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The Everyday Prayer

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

In the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere the Community of Sant’Egidio prays for the sick.

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

1 John 3,7-10

Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. Whoever acts uprightly is upright, just as he is upright. Whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil, since the devil has been a sinner from the beginning. This was the purpose of the appearing of the Son of God, to undo the work of the devil. No one who is a child of God sins because God's seed remains in him. Nor can he sin, because he is a child of God. This is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil: whoever does not live uprightly and does not love his brother is not from God.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The apostle reminds his readers that Jesus came to free us from iniquity that enslaves those who do not stay linked to the Gospel. In this passage from his Letter, sin understood as "iniquity" refers not so much to individual faults that each of us can commit because of our weakness, but rather to the condition of those who live without love, who distance themselves from the Gospel and the life of the community. Iniquity, according to the apostle, is the opposite of "abiding" in Christ. This is why John can say, whoever abides in him does not sin. Yes, to stay linked to Christ means to be empowered by his sap, and then bear good fruit. But a steadfast and salvific relationship with Jesus guarantees, in a way, impeccability. Not that we do not fall into sins, but believers, welcoming the love of God, have already radically defeated evil and are already living in communion with God and with others. This is why they "cannot sin." Obviously John does not intend to encourage an attitude of foolish pride in the disciples, but he wants to encourage them to understand the strength that can be attained if we live in communion with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters. Even though we are all sinners, believers have a "divine seed" that guides them on the way of love and prevents the forces of evil to overwhelm and engulf them in its coils. John insists: No one born of God sins because the love of God abides in him or her by the Spirit. And the Spirit helps us do the works of God. Therefore God’s children distance themselves from the children of iniquity. The latter, in fact, do not practice justice; they do not observe the only commandment of love that leads to communion with God and with brothers and sisters. In love true justice is manifested.

Prayer for the Sick