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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

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

1 Peter 1,18-25

For you know that the price of your ransom from the futile way of life handed down from your ancestors was paid, not in anything perishable like silver or gold, but in precious blood as of a blameless and spotless lamb, Christ. He was marked out before the world was made, and was revealed at the final point of time for your sake. Through him you now have faith in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory for this very purpose -- that your faith and hope should be in God. Since by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves so that you can experience the genuine love of brothers, love each other intensely from the heart; for your new birth was not from any perishable seed but from imperishable seed, the living and enduring Word of God. For all humanity is grass, and all its beauty like the wild flower's. As grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of the Lord remains for ever. And this Word is the Good News that has been brought to you.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Peter writes to the Christians that the Lord has loved us and chosen us with his blood, so precious we are to him. We have been redeemed at a high price, that is, "the precious blood of Christ." Redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Born to a new life we can therefore turn to God—it is the third observation of the apostle after the first two that we heard yesterday—turn to God like a good Father who is great in love, a Father in whom we can place our trust. The apostle Peter, with a fourth exhortation, invites the disciples "to obedience to the truth," that is, to a "true obedience," "without additions" to the Gospel as Francis of Assisi said. This obedience, in its substance, is made concrete in the love of each other, in the birth of a community, that is, of brother and sisters who love one another. Brotherly love is not a question of character; it is the fruit of listening to the Gospel. As from the law of Sinai the people of Israel were born, so now does a new people of disciples of Jesus begin from the Gospel. For this reason the apostle says, "You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God." The Word of God, in fact, is that "incorruptible seed" deposited in the hearts of believers, which regenerates them to a new life, rendering them a community of brothers and sisters. This Word is effective and does not fail: "it lasts unto eternity," Peter writes. And from it, strength flows, a strength which renders disciples capable of loving each other, and from this strength, they are sustained and preserved in a lasting fraternity.

Memory of the Saints and the Prophets