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The Everyday Prayer

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

Memorial of Our Lady of Sheshan, sanctuary nearby Shanghai in China. Prayer for Chinese Christians.

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
The child you shall bear will be holy.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Peter 1,10-16

This salvation was the subject of the search and investigation of the prophets who spoke of the grace you were to receive, searching out the time and circumstances for which the Spirit of Christ, bearing witness in them, was revealing the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow them. It was revealed to them that it was for your sake and not their own that they were acting as servants delivering the message which has now been announced to you by those who preached to you the gospel through the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even the angels long to catch a glimpse of these things. Your minds, then, must be sober and ready for action; put all your hope in the grace brought to you by the revelation of Jesus Christ. Do not allow yourselves to be shaped by the passions of your old ignorance, but as obedient children, be yourselves holy in all your activity, after the model of the Holy One who calls us, since scripture says, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Look down, O Lord, on your servants.
Be it unto us according to your word.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

After having stressed the joy that the disciples should have for having been saved from loneliness and sadness, the apostle exhorts them to be alert, temperate and ready to leave. There is indeed a new exodus to realize, and the apostle suggests it with the ancient exhortation made to the people of Israel while they were getting ready to leave Egypt: "Keep the loins of your mind girded." This is a spiritual exodus, that is, an interior journey that leads the believer to conform to Jesus, to live therefore according to the Gospel. The image of the exodus that Peter recalls asks believers to behave accordingly. Like the ancient people of Israel, also the new people should abandon the selfish mentality of this world and assume the characteristics of children of God. Peter calls them to a conversion that means not being led anymore by self-love but rather by God, listening to and obeying His Word. This is how we become children of God and behave as such. From here, Peter makes his second exhortation that traces directly back to the beginning of the so-called "Law of holiness," written in the Book of Leviticus: "Be holy yourselves in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘You shall be holy for I am holy.’" The disciples of Jesus, called to freedom in the footsteps of this ancient Biblical exhortation, receive the direction to the destination of their pilgrimage: the sanctuary that is holiness. It is a responsibility that is born directly from God, from the ambition that He has for his children. The Lord wants us to be holy, like He who is holy. It is a goal that may seem impossible—and it is true if we look at our smallness and sinfulness.

Memory of the Mother of the Lord