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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

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 20, 11-18

But Mary was standing outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, as she wept, she stooped to look inside,

and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet.

They said, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she replied, 'and I don't know where they have put him.'

As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not realise that it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?' Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.'

Jesus said, 'Mary!' She turned round then and said to him in Hebrew, 'Rabbuni!' -- which means Master.

Jesus said to her, 'Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'

So Mary of Magdala told the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and that he had said these things to her.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The liturgy invites us to stop again near the sepulchre where Jesus’ body had been placed. And it shows us Mary Magdalene who is there, crying over the death of her Lord. The loss of the only one who had understood her and who had freed her from the seven demons did not cause her to remain at home petrified by pain and bound up by resignation and defeat. On the contrary, it pushed her to go to the tomb so that she could be near him: she could not remain without the Teacher, even if he was dead. How distant we are from the love of this woman! Too little do we cry over the loss of the Lord. Mary is dejected, but not resigned. She asks everyone, the two angels and the “gardener”, where Jesus is. She is completely set on finding the Teacher. Nothing else interests her. She is truly an example of the true believer, of one who does not cease from seeking the Lord. She even asks the “gardener”: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Mary sees Jesus with her eyes, but she does not recognize him. Only when she hears his voice, when he calls her by name, do her eyes open. The same happens with us with the Gospel. Our eyes do not permit us to recognize Jesus, but our heart longing for loving words recognise his voice. That timbre, that tone, that name tenderly pronounced that had touched her heart so many times, make the barrier placed by death between her and Jesus fall away. Mary recognizes Jesus by hearing his voice. To listen to him with the heart of that woman, even just once, means not to abandon him any longer. Indeed the Gospel does not speak in a generic way. It is a word of love that reaches our heart. We need to listen to it in an atmosphere of prayer and of search for meaning and of need of a vision. We need to listen to it with the heart of that woman. And if we do it, even only once, we will not abandon the Lord anymore. The voice of Christ (the Gospel) cannot be forgotten. Even if we hear it for just a moment, we will no longer renounce it. Indeed, familiarity with the words of the Gospel is familiarity with the Lord. It constitutes the way along which we will see and meet him. Mary throws herself at the Teacher’s feet and embraces him with the longing affection of who one who has again found the decisive friend of her life. But Jesus tells her: “Do not hold on to me… But go to my brothers.” Gospel love is an energy that pushes us to go beyond. It is the energy that moved Jesus himself, since the moment in which, obeying to the Father, “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness” (Phil 2;7) Mary obeyed Jesus and ran to the disciples. And she was even happier as she ran toward the disciples to announce to all: “I have seen the Lord!” She, the sinner, had become the first “apostle” of the Gospel of the resurrection.

Prayer of Easter

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 18 June
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Monday, 19 June
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 20 June
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 21 June
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 22 June
Memory of the Church
Friday, 23 June
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 24 June
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 25 June
Liturgy of the Sunday