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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

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Peter 4, 7-11

The end of all things is near, so keep your minds calm and sober for prayer.

Above all preserve an intense love for each other, since love covers over many a sin.

Welcome each other into your houses without grumbling.

Each one of you has received a special grace, so, like good stewards responsible for all these varied graces of God, put it at the service of others.

If anyone is a speaker, let it be as the words of God, if anyone serves, let it be as in strength granted by God; so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to him alone belong all glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"The end of all things is near" writes Peter in his letter. He does not speak about it as a terrible thing to undergo, but as a major event toward which we should go without delay with joy and reverence. It is necessary to be vigilant if one wants to seize the moment as an opportune time. The end of all things, however, is not something to put off to another time distant from our present existence. In truth, we should heed it as something in relation to the end our own days. Actually, we could say that every day for us is a final moment, or better, each day that never returns is in its own way decisive and definitive. For this reason, we should live each day as if it were the last, also because we never know when our last day will be. We should therefore be vigilant not just for a moment, but always, every day. Vigilance is not something abstract or that we do in a remote place. We are vigilant by persevering in prayer and living by love. To our consolation the apostle adds that love covers a great number of sins and quotes Proverbs in this regard: "Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offences" (10:12). The only way to defeat the hatred that divides people is love. Those who love their brothers and sisters, serve the poor and weak, and have concern for others, also prepare their own salvation. This is a conviction that spans the entire spiritual tradition of the Church. Moreover, Jesus himself makes this clear when he affirms that salvation depends on our love for the poor, which he explains in chapter twenty-five of Matthew’s Gospel. We are all called to conduct our lives by living them for others. Peter, among many ways of serving the community, points to two of them that are already found in the Acts of the Apostles: the service of the Word of God and the soup-kitchen. He invites us to rediscover the centrality of prayer and charity: the two tracks along which our salvation runs. All that we have received as a gift should be put at the service of others. In a certain sense we can say that life is a time in which we should return the debt of love that God provides every day for us. This is why love covers all sins and reconciles us with the Lord.

Sunday Vigil