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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of St. Augustine of Canterbury (†605 ca.), bishop, father of the English church

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 16, 5-11

but now I am going to the one who sent me. Not one of you asks, 'Where are you going?'

Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this.

Still, I am telling you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right, and about judgement:

about sin: in that they refuse to believe in me;

about who was in the right: in that I am going to the Father and you will see me no more;

about judgement: in that the prince of this world is already condemned.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Lord spoke to the disciples of the world’s hate and of the persecutions that they would have to undergo: “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Saint Augustine comments on this passage by putting these words into Jesus’ mouth: “It is good for you that this form of servant goes away from you all; it is true I live among you as the Word made flesh, but I do not want you to continue to remain attached to me in a sensible way; I do not want that you, satisfied by this milk, desire to remain children forever. If I do not take away the delicate nourishment that I have raised you with, you will not feel the desire of a more solid food; if with this carnal mentality you remain attached to the flesh, you will never be able to welcome the Spirit.” For Jesus it is time to inaugurate the time of faith. We need to flee the temptation to think that this time is poorer that the time of the apostles. Jesus does not abandon the disciples to their destinies. Poured in their hearts, the Holy Spirit initiates the time of the Church. It is the Spirit that sustains, consoles, keeps, enlightens and makes the disciples able to communicate the Gospel of love so that they may transform the world. The Spirit enlivens and renders operational the evangelical works that the disciples received from Jesus during the three years that they were with him. And the Spirit will help them in the difficult moments they face. The revealing of evil will be the work of the Spirit: the Spirit will “will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgement.” The evangelist imagines a great court where the evil that works in the world will be revealed and unmasked in order to be destroyed. It is the mission that the disciples must live, allowing themselves to be guided by the Spirit. We need to exhaust our eyes scrutinizing the Scriptures, with the help of the Spirit, to be able to see the evil that works in the world and to defeat it with love. It is the serious and fascinating mission of Christians still today to be prophets who unmask evil and show, first of all with their example, the way of good.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord