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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of the prophet Isaiah.

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

Acts 19,1-8

It happened that while Apollos was in Corinth, Paul made his way overland as far as Ephesus, where he found a number of disciples. When he asked, 'Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?' they answered, 'No, we were never even told there was such a thing as a Holy Spirit.' He asked, 'Then how were you baptised?' They replied, 'With John's baptism.' Paul said, 'John's baptism was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people should believe in the one who was to come after him -- namely Jesus.' When they heard this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy. There were about twelve of these men in all. He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out fearlessly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months,


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Paul, coming down from Galatia and Phrygia, arrives in Ephesus. It is a wealthy and populous city, the capital of the province of Asia, sitting on the crossroads of the principle land and sea routes between East and West. The apostle remains there for three entire years, making it the centre of his mission. In fact, he travels from Ephesus to found Christian communities in other cities, like Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis. And he wrote several letters to his communities from Ephesus, including the one to the Corinthians. As soon as he arrives in the city, Paul finds several disciples of the Baptist. There are about a dozen people belonging to a group, inspired by the Baptist, that had found a certain success in the region. They probably had some affinity with the Christians. Paul immediately understands the opportunity he has been given to increase their faith. They had left Judaism and had accepted the prophecy of the Baptist, the forerunner. We could say that the time had now come for them to encounter the Teacher for whom the Baptist had prepared the way. And Paul is the one sent by God to help those disciples of John finish the last part of the journey needed to receive baptism in the Holy Spirit. He became a companion of the small group of "disciples of John," a dozen people. And the time for the new baptism came. It is a little story that reveals the pastoral attentiveness of Paul in seizing every occasion to proclaim the Gospel, in paying attention to questions, which are sometimes hidden in people’s hearts even as they yearn to encounter Jesus. Paul had understood their question, accepted it, and joined them on their spiritual journey. He communicated the Gospel to them until the time of their Baptism. And, while the apostle laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit descended into the hearts of those dozen believers and transformed them into disciples of Jesus. The Spirit immediately revealed its strength through those newly baptized disciples and Luke notes: "They spoke in tongues and prophesied." Paul teaches us to be attentive to the need for the Gospel, for help, and for mercy, that is hidden in the hearts of many. Our task is not to let anything slip through the cracks in order to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord.

Memory of the Poor

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