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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Saints Basil the Great (330-379), bishop of Caesarea and Father of monasticism in the East, and of Gregory Nazianzus (330-389), Doctor of the Church and Patriarch of Constantinople.

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 2,22-28

Who is the liar, if not one who claims that Jesus is not the Christ? This is the Antichrist, who denies both the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son cannot have the Father either; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father too. Let what you heard in the beginning remain in you; as long as what you heard in the beginning remains in you, you will remain in the Son and in the Father. And the promise he made you himself is eternal life. So much have I written to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. But as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; since the anointing he gave you teaches you everything, and since it is true, not false, remain in him just as he has taught you. Therefore remain in him now, children, so that when he appears we may be fearless, and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle John has before his eyes two realities. On one side are the false prophets, who are trying to divide the community. On the other side, the faithful, who should not be afraid of these prophets because they have an inner defence - the anointing - that saves them from error. The anointing is the sign of the Holy Spirit acting in the hearts of believers. The apostle assures us: it is "true and is not a lie." In his farewell discourse to his disciples, Jesus had told them: "But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you" (Jn 14:26). Abiding in the "anointing" means remaining in the evangelic heart of the community of disciples, that is, remaining faithful to the Word that we received at the beginning and that brought us to new life. It is remarkable that in just a few verses the verb "abide" occurs five times, as if to emphasize how precious it is to remain faithful to the anointing we have received and to the community that is called to live and give witness to it in the world. Salvation does not depend primarily on the works we do, but on abiding in the Word that brought us to new life and in the community in which we were welcomed. It is a physical and concrete "abiding" - indeed, it is difficult for people to love one another without seeing each other - but this "abiding" is primarily spiritual and interior, consisting of listening, obedience, prayer, fraternity, commitment, and generous service. Those who abide in the community in a spiritual way, that is with mind, heart and body, abide in God; this is "eternal life," that is never ending life.

Prayer of the Christmas season