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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saint Nil, Russian staretz († 1508). He was the father of monks to whom he taught the Lord’s great love for humanity, exhorting them to ask God for His own feelings (macrotimia in Greek). Memory of the prayer for the new martyrs presided over by John Paul II at the Coliseum in Rome with the representatives of Christian churches.

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, as we usually think, in saying that his loving the disciples is the fruit of a greater love. 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 ourselves. In short, everything, even love, must be mine, must start from me. The culture of individualism is gaining more strength and threatening 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, like branches to the vine, as humble men and women, is born from this conviction. We need to realize that staying alone dries up our feelings and weakens our arms, so much so that we become incapable of being concerned and unable to serve anyone else but ourselves. Signs of this humility, which the Lord has invited us to follow with him, are to find joy in the joy of whoever is close to us, and likewise to be unhappy if those who are close to us are in need or sad, or poor, or in pain. The promise of Jesus is complete joy, not small or fleeting individual satisfactions. And we will obtain this 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 found only in loving with the same love that Jesus loved, freely and without posing limits.

Memory of the Church