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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. At that point it would have been easy for their power over the people to be shattered. The same thing had happened at Jesus’ birth, when Herod tried to kill the baby because he was afraid he would cost him his throne. This is why they decide to stop Jesus by any means necessary. It is Caiaphas who in the midst of the assembly says, “It is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” He did not know it, but he was giving the truest and deepest meaning of the mystery of Jesus, the only saviour of the world. The evangelist notes that “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.” Jesus’ death brought down the walls that divided the nations and history started anew, moving towards the unity of the nations. The decision to kill Jesus was made with great solemnity. Once again, Jesus withdrew and went to Ephraim with his disciples. For the small community, it was time for prayer and reflection with its teacher. They needed to grow in communion. And Jesus knew well how necessary this was. Undoubtedly, he spent no little energy guiding them on the path of love. By now he was very well known and he was trying to remain hidden. Nonetheless, the people’s desire to see him, to talk with him, and to touch him was so great that many among the pilgrims in Jerusalem for Passover went to the temple to see Jesus. The crowd’s desire to see Jesus is an invitation to us in these days not to separate ourselves from this teacher who has “done everything well.”

Sunday Vigil

Calendar of the week
Sunday, 14 January
Liturgy of the Sunday
Monday, 15 January
Prayer for peace
Tuesday, 16 January
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
Wednesday, 17 January
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
Thursday, 18 January
Memory of the Church
Friday, 19 January
Memory of Jesus crucified
Saturday, 20 January
Sunday Vigil
Sunday, 21 January
Liturgy of the Sunday