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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 19, 11-28

While the people were listening to this he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God was going to show itself then and there.

Accordingly he said, 'A man of noble birth went to a distant country to be appointed king and then return.

He summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds, telling them, "Trade with these, until I get back."

But his compatriots detested him and sent a delegation to follow him with this message, "We do not want this man to be our king."

'Now it happened that on his return, having received his appointment as king, he sent for those servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made by trading.

The first came in, "Sir," he said, "your one pound has brought in ten."

He replied, "Well done, my good servant! Since you have proved yourself trustworthy in a very small thing, you shall have the government of ten cities."

Then came the second, "Sir," he said, "your one pound has made five."

To this one also he said, "And you shall be in charge of five cities."

Next came the other, "Sir," he said, "here is your pound. I put it away safely wrapped up in a cloth

because I was afraid of you; for you are an exacting man: you gather in what you have not laid out and reap what you have not sown."

He said to him, "You wicked servant! Out of your own mouth I condemn you. So you knew that I was an exacting man, gathering in what I have not laid out and reaping what I have not sown?

Then why did you not put my money in the bank? On my return I could have drawn it out with interest."

And he said to those standing by, "Take the pound from him and give it to the man who has ten pounds."

And they said to him, "But, sir, he has ten pounds . . ."

"I tell you, to everyone who has will be given more; but anyone who has not will be deprived even of what he has.

"As for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence." '

When he had said this he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Surrounded by a large crowd, Jesus is at the end of his journey and is about to enter Jerusalem. Some think that the moment of the manifestation of God’s kingdom in the holy city has arrived. The majority of the people anticipated it as a political event. But Jesus wants to take distance from every such illusion and thus recounts a parable about how one must wait for the kingdom of heaven. Jesus speaks of a noble man who leaves for a distant country to receive royal power. Before leaving, he entrusts a gold coin to ten servants so that during his absence they may make it bear fruit. Those servants are obviously not owners of that sum, but are its administrators. And as such they must operate with wisdom and hard work to make it bear fruit. The first two servants, upon the return of the master, present him with the fruit of their commitment. The first was able to multiply the coin by ten times, the second by five times. Both hear, “Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.” The problem begins with the third servant. For fear of being involved in a commitment that would have distracted him from the care of his possessions, he hides the coin in a cloth so that it is not lost. In such a way, obviously, he was certain not to lose it, but he blocked it from bearing fruit. He believed it was enough to just conserve it, without feeling responsible for that gold coin. In such a way he showed little familiarity with the master; even better, he was a stranger to his master’s worries. He was a servant foreign to his master’s concerns. The gold coin bothered him more than recognizing it as a responsibility and an honour. In fact, when he returns the coin, this cold and distant attitude appears clear by the words that he addresses to the master who then reprimands him bitterly. Obviously he does not praise him but he also makes him realize his sloth by taking from his hand the coin he had kept. We can compare the master of the parable with Jesus himself. He entrusts his disciples with the very precious “gold coin” which is the Gospel. It is a priceless gift that must not be held for oneself, nor hidden in one’s small or large “cloth.” The Gospel is given to the disciples so that they in turn communicate it to men and women wherever they are, and in such a way as to hasten and enlarge the kingdom of love and peace that Jesus came to establish on earth. The master’s gesture of giving the left-over talent to the first servant shows his great desire that the Gospel be communicated to everyone, with as much solicitude as possible. For this reason Jesus says at the end of the parable, “I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” It is not possible to follow Jesus without communicating the Gospel, without communicating love everywhere in the world. Sloth makes us lose what we have already received as gift because a gift, by its nature, must bear fruit, must be communicated to everyone. Love is like that too: if we do not love we lose it because we return to being swallowed up by solitude.

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