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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

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Peter 3, 8-12

Finally: you should all agree among yourselves and be sympathetic; love the brothers, have compassion and be self-effacing.

Never repay one wrong with another, or one abusive word with another; instead, repay with a blessing. That is what you are called to do, so that you inherit a blessing.

For Who among you delights in life, longs for time to enjoy prosperity? Guard your tongue from evil, your lips from any breath of deceit.

Turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the upright, his ear turned to their cry. But the Lord's face is set against those who do evil.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Peter knows well how important harmony is in the life of the community. He feels the need of re-proposing it, inscribing it into the spirit of the Beatitudes: to be compassionate, fraternal and humble of heart. The initial appeal that Jesus had emphasized in his Sermon on the Mount is the background of this exhortation: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). The request to overcome evil with good, to watch one’s tongue and to strive for peace and justice, does not have the flavour of an unattainable utopia, although it does preserve the dimension of "heroism" inherent in the Gospel. To water it down, or worse, to cut it out entirely means to kill the very heart of the Gospel. The disciples of Jesus know very well that they are not less than their Teacher and that like him they are called to bless and not curse. Besides, the task of Christians is not to save themselves, but to serve the world, saving it from sin and death. Christians, regarding their role in the world, must carry out a kind of ministry of benediction: they are called to humanize the world that seems to become more cruel and inhuman. Hence, in our time in which arrogance and violence seem to dominate entire cities and countries, their task is more urgent than ever. Facing a growing widespread blind violence, Peter’s appeal to turn away from evil and to do good, to seek peace, indeed to strive for it, sounds particularly daunting. His appeal is about not resigning ourselves to evil and its work and doing everything possible to pursue the great good that is peace, not responding to violence with violence. It is not a hopeless choice, rather it is the only way to defeat evil. The apostle reminds that "The eyes of the Lord" watch over the believers, who spend their life working for peace and justice, and His ears are attentive to their prayers.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord