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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 John 1, 8-2,11

If we say, 'We have no sin,' we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us;

if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil.

If we say, 'We have never sinned,' we make him a liar, and his word has no place in us.

My children, I am writing this to prevent you from sinning; but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the upright.

He is the sacrifice to expiate our sins, and not only ours, but also those of the whole world.

In this way we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

Whoever says, 'I know him' without keeping his commandments, is a liar, and truth has no place in him.

But anyone who does keep his word, in such a one God's love truly reaches its perfection. This is the proof that we are in God.

Whoever claims to remain in him must act as he acted.

My dear friends, this is not a new commandment I am writing for you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message you have heard.

Yet in another way, I am writing a new commandment for you -- and this is true for you, just as much as for him -- for darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

Whoever claims to be in light but hates his brother is still in darkness.

Anyone who loves his brother remains in light and there is in him nothing to make him fall away.

But whoever hates his brother is in darkness and is walking about in darkness not knowing where he is going, because darkness has blinded him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle knows well that communion with the Lord does not come from adhering to some abstract truth; it comes when the believers "do the truth," that is, when they put the Gospel into practice. In order to live in communion with God we need first of all to acknowledge our sin and not believe ourselves to be righteous. "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." The awareness of being sinners is indispensable and it is possible if every day we humbly put ourselves before the Word of God that helps our inner examination. However, sin is not a condemnation. Instead it opens the doors to the forgiveness of the only Just One, Christ, who died in expiation of our sins and of the sins of the whole world. From this John emphasizes that to know Jesus is to observe his commandments, to live according to his word and not according to ourselves. "Knowledge" for the Bible is not so much an intellectual understanding but rather a way to live and love. This is why the disciples are called to behave like Christ. The apostle then introduces the theme of love. The power of love loosens us from the slavery of sin. Love is an "old" commandment, but it is also the true new thing that clearly illuminates the disciples’ path. Whoever does not welcome it, that is, whoever does not love his or her brothers and sisters, "is in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness." It is a clear distinction: whoever loves his or her brothers and sisters is in the light, and whoever hates them is in the darkness. Here John restates the image of living in the light that in the previous passage consisted in living in communion with God and consequently in the love for brothers and sisters. That is why John reminds his readers that love is the only real thing that saves the world from destruction and death.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord