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The Everyday Prayer

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

Today the Armenian Church remembers the massacre during the First World War in which more than one million Armenians were killed

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

Luke 24, 35-48

Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

They were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you!'

In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost.

But he said, 'Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts stirring in your hearts?

See by my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.'

And as he said this he showed them his hands and his feet.

Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, as they were dumbfounded; so he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?'

And they offered him a piece of grilled fish,

which he took and ate before their eyes.

Then he told them, 'This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, was destined to be fulfilled.'

He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

and he said to them, 'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

You are witnesses to this.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel reading of today’s Mass concludes the day of Easter day. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus arrived at the cenacle to tell the disciples all about “what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” The apostles, still caught by fear, had remained closed up in that room. It was certainly a place full of memories, but risked remaining closed and self-protective. Theirs was a temptation that all of us know well. How many times do we close the door of our hearts, of our homes, of our groups, of the community, and of our families in order to remain quiet, for fear of losing something? Yet, the Risen One continues to be with us, even placing himself at the centre, not to the side as one person among others, as one word spoken among others. He enters and comes to the centre, as a Word that saves, that frees from every closure. And his first words after the resurrection are a greeting of peace: “Peace be with you!” The disciples, seized by fear and resignation, take him for a ghost. They had first heard he was alive from the women, but their distance from Jesus during the days of his Passion had so blinded their minds and hardened their hearts that they were not able to overcome their fears. The evangelist suggests that incredulity takes hold of the disciples each time they distance themselves from Jesus and allow themselves to be overcome by fears for themselves. But Jesus comes in their midst and immediately says: “Peace be with you!” It is the Risen One’s first word; yes, peace is the first fruit of the resurrection. True, it is not the peace of one’s own tranquillity, but that which comes from love of others. Yes, the peace of Easter does not block us; it rather pushes us strongly to go out of ourselves to meet others. Easter peace is a new energy of love, which invades the world. Easter, even if lived only by a small group, moreover at the beginning only by women, is for all and for all the world. This seems impossible to the apostles. Jesus is definitely dead; his word has been killed forever. They do not believe what he had told them many times, that he would rise again after he died. They are frightened to see him. They think they see a ghost. But Jesus lovingly reproaches them: “Why are you frightened?” And he repeats what he had said so frequently in the past: he would be put to death and he would rise. How often do we too not believe Jesus’ words, and when they are repeated, we think they are absurd, precisely like a ghost! The Gospel, on the other, hand creates a new reality, a new community, one that is real, made up of persons who previously were dispersed and fearful and, who, after hearing the Gospel, found themselves together in a new brotherhood. It is what happened on that day too with Jesus who began to eat with them: life continued as it was in the years before Easter. That meal united them again with Jesus. Now they learned that Jesus would be always with them. It is the same for us, too, and to the disciples of every time, each time we gather together around the Lord’s altar to break his very body.

Prayer of Easter

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