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The Everyday Prayer

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

Remembrance of St. Therese of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun with a deep sense of mission of the Church

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 9, 57-62

As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.'

Jesus answered, 'Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.'

Another to whom he said, 'Follow me,' replied, 'Let me go and bury my father first.'

But he answered, 'Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.'

Another said, 'I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good -- bye to my people at home.'

Jesus said to him, 'Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has just begun his journey from Galilee to Jerusalem, and the question of how to follow him immediately arises. Many people came to him, especially men and women who needed help, healing, and comfort, but how could they continue to follow him? Some of those who were healed or who were struck by his words decided to stay with him and follow him on his journey. But it was not an easy or obvious choice. Not everyone understands him. And many people abandon him because he makes considerable demands of them. But others approach, present themselves to Jesus, and ask to follow him. But we should note that it is Jesus who calls; Jesus calls those he wants by saying, “Follow me.” At the beginning of his public ministry in Capernaum, Jesus called three fishermen: Peter, James and John (Lk 5:8-11). And now, too, just after entering Samaria, there are three people who present themselves - or who are called. Jesus’ responses to them reveal what is needed to follow him and become his disciple. And it is remarkable that the three answers given by Jesus all relate in some way to the person’s relationship with their family. The first person asks to follow him, that is, to share his fate. Jesus answers that the Son of Man, unlike foxes who have dens and birds who have nests, does not have a place to lay his head. The disciple has to live in the same poverty as the teacher. This was not the case with the other “rabbis” of his time. They provided their followers a place to live. This is a stern warning for those who would prefer a stable and basically tranquil existence. The second person is called by Jesus directly. When he asks to be allowed to bury his father, Jesus affirms that following him and announcing the Gospel have priority even over the most sensitive family business, like the burial of a father. The third person who approaches Jesus is told that if he wants to follow him he must not have any regrets about the life he has left behind. The life that is gained by following Jesus cannot be mixed with regrets and glances back. It is even more important than the ties of family. Elsewhere Jesus says: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26). The Gospel demands that we make a clean break with our past life and abandon our selfishness and our traditions so we can choose Jesus as the one Lord of our lives. Following Jesus is doubtlessly a radical and even paradoxical choice. But that is because Jesus’ love for us is complete, radical, paradoxical, and unique. We could say that Jesus was the first to live out this radical choice in his obedience to the Father and his plan. Disciples live off the same love that Jesus has for his Father. This is the love that we and the world need to be freed from the slavery of sin and death.

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