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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 7, 1-2.10.25-30

After this Jesus travelled round Galilee; he could not travel round Judaea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.

As the Jewish feast of Shelters drew near,

However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, not publicly but secretly.

Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, 'Isn't this the man they want to kill?

And here he is, speaking openly, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have recognised that he is the Christ?

Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.'

Then, as Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he cried out: You know me and you know where I came from. Yet I have not come of my own accord: but he who sent me is true; You do not know him,

but I know him because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me.

They wanted to arrest him then, but because his hour had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

With this passage the evangelist John begins to note the more heated controversies between Jesus and his opponents. Jesus, who is still in Galilee, does not want to go to Jerusalem because he does not want to fall into the hands of his enemies. But at the beginning of the Festival of Booths, Jesus decides to go to the temple. He was recognized and immediately a debate breaks out among the people. By now it was known that the leaders wanted to kill him to impede him from preaching. And with some irony the people asked themselves if by chance they had not recognized in him the Messiah. But, revealing their incredulity, they are quick to add that they know where Jesus is from while the origins of the Messiah will not be known. At this point Jesus once again begins to teach publicly in the temple and unveils their incedulity. He responds that he knows very well where the Messiah comes from and who sent him among men and women. This is the substance of his preaching. Whoever listens to him and follows him puts him or herself on the path of salvation, of knowing who the Father is and of following him faithfully. At this point the people, just like their leaders, listening to Jesus, push back on the truth of the Gospel and try to arrest him. This story often repeats itself and sometimes we are part of it. How many times do we try to lay our hands on the Gospel to block it, to wound it, to trap it in the web of our habits, to annul its power of change! No one, however, was able to stop Jesus. The evangelist John states clearly that it is not the persecutors who eliminate Jesus; they are not strong enough. It is Jesus himself who hands himself over to the persecutors so that they will take him all the way to the cross. It is he who gives his life to us. He is the sacrament of the Father’s limitless love for all people.

Memory of Jesus crucified