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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

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 11, 45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what he did, believed in him,

but some of them went to the Pharisees to tell them what Jesus had done.

Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. 'Here is this man working all these signs,' they said, 'and what action are we taking?

If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and suppress the Holy Place and our nation.'

One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, 'You do not seem to have grasped the situation at all;

you fail to see that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people, rather than that the whole nation should perish.'

He did not speak in his own person, but as high priest of that year he was prophesying that Jesus was to die for the nation-

and not for the nation only, but also to gather together into one the scattered children of God.

From that day onwards they were determined to kill him.

So Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but left the district for a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert, and stayed there with his disciples.

The Jewish Passover was drawing near, and many of the country people who had gone up to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves

were looking out for Jesus, saying to one another as they stood about in the Temple, 'What do you think? Will he come to the festival or not?'


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This Gospel passage, which immediately follows the resurrection of Lazarus, is meant to prepare us for the celebration of the holy week of the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. The high priests understood that the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection was such an extraordinary event that it could cause Jesus’ movement to grow out of control. And at that point their power over the people might easily be broken. Their reasoning was very clear: This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation. Indeed, what was happening was analogous to what had happened at Jesus’ birth, when Herod tried to kill the new-born baby out of fear that he might threaten his throne. Once again people decide to kill Jesus. Caiaphas makes a solemn pronouncement before the entire assembly: It is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed. Without realizing what he was doing, he revealed the truest and deepest meaning of the mystery of Jesus, the saviour of the world. The evangelist notes, He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. In effect, Jesus’ death would knock down the walls that divided people, moving history in a new direction, towards the unity of nations. The decision to kill Jesus was made in that assembly. Once again, Jesus withdraws and goes to Ephraim with his disciples. For that little community, it is a time of prayer and reflection with their teacher. They had to grow in communion, strengthen their bonds of friendship and fraternity, and, above all, grow in their faith towards their Teacher. Jesus knew how important it was to gather his disciples together and reinforce their faith, especially at that moment. Doubtlessly he spent a great deal of energy teaching them and encouraging them to remain steadfast on the path of love in order to overcome fear and the temptation to close in on themselves. Having now become rather well-known, Jesus sought to hide and avoid places where crowds gathered. But so many people were eager to see him, to speak to him, and to touch him that many of the pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem for Passover came to the temple to see him. The crowd’s eagerness to see Jesus is an invitation for us not to leave the side of this teacher who has done everything well.

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 15 October
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 16 October
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 17 October
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 18 October
Memory of the Apostles
Thursday, 19 October
Memory of the Church
Friday, 20 October
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 21 October
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 22 October
Liturgy of the Sunday