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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of the prophet Isaiah

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 6, 52-59

Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'

Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day.

For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person.

As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me.

This is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.

This is what he taught at Capernaum in the synagogue.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel makes us enter the second part of the discourse of Jesus on the bread of life in the synagogue of Capernaum. When the speech begins to be clear and asks for the involvement of the audience in the mystery of Jesus, the listeners interrupt him and begin to murmur against him; they can not accept that this young man of Nazareth is from heaven, sent by God: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” They speak in this way because they do not intend to stoop and ask one they think is their peer, the support for their life; they do not want to humble themselves to confess their hunger, to stretch their hand as the poor and the beggars in need of help do. In short, they do not want to depend on him. They feel satiated with their lives, even if it is not true. They rather remain in the obvious and sad daily routine than being involved in a larger design that asks them to leave their stingy tranquillity. Those who are sated by themselves do not ask; those who are full of their “selves” do not bend. In truth, though satiated and surrounded by goods, food, and words, we are hungry, hungry of happiness, hungry of love. We should look a little more at the poor who ask insistently, and imitate them. In a sated and consumerist society, but always sad and short-sighted, the poor can become the masters for a new life. They shed light on what we are secretly: beggars of love and attention. The poor are hungry, and not for bread alone, but also for love. So we are. Jesus continues to say also to us, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” To have life is not enough to want; it is not enough to understand, we need to eat, to feed on the gospel and on the love of our brothers and sisters. We need to become beggars of a bread that the world does not know how to produce and, anyway, does not know how to give. We are freely given the Eucharistic table; everyone can take part in it. And every time we participate in it, we anticipate heaven on earth. Around the altar, we find what feeds us and quenches our thirst today and for eternity. From this food, we learn what eternal life is, that which is worth living: “Whoever will eat me will live through me.” The Eucharist shapes us because we no longer live only for ourselves, but for the Lord and for our brothers and sisters. Happiness and the eternity of life depend on our ability to bear fruit from the evangelical love we receive in the Eucharist. This is why the ancient Fathers said that Christians “live according to Sunday,” that is, with the logic of the Eucharist, of Jesus who came to serve and to make the love between people grow.

Memory of Jesus crucified

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 19 March
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 20 March
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 21 March
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 22 March
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 23 March
Memory of the Church
Friday, 24 March
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 25 March
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 26 March
Liturgy of the Sunday