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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 17, 20-26

I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me.

May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.

I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one.

With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.

Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see my glory which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Father, Upright One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.

I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel presents the third and last part of Jesus’ "priestly prayer." The dramatic hour of the passion is drawing closer. Jesus has lifted his eyes to the Father and prayed for that little group of disciples. Now his gaze is widening to include all those who in every age will believe in the Gospel because of the preaching they hear. The walls of the upper room in which the disciples find themselves seem to broaden and a multitude of men and women from every part of the earth appear before Jesus’ eyes, waiting for consolation and peace. Jesus prays for this vast people and asks the Father that "as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." First of all Jesus asks that they may be one. He knows well that the spirit of division, proper of the devil, would destroy them. It does not matter how the devil dresses. All that divides is inspired by the devil. Such is the danger that Jesus dares to say an ambitious, high prayer, almost impossible. Therefore he asks for the impossible: that they all may have the same unity that exists between him and the Father. Jesus’ "exaggerated" love asks for the impossible: because he knows that the Father loves without any limit. In the midst of the pain of his last hour, he feels the responsibility of all the work that still remains to be done, the many women and men who are waiting for his evangelic message, the many needs that require an answer. This is why He wants to protect them and unite them to his mission: the disciples will continue the work for which He himself was sent by the Father. Jesus revealed the name of God to them, along with his love for all men and women. Those who experience the beauty of this love know that it is so strong that nothing can break it. Not even death. The unity among them, the love that binds them in a holy chain, is the reason for which they will be believed. There is no organization, not even the most technically perfect one that can substitute for love between brothers and sisters. Today, this is also the secret of the Church’s efficacy.

Memory of the Church