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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

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 15, 9-11

I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Continuing the discourse to the disciples, Jesus openly confesses the nature of his love: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you.” Jesus does not feel diminished in saying that his loving the disciples is the fruit of a greater love, as we usually think. Blinded by the need to appear original and to not depend on anyone, we are ashamed to admit that our happiness depends on the love of another greater than us. In sum, everything, even love, must be mine, must start from me. The culture of individualism is what’s gaining more strength and which threatens to disintegrate every communion. Independence from others does not lead to love, but to the contrary: solitude. Jesus, on the contrary, demonstrates that his love for the disciples starts with the Father. The invitation to the disciples to remain bonded to him as humble men and women is born from this conviction, like branches to the vine. We need to realize that staying alone dries up our feelings and weakens our arms, so much as to make us become incapable of being concerned and unable to serve anyone else but ourselves. A sign of this humility is knowing how to take joy in the joy of whoever is close to us, as the Lord has invited us to do with him. And in the same way, not being able to be happy if those who are close to us are in need or are sad, or are poor, or are in pain is a sign of this humility. The promise of Jesus is of a complete joy, not of small or fleeting individual satisfactions. And we will obtain the joy in its entirety if we know how to observe the commandment of love that the Lord has shown to that rich young man who asked him the way to eternal life: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Yes, true joy is only in loving with the same love that Jesus loved, freely and without posing limits.

Memory of the Church