvador. He was killed on March 24, 1980 on the altar. Memorial of the massacre of the Fosse Ardeatine that took place in Rome in 1944, in which the Nazis killed 335 people

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 4, 24-30

And he went on, 'In truth I tell you, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

'There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah's day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land,

but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a town in Sidonia.

And in the prophet Elisha's time there were many suffering from virulent skin-diseases in Israel, but none of these was cured -- only Naaman the Syrian.'

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged.

They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him off the cliff,

but he passed straight through the crowd and walked away.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Gospel we read begins with Jesus’ words to his fellow Nazareth citizens: “No prophet is accepted in the prophet’s own town.” And Jesus said so because he himself was experiencing it. Why did the people from Nazareth not receive his word? The answer is easy: the hearts of the people of Nazareth were full of pride and satisfied with themselves. They could not accept one of their fellow citizens speaking to their hearts with authority. But even more, the people of Nazareth were annoyed “at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” How is it possible that a grace and mercy that does not consider the right punishment for enemies and sinners exist? There is no room for others besides themselves. Needy and humble people only are ready to welcome Jesus’ word. Those who are satisfied with themselves or their convictions neither seek nor listen. They remain where they are. The examples of Elijah, who among various widows only visited the one of Zarephath, and the case of the prophet Elisha, who cleansed Naaman the Syrian only, show how God acts. The Lord sends His prophets to all and has mercy on all, but usually only the poor and the weak, or those who let their hearts be touched and listen to His words. As a matter of fact, after Jesus explained the Scriptures relating them to his action as coming from Above, the people of Nazareth became furious and led him to the brow of the hill. Mercy disturbs a world of people used to thinking of themselves; a world of people ready to judge others, calculating and stingy in love. God’s excessive love is extended also to those who do not know Him, as it was for the widow of Zarephath and for Naaman the Syrian. It is a question and a provocation not only for the people of Nazareth, but for us all and for the world we live in. The same happens any time we shut the door of our hearts to the Gospel words, any time we consider them alien to us or too demanding and hence inapplicable. In all of these instances, the dramatic scene of Nazareth is repeated: throwing down from the cliff edge of our pride the invitation to change our hearts and to welcome Jesus as the true friend of our lives, our only one saviour.

Memory of the Poor

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