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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

John 12,44-50

Jesus declared publicly: Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me,

and whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me.

I have come into the world as light, to prevent anyone who believes in me from staying in the dark any more.

If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall judge such a person, since I have come not to judge the world, but to save the world:

anyone who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

For I have not spoken of my own accord; but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and what to speak,

and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this Gospel passage, we see Jesus continuing to preach openly in the temple about his mission. Actually, he is crying it aloud, recalling the authority of the prophets: "Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me." Jesus does not present himself only as one who is sent by the Father, but as one with Him. He leads us into the very heart of the Gospel message. He came as the true light into the world revealing the mystery of love hidden in God. The Son revealed it to us: "I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak." An exegete on God, Jesus explains to us the Father’s love. The Creator of heaven and earth wants the salvation of all people, because they are all his children. Whoever listens to the Son’s words is saved, while whoever does not listen to them or refuses them will be condemned. It is about listening to and cherishing the Gospel word—that is, it is about accepting it and putting it into practice, as Jesus said at the conclusion of his sermon on the mount. Jesus speaks to save, not to condemn. He does not scorn the illuminated wick about to go out at the slightest breeze or the strained reed about to snap in half. True condemnation does not come from the Word of God, but from the little faith that we put in it: we do not believe that it can change our hearts, that it can create new feelings and actions. "The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge:" this is more a statement of fact than a condemnation. Indeed, if we do not welcome the Word of God and live it, how will it be able to guide us, heal us, and make us happy? We will be condemned to listening only to ourselves and remaining prisoners within our narrow horizon. However, if we listen to the Gospel of Christ, we will be introduced into the very mystery of God: "What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me." There is a sort of chain of love: the Father speaks to the Son the truth about his love, and the Son in turn communicates it to us. Every time we listen to the word of God and partake in the Eucharist, we are gathered in the mystery of communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Lord lowers himself all the way down to where we are so that we may be like Him.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets