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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Memorial of Filomena, an elderly woman from Trastevere in Rome, who died in a nursing home in 1976. With her we remember all the elderly, especially those who are alone and those who live in institutions.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 18,12-14

'Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? In truth I tell you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus pronounces these words during a disagreement with the Pharisees, who claimed to be the guides of the people of Israel. But they were bad shepherds. Their legalism led them to be scornful and intolerant with the weak and sinners. Jesus presents himself as the good shepherd whose first responsibility is to be merciful. And he tells the parable of the lost sheep: "What happens if a sheep is lost?" The immediate response of the shepherd is to leave the other remaining sheep in safety and to go out and look for the lost one until he finds it. Jesus does not take the sheep's guilt into account, he only mentions the shepherd's responsibility. The loss of a sheep, even just one, does not reduce the shepherd's care for it. If anything, it increases it. The evangelist adds that if the sheep is found - and unfortunately, the search does not always end positively - the shepherd "rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray." Jesus clarifies that God's desire is for no sheep to get lost. Indeed, God sent him to earth for this very reason, to seek and find that which was lost. What a difference from our carelessness towards each other! Contrary to our indifference, the Lord takes care of each individual, starting with those who are lost. We could say that he makes himself a beggar for each one of us. This is the kind of love that should prevail in lives of Christian communities: a love that knows no limits. Every disciple should care for each of his brothers and sisters with the same care as God. The joy and festivity of fraternity comes from this kind of love. As we listen to this Gospel, we cannot help but ask ourselves about the quality of the love that we have among each other and among our Christian communities. How many people suffer or stray without anyone noticing or taking care of them? Jesus, the good shepherd, calls us back to the primacy of love for others, especially the weak and those who let themselves be overwhelmed by evil.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord

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