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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 6, 20-26

Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: How blessed are you who are poor: the kingdom of God is yours.

Blessed are you who are hungry now: you shall have your fill. Blessed are you who are weeping now: you shall laugh.

'Blessed are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of man.

Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, look!-your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.

Alas for you who have plenty to eat now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who are laughing now: you shall mourn and weep.

'Alas for you when everyone speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The narrative of the Gospel according to Luke leads us today before one of the most significant pages of the Gospel: the proclamation of the Beatitudes. Jesus has before his eyes the Twelve, whom he wanted to call as his first collaborators and disciples, as well as the wider group of men and women who follow him and the people who rush in to listen to him. Jesus immediately begins to speak. He does not talk about doctrine or give an abstract speech that goes over the people’s heads. Instead, he wanted to show those who listened to him the way to achieve happiness. From his very first words we understand that he does not mean the kind of happiness of the dominant mentality, which proves mostly fallacious and misleading. How many times have we experienced the failure of these fake myths! Especially today in a society that endlessly consumes and chases after desires without creating anything stable. Even happiness becomes fluid, elusive, impossible to obtain. We see many around us who seek happiness by going down destructive paths. Moved by the loving compassion of God for the crowds then and today, Jesus wants to show us the way to happiness. With his Beatitudes, he shows us this way without saying many words. The evangelist Luke records only four phrases, four beatitudes. Jesus announces to the poor, the hungry, the abandoned and those who thirst for justice that they can finally be happy because God has chosen to stand beside them. For this reason they are “blessed”. They are loved by God and preferred by God compared to the many others who believe they are satisfied with themselves for having wealth and security. For the poor, the nearness of God and the disciples is a great joy. Normally excluded from life, they become God’s and his children’s privileged ones. The beatitude of the poor, as well as that of the hungry, those who weep, those disciples who are being persecuted, does not spring up from their sad and precarious conditions of life, but from the closeness that God bestows on them before others. In truth, being poor, afflicted, hungry, and insulted is not a good life. If Jesus says that they are blessed, it is because God has chosen to be with them first before others. And Jesus demonstrates God’s preferential option in person by his own example. The serious, but beautiful, task of making the poor feel God’s privileged love just as Jesus had done his entire life is entrusted to us believers. The rich, satisfied, and strong must be attentive—and often we are among their ranks—because it is more difficult to be happy. With his “woe to you,” Jesus warns that it is vain to seek happiness in self-love and riches. The Way to Happiness is for the rich to spend their lives for the poor and the weak. This is the same invitation that Jesus extended to the young rich man. He repeats the invitation again today to all of us, often rich and satiated ourselves. Prayer with the Saints

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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