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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 10, 25-37

And now a lawyer stood up and, to test him, asked, 'Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?'

He said to him, 'What is written in the Law? What is your reading of it?'

He replied, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.'

Jesus said to him, 'You have answered right, do this and life is yours.'

But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?'

In answer Jesus said, 'A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of bandits; they stripped him, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead.

Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side.

But a Samaritan traveller who came on him was moved with compassion when he saw him.

He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him.

Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper and said, "Look after him, and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have."

Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits' hands?'

He replied, 'The one who showed pity towards him.' Jesus said to him, 'Go, and do the same yourself.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This parable is one of the best-known passages in the Gospel. Especially at the beginning of this new millennium, it gives an accurate picture of the reality of our world and clearly traces out the vocation of the Christian community and each individual disciple. The man left half-dead by the side of the road represents all of the poor (individuals and even entire nations) who are still pushed to the margins of life and abandoned there. There are millions and millions of these people. The Gospel teaches us to see this half-dead man abandoned by everyone as the brother of our Lord and our friend. Yes, all of the disinherited of the earth - all of the poor - are brothers and sisters of the Lord and brothers and sisters of every one of us. It is a lesson for all Christians, but now more than ever it would be good for those who have administrative and political responsibilities to hear it. For us Christians, however, before being a problem, the poor are our brothers and sisters and our friends. And it is not a matter of being “do-gooders,” as is sometimes said in a condescending tone, but rather of seeing with God’s own eyes, something that human beings have difficulty in imitating. We Christians are often just as guilty as everyone else. Through the example of the Samaritan, a foreigner to this half-dead man, the Gospel urges us to discover the value of universal brotherhood, which is not only moral but also deeply human and religious. It is a matter of feeling that the weak and the poor are members of God’s family. We could say that they are our relatives, and we should treat them as such. This attitude contains the seed of a radical disruption, which was planted by God himself: He has chosen the poor to be his favoured children. He listens to them, protects them, and makes them intercessors for those who help them. Jesus identifies himself in them, as is written in the account of the universal judgment in Matthew’s gospel. Indeed, we could say that the Samaritan and the half-dead man share a certain identity. The Samaritan is Jesus himself; he is the one who sets out from Jerusalem and walks along the roads that lead to the many Jerichos of our world. He is the first one who stops, and he urges others to do the same. And every time we stop by the side of the poor, as that Samaritan did, we find ourselves face to face with Jesus, even if at first he bears the features of an abandoned person. At the moment of judgment at the end of our life, if not sooner, we will see in Jesus’ face the features of the abandoned person we helped.

Prayer for the Sick

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday