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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

Matthew 11,28-30

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus has before his eyes those crowds of the poor made up of the "little ones," those who are given no consideration, but rather are cast aside because they are thought to be a burden. The Gospels often emphasize the compassion the Lord has for these crowds. And they note that often it is Jesus himself who goes towards them. What an important teaching for us! How can we not think of the countless crowds of today, who are left to themselves and pushed to the edges of society? They are crowds of children and young people, adults and the elderly. They are the ones Jesus has compassion on, and it is to them that Jesus speaks the words of this Gospel. "Come to me," says Jesus. He sees the crowd groaning because of the difficult condition in which they live for the burden imposed on them by whoever happens to be in power. Here the Gospel is referring to the burdens the Pharisees had placed on them, without giving a thought to love or mercy. On the shoulders of these "little ones," these rules become like the hard, knotty yoke that peasants put on the neck of draft animals. The Law, which was given for salvation and life (Ez 20:13), had been transformed into an unbearable burden of minute rules that no one fulfilled, not even the teachers of the law. Moved by these crowds, Jesus calls them to him and promises comfort. It is the rest given by the one who came to serve, to help, to love, and to save, not to think about himself and his own gain. In contrast to the "yoke" of the Pharisees, Jesus proposes his own "yoke," which is "easy and light." It is easy to carry. Not because it is not demanding. On the contrary, Jesus is proposing a high ideal. He preaches a Gospel that demands radical choices and total dedication. And yet this "yoke" is easy, because it is truly close to humanity, just as Jesus himself is close to men and women, to the small and the weak. The Gospel of love is demanding, but it is a sweet weight that saves. Jesus gives himself as an example: "Learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart." Jesus' yoke is Jesus himself and his Gospel. It is not an external weight that is put on our shoulders. The yoke is the Gospel of love that the Lord places in our hearts. In his first letter, John, the disciple of love, wrote, "His commandments are not burdensome" (5:3). Jesus' love is what saves and sustains us.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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