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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Colossians 3, 12-17

As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same.

Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond.

And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful.

Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God;

and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle calls the Christians “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved.” Begotten by God’s love, believers are set apart in order to belong to him and delight in his friendship like beloved children. And if Christ, the perfect image of God, has become the entire life of a believer, he or she should base his or her behaviour on Christ and become more and more similar to Him. It is not by chance that the five virtues mentioned by the apostle at the beginning of this passage (v. 12) recall God and Christ’s own behaviour towards Israel. The apostle insists on two attitudes: mutual tolerance and forgiveness. We could say that love tolerates and forgives because its objective is communion between the brothers and sisters and unity in the community. For the apostle, love (agape) is more than a virtue: it is the very love of God poured out into the believer’s heart. Paul takes the image of clothing and asks Christians to spread God’s love over the virtues he has just named like a cloak that covers them all. Indeed love is what “binds everything together in perfect harmony,” that is, the bond that holds all the virtues together and makes the communion between brothers and sisters strong and solid. Agape is the source of every virtue and the goal toward which they all point: communion with God and with our brothers and sisters. Consequently, the apostle reminds his readers of the centrality of the Word, which in a certain sense presides over love, because the Church lives on the Word of God, which makes Jesus himself present among the disciples. The Gospel is not just a text to study: it is a sacrament of Christ, a place of encounter between Jesus and the believer. The Word, welcomed and lived, becomes the foundation of the community’s unity and the source of songs of joy and thanksgiving that rise up to God because of the gift of salvation. The experience of meeting the risen Jesus in the context of the community that listens and prayers gives the believer the drive to live out love everywhere, beyond every boundary.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets