Memory of the Mother of the Lord
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Memory of the Mother of the Lord

Remembrance of Modesta, a homeless woman refused medical assistance because she was dirty and was left to die in the Termini train station in Rome in 1983. Along with her we remember all those without a home and succour who have died. Read more

Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Tuesday, January 31

Remembrance of Modesta, a homeless woman refused medical assistance because she was dirty and was left to die in the Termini train station in Rome in 1983. Along with her we remember all those without a home and succour who have died.

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

Hebrews 12,1-4

With so many witnesses in a great cloud all around us, we too, then, should throw off everything that weighs us down and the sin that clings so closely, and with perseverance keep running in the race which lies ahead of us. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection: for the sake of the joy which lay ahead of him, he endured the cross, disregarding the shame of it, and has taken his seat at the right of God's throne. Think of the way he persevered against such opposition from sinners and then you will not lose heart and come to grief. In the fight against sin, you have not yet had to keep fighting to the point of bloodshed.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After narrating the long story of the witnesses of faith, the author of the Letter to the Hebrews turns directly to the community directly and exhorts them so that its members do not feel alone: they are a part of a long story of faith and salvation. Indeed, the community of believers to whom the Letter speaks is "surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses" that sustain, exhort and encourage them to persevere in the faith and discipleship of Jesus. Using an image dear to Paul, the author of this letter uses the image of a race, so that Christians may generously persist in the struggle of faith. As with any race, one must set aside every burden and impediment of sin that weights one down, and must keep one's eyes fixed on the goal, Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith." Christians are called to imitate Christ. In this sense, they always remain disciples, that is, believers who listen and follow the Master in every season of their lives. Disciples understand the urgency of time and do not wait, hesitate or procrastinate. They know that every season has its own opportune moment that is not to be lost. Thus, perseverance is needed. The Letter, which speaks about joy and the cross, can sound like a contradiction. In truth Christian joy cannot but pass through the wounds of pain and suffering; it cannot avoid touching in some way Jesus' wounds. The author explains that to be a follower of Christ means to accept his cross, that is to withstand opposition and threats in order to reach our home in Heaven. This is why believers should not take their eyes off Jesus: "Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart" (Heb 12:3).

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!