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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 John 3, 4-10

Whoever sins, acts wickedly, because all sin is wickedness.

Now you are well aware that he has appeared in order to take sins away, and that in him there is no sin.

No one who remains in him sins, and whoever sins has neither seen him nor recognised him.

Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. Whoever acts uprightly is upright, just as he is upright.

Whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil, since the devil has been a sinner from the beginning. This was the purpose of the appearing of the Son of God, to undo the work of the devil.

No one who is a child of God sins because God's seed remains in him. Nor can he sin, because he is a child of God.

This is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil: whoever does not live uprightly and does not love his brother is not from God.


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 reminds Christians that Jesus came to free us from the iniquity that envelops those who do not remain connected to the Gospel. In speaking about sin as "iniquity," John is not thinking about the individual offences each one of us commits because of our weakness, but rather, the condition of those who live outside of love because they are separated from their brothers and sisters. The letter presents "abiding" in Christ as the opposite of iniquity. The bond with Jesus makes Christians so strong that John says that "no one who abides in him sins." By welcoming the love of God, believers defeat the power of evil and live in communion with God and their brothers and sisters. That is why "they cannot sin." Obviously the apostle is not promoting an attitude of foolish arrogance that would be the fruit of pride, but he wants his readers to understand the strength that comes from living in communion with one’s brothers and sisters. Even if everyone of us, including Jesus’ disciples, are sinners, however, the "seed," the Holy Spirit, that is planted in the heart of believers guides them on the path of love and does not let iniquity wrap them in its coils and drown them. John insists that whoever is born of God does not sin because the love of God abides in him or her by means of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit lets him or her do God’s work. The children of God distinguish themselves from the children of iniquity because the latter do not practice justice; that is, they do not observe the one commandment to love one another. It is only in love that true justice can be found.

Memory of the Poor