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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Peter 1, 6-12

This is a great joy to you, even though for a short time yet you must bear all sorts of trials;

so that the worth of your faith, more valuable than gold, which is perishable even if it has been tested by fire, may be proved -- to your praise and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.

You have not seen him, yet you love him; and still without seeing him you believe in him and so are already filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described;

and you are sure of the goal of your faith, that is, the salvation of your souls.

This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the prophets who spoke of the grace you were to receive,

searching out the time and circumstances for which the Spirit of Christ, bearing witness in them, was revealing the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow them.

It was revealed to them that it was for your sake and not their own that they were acting as servants delivering the message which has now been announced to you by those who preached to you the gospel through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle invites the Christians, tested by the opposition of the world, not to be discouraged, but to rejoice: "In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials". The trials are given so as to purify the life of the disciples, as a fire purifies gold, cleansing it of impurities. The Book of Wisdom had already written: "The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God... because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them" (33:1-7). Such purification is aimed at rendering the disciples like Jesus. For this, our gaze should be turned toward him. Peter insists that faith causes joy even in difficulties. Sadness is often the fruit of hopelessness and love for oneself. The rich young man went away sad because he was worried for his riches. The Apostle writes to them, "Although you have not seen him, you love" God; but there are the eyes of the heart that allow us to see Jesus’ face. While the apostle was writing, he wanted the Christians to be able to experience what he himself lived the night of his betrayal when his Teacher looked at him or when Jesus, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, questioned him about his love: "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" And he responded, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you" (Jn 21:15-17). Having one’s gaze fixed on the face of Jesus is a source of "unspeakable joy" and support in order to achieve "the salvation of our souls." The apostle means the salvation of the entire Christian community, which every disciple, truly, should care about. Yes, the salvation of the community should be the first concern of every believer, as it was also the concern of the ancient prophets, who searched and meditated "day and night" (Ps 1:2) on Holy Scripture. The same Spirit that guided the prophets continues its work today. By accepting in their heart the preaching of the Gospel, the believers are guided by the Spirit to understand the mystery of salvation that was kept hidden and that now the Father has revealed to his own children.

Memory of the Poor