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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of St. Stanislaw, bishop of Krakow and martyr (†1071). He defended the poor, the dignity of men and women, and the freedom of the Gospel and the Church

Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 10, 31-42

The Jews fetched stones to stone him,

so Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many good works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?'

The Jews answered him, 'We are stoning you, not for doing a good work, but for blasphemy; though you are only a man, you claim to be God.'

Jesus answered: Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods?

So it uses the word 'gods' of those people to whom the word of God was addressed -- and scripture cannot be set aside.

Yet to someone whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world you say, 'You are blaspheming' because I said, 'I am Son of God.'

If I am not doing my Father's work, there is no need to believe me;

but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for certain that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.

They again wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded their clutches.

He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to the district where John had been baptising at first and he stayed there.

Many people who came to him said, 'John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true';

and many of them believed in him.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

After Jesus says, I and the Father are one, (Jn 10:30), the Jews explode with anger and try to stone him. According to the Evangelist John, it is the second time that the Jews have tried to stone him (Jn 8:59).They had clearly understood the implications of Jesus’ words. It was blasphemy, and the punishment was death by stoning. This time, instead of vanishing from sight, Jesus responds with the calm of someone who knows he is doing the will of the Father. And he says to them: I have shown you many good works from the Father: for which of them you want to stone me? The Jews argue that their reaction does not come from any wrong that Jesus has committed, but from his claim - unacceptable because it is truly blasphemy - to be God: It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God. The poor and weak people that Jesus helped had a very different reaction. They were happy and continued to listen to and follow him. They understood that a love as great and strong as this could only come from God. Obviously, if we look at the extraordinary signs performed by Jesus and his words with an attitude of pride and coldness, we do not see reality as it is. The eyes of our heart and mind remain closed. We could say that the Pharisees were blinded by that love. And they defended themselves with the most obvious of objections: Salvation cannot come from someone we know. This is the meaning of the accusation they make against Jesus: You, though only a human being, are making yourself God. Faith tells us that Jesus is truly a human being but also truly God. Indeed, this is the mystery that the Gospel reveals to us: Jesus is truly God and truly human. This mystery, preserved and transmitted by the disciples of every age, from generation to generation, is applicable to the Church itself, which is both a work of human beings and a work of God. The Church itself is a mystery of love. The apostle Paul calls it the Body of Christ. Through the Church, its sacraments, and its preaching of the Gospel we all enter into relationship with God. In this sense we could say that the Church is a work of Christ, indeed, it is his body projected through time. The Christian community is the sacrament - the sign - of Jesus’ presence throughout history. These statements not only failed to stop the Jews, they convinced them to try to seize Jesus. But he escaped from them. The evangelist John emphasizes that it is not Jesus’ enemies who seize him, but Jesus himself who turns himself over to them when the time comes. And he does it out of love. But for now he slips away and seeks refuge in the place where John was baptizing. There many people continued to come to him to listen to his words of salvation. And they let their hearts be touched.

Memory of Jesus crucified