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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 3,31-36

He who comes from above is above all others; he who is of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven

bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, but his testimony is not accepted by anybody;

though anyone who does accept his testimony is attesting that God is true,

since he whom God has sent speaks God's own words, for God gives him the Spirit without reserve.

The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to his hands.

Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: God's retribution hangs over him.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This Gospel passage that we have heard continues Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus and, once again, reiterates the centrality of having faith in Jesus. Jesus invites Nicodemus to lift his gaze up from earthly things, from his inveterate habits, from his convictions, even his religious ones, and to look upwards. The Gospel also makes this invitation to us who all too often become comfortable living a banal and lazy life, resigning ourselves to a sad present void of a hopeful future for us and for others. The words spoken to Nicodemus are a clear invitation to direct his gaze toward Jesus: he is "from above, from heaven" and "is above all." Jesus is the true hope for us and for the world. He came down from heaven to be with us and to speak to us about his life with the Father: "He," Jesus says speaking in the third person, "testifies to what he has seen and heard," revealing God’s mystery, which otherwise would remain impenetrable to us. Revealing God’s mystery is the Son’s mission. He did not come to assert himself or to present personal projects to enact, as each one of us is disposed to do, but to communicate to us "words of God" and to give all of us "the Spirit without measure." This is why we should feel respect and be devoted to the Holy Scripture and, in particular, to the Gospels that contain "the words of Jesus" and that are the key to reading the whole of Holy Scripture. Every day, we are called to listen to these words and to meditate on them to the point of making them our own. The Bible—whose culmination is the Gospels—is not just any book to us: the words it contains are "inspired," that is, they are filled with the Holy Spirit. For this reason, the reading of sacred Scripture can only happen under the impulse of the Spirit that is its true author. And the Spirit gave itself to us "without measure" precisely so that we may have the eyes of our mind and our heart enlightened by this light. The words of Holy Scripture, therefore, must not be listened to out of vain curiosity, but with religious attention so that they may enter into our heart and help us to change our lives and the life of the world. The exhortation to "believe in the Son" does not mean anything else but to have the Gospel in our heart as the Word of salvation. Whoever listens to them and keeps them in his or her heart "has eternal life."

Memory of the Church