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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of St. Stanislaw, bishop of Krakow and martyr (†1071). He defended the poor, the dignity of men and women, and the freedom of the Gospel and the Church.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 16, 9-15

Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils.

She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them.

But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him.

After this, he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country.

These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.

Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The liturgy of the Church once more announces to us the apparition of Jesus to Mary of Magdala, according to the account of the evangelist Mark. Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus had freed from seven demons, also for the second evangelist, is the “first” person to announce the resurrection. She, who “had loved much,” and consequently had much forgiven, receives the privilege of being the first disciple of the Risen One and the first person given the task of announcing the resurrection. Once again demonstrating their small-mindedness, the apostles do not believe her; they are still slaves of the mentality of this world and above all of their forgetfulness. It is not sufficient to be weeping and grieving to love Jesus. In particular, our personal feelings, our thoughts and considerations, either good or bad, are not sufficient. What counts in the path of Christian faith is listening to someone else. Humility, that is the door that opens us to faith, requires listening that is attentive to something that is not ours and comes from someone else. Here it is the voice of a woman who saw the risen Lord. Since immediately after his resurrection, Jesus uses the weakness of this woman to confound the disciples’ presumption – in fact even a grieving pessimism can be arrogant. With great spiritual wisdom, the Byzantine tradition calls Mary Magdalene the “apostle of the apostles.” In a few lines, the evangelist reports Jesus’ encounter with the two disciples of Emmaus (narrated much more extensively by Luke) and repeats that he had not yet appeared to the apostles, that is, to those whom he had placed as leaders of his Church. And once again the apostles do not want to believe the two disciples when they tell them what happened. The evangelist wants to underline the difficulty people have had to believe in the resurrection from the very beginning of the Church, from the first day and how difficult it was for the apostles on whom the Church should be founded. In any case, the difficulties and the unbelief that the apostles have believing the resurrection cannot stop the haste to proclaim to all Jesus’ victory over death. Here is a woman and two anonymous disciples who go immediately to communicate what they saw and heard with no hesitation. This Gospel page suggests that every disciple – besides his or her ministry and service - is entrusted with the serious and uplifting responsibility of communicating Jesus’ resurrection, his victory over evil and death. It is not by accident that the first people to announce the resurrection are not the apostles, but a woman and two anonymous disciples. It is the responsibility of every believer to communicate to all the Gospel of Easter. Certainly, the conclusion of the narrative opens our eyes on the whole Church - the eleven whom Jesus rebukes for their unbelief, and also the other disciples – which is sent to communicate the Gospel of Easter to the ends of the world so that every creature may be enveloped by its liberating power.

Prayer of Easter

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 18 June
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
Monday, 19 June
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 20 June
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 21 June
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 22 June
Memory of the Church
Friday, 23 June
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 24 June
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 25 June
Liturgy of the Sunday