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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 11, 14-23

He was driving out a devil and it was dumb; and it happened that when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed.

But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he drives devils out.'

Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven;

but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, 'Any kingdom which is divided against itself is heading for ruin, and house collapses against house.

So, too, with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom last?-since you claim that it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out.

Now if it is through Beelzebul that I drive devils out, through whom do your own sons drive them out? They shall be your judges, then.

But if it is through the finger of God that I drive devils out, then the kingdom of God has indeed caught you unawares.

So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own home, his goods are undisturbed;

but when someone stronger than himself attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.

'Anyone who is not with me is against me; and anyone who does not gather in with me throws away.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The text of the first reading of the Mass is taken from the prophet Jeremiah (7:23-28) and is part of his third oracle against worship to the Lord without a heart faithful to Him and to His teachings. The Lord is embittered by the stubbornness of his people in remaining distant from Him: “Truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.” Jeremiah, speaking in the name of God, had to announce Israel’s defeat and its deportation into Babylon. Later the Lord would have raised his people and brought them back into their land. As in the passage of Deuteronomy we read yesterday, everything is a result of listening, or of not listening to the prophets sent by God “persistently.” But, speaking to Jeremiah, God adds, “Yet they did not listen to me, or pay attention, but they stiffened their necks.” This page of Jeremiah forebodes the difficulties Jesus himself had to face because of his preaching. Jesus kept fighting the evil that was enslaving humankind. Luke writes that one day Jesus was chasing a mute spirit that prevented a man’s communication with others. The devil is, indeed as the term says, is the spirit of division, the one that separates us from others. He is the prince of solitude that continues to enslave men and women even today. Incommunicability between people and nations is frequent and it yields tensions and conflicts. The evil prince strives to increase enmity. Jesus’ disciples are urged to watch and be vigilant in order not to be accomplices of the hell causing conflicts and wars. Accusations against Jesus reach an unbelievable point. And yet, evil does not give up and perseveres in its work in spite of the evidence of its destructive intents. The Lord alone does good and diffuses love; hence Jesus is truly the strongest, the one who is able to preserve the house alluded to in the Gospel. Such a house is both everyone’s heart that is tested by temptations and the whole Christian community constantly attempted by the forces of evil. Only those who trust in the Lord, only those who faithfully listen to his word, can defeat evil and harvest fruits of love and hope for themselves and for all.

Memory of the Church

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