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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

John 10, 22-30

It was the time of the feast of Dedication in Jerusalem. It was winter,

and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon.

The Jews gathered round him and said, 'How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us openly.'

Jesus replied: I have told you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name are my witness;

but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine.

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.

I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from my hand.

The Father, for what he has given me, is greater than anyone, and no one can steal anything from the Father's hand.

The Father and I are one.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The feast of the Dedication of the temple was celebrated every year in winter. John the Evangelist tells us that on the day of the celebration, Jesus was in Solomon’s porch, one of the arcades that surrounded the square from the inside of the temple. It will be the place where the first Christian community, after the resurrection, will gather for its meetings, as if to continue to go to the places that Jesus attended and to recreate what he did and said. Many gathered in the porch to listen to Jesus. Some ask him to say clearly whether or not he is the Messiah. They do not want to remain in uncertainty and doubt. The requests appear legitimate: “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” In truth, more than seeking Jesus, more than understanding his heart and his thoughts and subsequently getting involved with his mission, those Jews were seeking their security, their peace of mind. Their search is far from that of John the Baptist who, unlike them, left his certainties and the stingy tranquilities that prevent us from seriously looking for God. The Baptist’s desire to seek God was so deep that not even the prison succeeded in suffocating him. Our attitude is much duller: rather than seeking the truth and the good, we want to have a quiet conscience, without anxiety and responsibility. But the search for God demands the abandonment of our certainties and of our habits in order to get involved through a word that comes from outside and asks to be welcomed with availability. Jesus responded to their requests for clarification by saying that the works he had completed bore witness to him: “The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me.” Yet their eyes were clouded by selfishness and their loneliness. This is why Jesus says to them, “But you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.” Without familiarity with the Gospel, we cannot get close to the mystery of God. Those who are available in their hearts to hear the Gospel will hear how great the love of Jesus is and will understand that no one can snatch it from his hands. For the Lord is stronger than evil and death.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord