Liturgy of the Sunday
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Liturgy of the Sunday

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Protestant Churches and Ecclesial Communities (Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, and Evangelical). Read more

Liturgy of the Sunday
Sunday, January 22

Prayer for the unity of Christians. Particular memory of the Protestant Churches and Ecclesial Communities (Lutheran, Reformed, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, and Evangelical).

First Reading

Isaiah 8,23-9,3

For is not everything dark as night for a country in distress? As the past humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, so the future will glorify the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, the territory of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on the inhabitants of a country in shadow dark as death light has blazed forth. You have enlarged the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest time, as they exult when they are dividing the spoils. For the yoke that weighed on it, the bar across its shoulders, the rod of its oppressor, these you have broken as on the day of Midian.


Psalm 27


Hear Lord the voice of my pleading.

To you, O Lord, I call,
my rock, hear me.

If you do not heed I shall become
like those in the grave.

Hear the voice of my pleading as I call for help,
as I lift up my hands in prayer to you holy place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with the evil-doers,

who speak words of peace to their neighbours
but with evil in their hearts.

Repay them as their actions deserve
and the malice of their deeds.

Repay them for the work of their hands;
give them their deserts.

For they ignore the deeds of the Lord
and the work of his hands.
May he ruin them and never rebuild them.

Blessed be the Lord for he has heard
my cry, my appeal.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts.

I was helped, my heart rejoices
and I praise him with my song.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress where his anointed find help.

Save your people; bless Israel your heritage.
Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.

Second Reading

1 Corinthians 1,10-13.17

Brothers, I urge you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to have factions among yourselves but all to be in agreement in what you profess; so that you are perfectly united in your beliefs and judgements. From what Chloe's people have been telling me about you, brothers, it is clear that there are serious differences among you. What I mean is this: every one of you is declaring, 'I belong to Paul,' or 'I belong to Apollos,' or 'I belong to Cephas,' or 'I belong to Christ.' Has Christ been split up? Was it Paul that was crucified for you, or was it in Paul's name that you were baptised? After all, Christ sent me not to baptise, but to preach the gospel; and not by means of wisdom of language, wise words which would make the cross of Christ pointless.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 4,12-23

Hearing that John had been arrested he withdrew to Galilee, and leaving Nazara he went and settled in Capernaum, beside the lake, on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali! Way of the sea beyond Jordan. Galilee of the nations! The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who lived in a country of shadow dark as death a light has dawned. From then onwards Jesus began his proclamation with the message, 'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.' As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast into the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you fishers of people.' And at once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. And at once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him. He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and illness among the people.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


In the "Galilee of the peoples" the Gospel, the good news, is heard for the first time. Here, where pagans and the marginalized mingled, Jesus begins to say: "The time has come," the days of violence, hatred, abandonment, and enmity end and the time for justice and peace begin. The history of humankind reaches a turning point, "The Kingdom of God is near." The kingdom of love, forgiveness, salvation, and God's lordship has come and from this moment begins to assert itself in the life of humankind. The feast of the Word of God that we celebrate today reminds us that from that day this voice has never ceased calling men and women to repentance. What had happened like in figure in Nineveh with Jonah's preaching was now being fulfilled, and for the entire world, on the shores of the sea of Galilee. Jesus said, "And see, something greater than Jonah is here!" (Mt12:41). And this is the good news: finally, through Jesus, God himself starts reigning in the history of men and women. Certainly, the commitment of people needs to respond to God's intervention. "Repent," Jesus asked everyone. He also repeated the invitation on the shores of Lake Tiberias to Simon and Andrew, while they were intent on throwing the nets. Continuing to walk, he proposed it to two other brothers, James and John, who were also busy mending their nets. "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." Probably in the only language they could understand, Jesus proposed to them a new perspective of life, a life not bent over the usual fishing, with the usual nets and already known times, rather an existence immersed in a new sea, that of history, and focused on "fishing" men and women in the troubled waters of the world and led them to salvation. The Lord returns along the sea of our days and our lives and while each of us, small or big, is bent over repairing our nets, overwhelmed by the pains and toils of always and we hear the same invitation as then: "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." The Gospel notes that "immediately" the four left the nets and followed him. Indeed, as the Apostle Paul notes, "the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away" (7:29-31). The affections, the crying, the joy, the buying, the using often exhaust our days, our minds, our lives, so much so that they lock them up as if they were in an inextricable web. The Lord comes not to mortify life, but rather to dissolve it from this tangled web and grow it; he wants to extend affection to so many other people, he wants us to weep not only for ourselves but with those who are afflicted, he wants that joy not be for the few but for the many, he wants the goods of this world to be not for the privilege of some because they are destined for all.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9, 3:7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!