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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

Acts 14,8-18

There was a man sitting there who had never walked in his life, because his feet were crippled from birth; he was listening to Paul preaching, and Paul looked at him intently and saw that he had the faith to be cured. Paul said in a loud voice, 'Get to your feet-stand up,' and the cripple jumped up and began to walk. When the crowds saw what Paul had done they shouted in the language of Lycaonia, 'The gods have come down to us in human form.' They addressed Barnabas as Zeus, and since Paul was the principal speaker they called him Hermes. The priests of Zeus-outside-the-Gate, proposing that all the people should offer sacrifice with them, brought garlanded oxen to the gates. When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard what was happening they tore their clothes, and rushed into the crowd, shouting, 'Friends, what do you think you are doing? We are only human beings, mortal like yourselves. We have come with good news to make you turn from these empty idols to the living God who made sky and earth and the sea and all that these hold. In the past he allowed all the nations to go their own way; but even then he did not leave you without evidence of himself in the good things he does for you: he sends you rain from heaven and seasons of fruitfulness; he fills you with food and your hearts with merriment.' With this speech they just managed to prevent the crowd from offering them sacrifice.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Among those who are listening to Paul in Lystra, the city where he had found shelter after fleeing from Iconium, there is a cripple man who has never walked in his life. Paul, following Jesus’ example, looks at him intently and reads in the deep of his heart the simple but significant desire to walk. Immediately Paul stops preaching, or better, he makes it true and effective. He turns to the man and says to him authoritatively, “Stand upright on your feet!” The strong words he speaks to the lamed man enter the fibres of that man and makes him stand up. The cripple, as Luke notes, “sprung up and began to walk.” The Gospel makes men and women rise from their paralysis; it strengthens the legs crippled by self-love, restores the dignity of standing and is no longer enslaved by the many evil spirits of the world. Peter did the same thing for the lame man sitting and begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. But this is also what the disciples of every time, even today, can do when they trust in the Word of the Lord. Often, we believers of the last hour, despise the “power” of healing that the Lord has entrusted to us. The rational reasoning that we sometimes claim is nothing but an excuse for our weak faith and becomes the means with which we humiliate the Gospel’s words that the Lord continues to share with us. When those who were present witness the miracle they believe that Barnabas and Paul are gods and run towards them to exalt them, but the two disciples know that it is the Lord who has worked through them. The miracle is not the work of men and women but of the Gospel, the work of that small book that is the source of life for the disciples and for all those who listen to it.

Memory of Jesus crucified

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 14 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 15 January
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 16 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 17 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 18 January
Memory of the Church
Friday, 19 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 20 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday