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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

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 John 4, 19-5,4

Let us love, then, because he first loved us.

Anyone who says 'I love God' and hates his brother, is a liar, since whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Indeed this is the commandment we have received from him, that whoever loves God, must also love his brother.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and whoever loves the father loves the son.

In this way we know that we love God's children, when we love God and keep his commandments.

This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome,

because every child of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Once again, the apostle insists that we can love because God loved us first, “We love, because He first loved us.” Writing to Christians, John says that it is impossible to truly love without having understood and accepted, even just a little, the love of God. We all know from personal experience how deeply rooted self-love is, our preoccupation with our own ego. God's love for us is the root and model of our love, both our love for each other and our love for God. They are not two loves, but one indivisible love. It is not an abstract love. Love is always concrete. This is why “Those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” The love of God always passes through the love of our neighbour, especially the poorest and the weakest. Indeed all Scripture is infused with this conviction: the inseparability of love towards God and neighbour. Jesus is the greatest example. Love for the Father and love for men and women, in particular for the poor, constituted the substance of his days. No one is excluded from the horizon of his love, even enemies and persecutors, as the Gospels repeatedly reaffirm. It is not a burdensome command; it is certainly challenging, but it is the way which alone can bring peace into the lives of people. John explains further: “Those who say, ‘I love God’, and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars.” St. Augustine says: “If you want to see God, the right idea is available to you: God is love. What is the face of love? What form, what stature, what feet and hands? No one can say. However, it has feet that lead to church; it has hands that give to the poor; it has eyes with which one comes to know the one who is in need. “ The real face of love is Jesus. Those who believe in him, that is, those who welcome him as Master and Saviour and follow him, walk in the ways of God and keep his commandments. This is the faith that conquers the world.

Prayer of the Christmas season