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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 16, 20-23

'In all truth I tell you, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.

A woman in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a human being has been born into the world.

So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you.

When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions. In all truth I tell you, anything you ask from the Father he will grant in my name.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Friendship with the Lord is not a granted dimension, and not only because of the disaccord of the world, but also because it requires a true rebirth, as Jesus himself said to Nicodemus. For this reason now Jesus compares the faith--or the bond of faith with Him--to a delivery, which is fruit of a long and hard gestation. Faith is not the sudden result of whoever thinks they are smart and therefore ready to believe; and neither is it the spontaneous result of a normal condition. We could say that here we touch directly the fact that one is not born Christian, but one becomes it, and with some commitment too. In fact, as in pregnancy, the woman personally participates to the growth of the new life welcomed in her womb, at the same way the child’s development is not the fruit of her ability or some quality. And so if welcomed in the heart, the Word of God grows, develops, and generates new life. Not because we are particularly deserving or better, but because it acts with power in those who welcome it and allow it to operate, even among many difficulties. Therefore we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be afflicted by the difficulty with which at times we wrestle to welcome the Word, while it seems so easy to let it flee far from us like something taken for granted or useless. This patient work will give us a deeper interiority; that is, the ability to taste the sweetness of every Word that comes to us from the Gospel and even the bitterness when it forces us to change our thoughts and habits. This is the gift that the Gospel talks about, which no one can deny or take away because it is fruit of a listening faith which all can live, if they want to.

Memory of Jesus crucified