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The Everyday Prayer

printable version

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 John 5, 1-12

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and whoever loves the father loves the son.

In this way we know that we love God's children, when we love God and keep his commandments.

This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome,

because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith.

Who can overcome the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

He it is who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with water alone but with water and blood, and it is the Spirit that bears witness, for the Spirit is Truth.

So there are three witnesses,

the Spirit, water and blood; and the three of them coincide.

If we accept the testimony of human witnesses, God's testimony is greater, for this is God's testimony which he gave about his Son.

Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him, and whoever does not believe is making God a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever has not the Son of God has not life.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle continues to insist on the centrality of faith in Jesus, because whoever believes in him "has been born of God" and therefore as a child of God, obeys God’s commandments. There is a direct relationship between faith, love, and observing the Gospel. It is with this kind of love that Christians, by following the example of Jesus, can defeat the evil present in the world. John notes that Jesus’ love is revealed in water and blood, that is, from the day he was baptized in the Jordan to his death on the cross. This mystery of love is made present to us through the Holy Spirit. It is the action of the Holy Spirit that brings us into communion with the Church, lets us taste the Holy Scriptures, allows us to participate in the Holy Liturgy, and pushes us to love everyone, especially the poorest. The Spirit allows Jesus’ own love to dwell in our hearts and make us capable of loving. As if to reassure Christians that evangelic love is beautiful, the apostle reminds them that God’s commandments are not heavy and do not crush life. On the contrary, they free us from the slavery of self-love and from our subjugation to the passing fashions of the world. The compassionate words Jesus spoke to the crowds that followed him come to mind: "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Mt 11:28-30). With his letter, John echoes these words of Jesus’ and reminds us that the Gospel is not given to us to weigh down our lives, but to free us from our evil instincts and to help us begin living a full life with the risen Jesus. Differently from the other Gospels, John underlines that those who are "in the Son" have already eternal life that is they start being part in the full life that comes from God and that was manifested fully in Jesus.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets