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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memory of the holy prophet David to whom some of the psalms are attributed. For centuries the psalms have nourished the prayer both of Jews and Christians. Memory of Thomas Becket, defender of justice and of the dignity of the Church.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Glory to God in the highest
and peace on earth to the people he loves.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 John 2, 3-11

In this way we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

Whoever says, 'I know him' without keeping his commandments, is a liar, and truth has no place in him.

But anyone who does keep his word, in such a one God's love truly reaches its perfection. This is the proof that we are in God.

Whoever claims to remain in him must act as he acted.

My dear friends, this is not a new commandment I am writing for you, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message you have heard.

Yet in another way, I am writing a new commandment for you -- and this is true for you, just as much as for him -- for darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

Whoever claims to be in light but hates his brother is still in darkness.

Anyone who loves his brother remains in light and there is in him nothing to make him fall away.

But whoever hates his brother is in darkness and is walking about in darkness not knowing where he is going, because darkness has blinded him.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The desire to know God is deeply rooted in the heart of every human person. And it is good for this desire to disturb us. It is the first step in escaping our selfishness. John is trying to teach us a simple way to know the Lord. And he writes that we can know God if we keep his commandments, not if we make great efforts of speculative thought. John affirms that there is no other way to know him. Whoever listens to his Word and puts it into practice abides in God himself, so much so that John can say that “truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection.” We are not perfect; the love that has been given to us is perfect. Obviously it has to be put into practice; we need to walk “just as he walked.” The apostle then introduces the theme of love. He states that it is a new commandment, but also an old one, one that they have been given since the beginning. The Gospel and love have been tightly bound together since the beginning. A true breakthrough has occurred in human history. Jesus brought about a new perspective on humanity; he proposed a new vision, and with it “the true light is...shining,” the light that scatters the shadows that envelop the world. It is the light of the love of God, which brings us to love our brothers and sisters as well. Whoever does not welcome and live in this love remains “in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.” The Gospel is the true innovation that changes the world. There is no alternative to love, other than darkness and death.

Prayer of the Christmas season