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The Everyday Prayer

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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome

Memory of Mary, a mentally ill woman who died in Rome. With her we remember all who are mentally ill.

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

1 Peter 5, 5-14

In the same way, younger people, be subject to the elders. Humility towards one another must be the garment you all wear constantly, because God opposes the proud but accords his favour to the humble.

Bow down, then, before the power of God now, so that he may raise you up in due time;

unload all your burden on to him, since he is concerned about you.

Keep sober and alert, because your enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

Stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that it is the same kind of suffering that the community of your brothers throughout the world is undergoing.

You will have to suffer only for a little while: the God of all grace who called you to eternal glory in Christ will restore you, he will confirm, strengthen and support you.

His power lasts for ever and ever. Amen.

I write these few words to you through Silvanus, who is a trustworthy brother, to encourage you and attest that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!

Your sister in Babylon, who is with you among the chosen, sends you greetings; so does my son, Mark.

Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this passage from his letter, Peter turns to address those who help the elders in their service to the community, saying that they must submit to their elders. Since the beginning, there is an order that guarantees harmony and stability in the community. In truth, everyone is called to humility, that is, to be children of the Father in heaven and of the mother who is the Church. Humility makes Christians similar to Jesus who puts himself at the service of all. The image that the apostle evokes is beautiful: putting on the apron of humility to mutually serve one another. Most probably the apostle has in mind the scene of the washing of the feet at the last supper. And, certainly he recalls his teacher’s reprimand after his clamorous protests: "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me" (Jn 13:8). Humility is the behaviour that defines the disciple and that saves him or her from pride, which is at the root of all other vices. The adversary, the devil, already present in the earthly garden, employs pride as he continues to ensnare people and tempt them so that they may become his slaves. At times we lack awareness of the strength of evil, of the devil, the spirit of division, which wanders every day to submit us to his wicked will. The apostle exhorts us to resist him because his activity is directed at destroying us, and even more, at devouring us in its voracious, insatiable coils. Christian life is also resistance to evil, in addition to struggle against it. Not giving in to temptations is a step towards conversion. Peter adds that with faith we can defeat the devil, no matter how strong he may seem to be. The same also occurred for Jesus in the desert: he resisted temptation with the force of the Word of God. By leaning on the Lord and abiding in his house, that is by living in the community of disciples, we will be steadfast and nothing will make us waver. The Lord, indeed, will be our salvation. The apostle Peter, concluding his letter, reveals to the disciples what will be given to them in the future: "after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace ... will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you". Yes, "established" on the rock that is Christ, the disciples are already able to live the future "state of the resurrected" from now on.

Memory of the Church