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

February 7, 1968 commemorates the beginning of the Community of Sant'Egidio. A group of students from a Roman high school started gathering around the Gospel and loving the poor. Thanksgiving to the Lord for the gift of the Community. Read more

Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Tuesday, February 7

February 7, 1968 commemorates the beginning of the Community of Sant'Egidio. A group of students from a Roman high school started gathering around the Gospel and loving the poor. Thanksgiving to the Lord for the gift of the Community.

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 11,25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed, 'I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. '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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Today we remember the anniversary of the Community of Sant'Egidio. Exactly 55 years passed since its beginning. The first words from our mouths to the Lord today are words of thanks for this precious gift which the Holy Spirit has given to the Church and the world. The Gospel suggests us that Jesus himself "blesses" the Father because the Gospel has once again been "revealed to the little ones." The community, which began by the initiative of a young high school student, Andrea Riccardi, was composed of "little ones" not only because they were very young high schoolers, but mostly because in the original intentions of the community there was, first of all, the awareness of being "children" of the Gospel, that is, "little ones" to whom the mystery of God has been revealed. In the heart of the community a simple and fundamental intuition always remains firm: live the Gospel without addition. It is from the continuous listening to the Gospel that the community is born and continues to be reborn. The story of Sant'Egidio therefore is a story of prayer, a story of listening, a story of friendship with God, with our brothers and sisters and with the poor. From this friendship flows every action of the community. Jesus' thank you is today the thank you of all of us: "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants." And, it is exactly through these "little ones" that the Gospel has spread, as far as it regards the life of the Community, from Rome to the world, always uniting prayer and love for the poor. Wherever it is, the community seeks to live a globalization of love which combats borders and divisions and creates a great people of the poor and humble, allied in the effort to help each other follow the Lord. In the history of the Community, we experience the beauty and power of the Word of the Lord Jesus who says: "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." What might seem like a weight and a burden is instead an experience of sweetness and joy. It is a happy Christianity in a time full of challenges and commitments, but the certainty of the sweetness of the Lord's help sustains us to live according to the way of the Gospel with trust and love.

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!